Responsibilities for labelling hazardous chemicals

Manufacturers and importers 

If you manufacture or import hazardous chemicals, you must label them correctly in accordance to the model WHS regulations and the 7th revised edition of the Globally Harmonized System for Labelling and Classifying Chemicals (GHS).  You can find more information on our Adoption of GHS 7 page.

This duty also applies to you if you repackage or re-label hazardous chemicals with your own name, or if your hazardous chemical is imported from overseas.


If you supply hazardous chemicals, you must not supply a hazardous chemical to a workplace if you know, or should reasonably know, that the chemical is not correctly labelled. 

Users of hazardous chemicals 

As a PCBU, if you use hazardous chemicals, you must ensure chemicals have a correct label in accordance with the GHS and model WHS Regulations. This includes: 

  • hazardous chemicals that are stored in pipework 

  • hazardous chemicals that are transferred or decanted at the workplace from the original container that the chemical is stored in.  

If the hazardous chemical is not labelled correctly, you should not accept it from the supplier.  

This duty does not apply if the hazardous chemical is: 

  • a consumer product that retains its original label and is to be only used in household quantities in a way that is incidental to the nature of the work, 

  • in transit, or  

  • used immediately after being put into a container and the container thoroughly cleaned after the chemical has been used, handled or stored so that the container is in the condition it would be in if it had never contained the hazardous chemical.  

Reviewing labels 

You should review labels if you are manufacturer, importer or supplier of hazardous chemicals. 

Labels should be reviewed at regular intervals to keep them current. Labels should also be reviewed with Safety Data Sheets, which must be reviewed at least every 5 years.  

Labels should also be reviewed when: 

  • there is a change in formulation or ingredients which may change the chemical’s hazardous properties 

  • new information on the hazards of the product or its ingredients become available 

  • the classification of the hazardous chemical changes. 

The hazardous chemical classification will tell you what to put on the label. Australia uses the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the classification information for labels. 

Approving labels 

WHS regulators do not need to approve labels for hazardous chemicals. However, they can review the labels to make sure they are compliant with the model WHS Regulations and the GHS

Supporting information