GHS rollout amended due to industry concerns
Members have agreed to an alteration that will see all chemicals manufactured or imported before 1 January 2017 continuing to be supplied without having to meet the labelling requirements of the model Work Health and Safety Regulations.
Concerns were raised by various chemical suppliers regarding the logistics of labelling old stock that was already on the market and distributed to wholesalers and retailers.
“This approach will ensure a smooth transition to the globally harmonised system, or GHS, and will avoid an unnecessary burden on suppliers to relabel existing chemical stock,” said Baxter.
From 1 January 2017, hazardous chemicals may only be supplied to other workplaces without GHS labelling if they were manufactured or imported on or before 31 December 2016, and were correctly labelled at that time.
In 2017, manufacturers and importers operating under harmonised work health and safety laws must label their hazardous chemicals in accordance with the GHS under the model WHS Regulation.
At this stage Western Australia is not part of the model WHS Regulation, and Worksafe WA has confirmed that if WA businesses do not wish to use the GHS at this time, they can continue using the Australian classification system.
However, if their products are used in states or territories where WHS legislation is in place, they will need to implement the GHS by 2017.
Western Australia is anticipated to be harmonised with the model WHS Regulations early next year.
Each jurisdiction will be implementing this approach individually within their work health and safety laws. To understand how this approach will be applied in your jurisdiction, contact your local work health and safety regulator or visit Safe Work Australia’s website for more information.
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