Safe Work Australia seeks feedback on new GHS rollout

Thursday, 06 June, 2019

Safe Work Australia seeks feedback on new GHS rollout

Safe Work Australia (SWA) is seeking feedback on a proposal to adopt an updated edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

As Australia’s transition to the GHS is now complete, the SWA believes it is time to move beyond GHS 3 to ensure Australia’s classification and labelling requirements for workplace chemicals are aligned with its key trading partners, who are moving towards implementing the 7th revised edition of the GHS (GHS 7). However, it wants to minimise the impact of any implementation on industry, and is thus seeking feedback.

The third revised edition of the GHS (GHS 3) has been implemented under Australian model health and safety laws since 2017. However, the GHS has undergone four revisions since the third edition was published in 2009. As a result, SWA is looking to move to the seventh edition — published in 2017 — to ensure that Australia keeps up to date with workplace chemical classification and labelling and is aligned with its trading partners.

Under the new GHS, non-flammable aerosols would require a “Warning” label and hazard statement reading “Pressurised container: May burst if heated”.

Additionally, the GHS now recognises pyrophoric and chemically unstable gases — which are either liable to ignite spontaneously in air temperatures of 54°C or below or flammable gases that are able to react explosively even in the absence of oxygen, respectively. Necessary labels can be found on page 54 of GHS 7.

The SWA is calling for stakeholders to provide feedback on the new implementation via their “Engage” platform.

The forum will open in July 2019.

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