Safe Work Australia (SWA) has published guidance to help businesses navigate the two-year transition to the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Revision 7 (GHS 7). The transition was due to commence on 1 July 2020; however, it was delayed to 1 January 2021 due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on Australian businesses. A dedicated GHS 7 web page and suite of SWA-published information sheets will help businesses “understand the upcoming changes to the classification and labelling requirements for workplace hazardous chemicals, as well as the duties of suppliers and users”, SWA Chief Executive Officer Michelle Baxter said.
To ensure that businesses who have already begun implementing GHS 7 are not disadvantaged, work health and safety regulators will allow importers and manufacturers to classify and label chemicals in accordance with GHS 7 from 1 July 2020 to 1 January 2021, ahead of the official transition period. Suppliers and end users can also supply and use GHS 3 or GHS 7 labelled chemicals during this period. “The resources have been tailored for manufacturers, importers, suppliers and end users to assist everyone who works with hazardous chemicals to prepare for the GHS 7 transition period beginning on 1 January 2021,” Baxter said.
SWA developed the practical guidance to make it as easy as possible for businesses to understand what they need to do from 1 January, including organising new classifications, labels and safety data sheets for their hazardous chemicals. “Moving to GHS 7 under the model work health and safety laws keeps Australia up to date with our trading partners and international best practice for chemical assessment and hazard communication. GHS 7 also brings various improvements that will continue to protect the health and safety of Australians who work with hazardous chemicals,” Baxter concluded.
The GHS 7 transition web page is accessible here, on the SWA website.
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Grispb