Industry forces extension to chemical standard

Friday, 02 March, 2007

Concerns from the chemical industry have forced the ASCC to extend the deadline for comment on the proposed National OHS Standards for Managing Workplace Hazardous Chemicals.

The ASCC announced the extension earlier this week, with chair of the Council, Bill Scales, calling on industry to progress the Standards as a matter of urgency.

"The benefits to Australian employers and workers of having a national approach to managing and controlling workplace hazardous chemicals are significant," he said.

Scales said that a national standard could save industry around $600 million each year, along with a reduction in injuries, disease and fatalities, by adopting best practice in workplace chemical management.

"It is now time for the chemical industry to finalise its comments on the draft documents. Draft documents were first released for public comment in September last year with comments from industry and other interested parties due in February," he said.

"The chemical industry has again approached the ASCC for a further extension and I have reluctantly agreed to another extension until 15 March. But it is now time for the industry to fully embrace this opportunity to participate in consultation on Australia's occupational health and safety standards for workplace hazardous chemicals."

The draft package of workplace hazardous chemicals documents, including instructions on how to provide comments, is available from the ASCC website.

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