GHS Rollout amended due to industry concerns
Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter has recently confirmed that members have agreed to an amendment on the GHS Rollout. All chemicals manufactured or imported BEFORE 1st January, 2017 can now continue to be supplied without having to meet the labelling requirements of the model Work Health and Safety Regulations.
This is in direct response to concerns raised by various chemical suppliers, about 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 re-label existing chemical stock” Ms Baxter explained.
From 1st January, 2017, hazardous chemicals may only be supplied to other workplaces without GHS labelling if they were manufactured, or imported on, or before 31st 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 have confirmed with us that if WA businesses do not wish to use the GHS at this time, they can continue using the Australian classification system (although 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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