Home' Inclean : INCLEAN Spt-Oct 2015 Contents 58 INCLEAN September/October 2015
If you work with hazardous chemicals you
need to get on board now with changes that
will be in force by 31 December 2016.
GHS stands for Globally Harmonised
System of Classiﬁcation and
Labelling of Chemicals. It replaces
the current Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances
[NOHSC:1008(2004)] and the Australian code for its labelling.
Initiated by the United Nations, GHS aims to facilitate ready
identifcation of chemicals by the hazards that they pose. It also aims
to internationally standardise chemical classifcation, labelling, and
safety data sheets (SDS) in the workplace. Some of Australia's
largest trading partners including Japan, China, Korea,
Malaysia, New Zealand, the EU, Canada and the US have
already adopted or are in the process of adopting GHS.
The move to GHS affects the way
infor mation on chemicals is
This includes changes to classifcations
of the chemicals themselves -- GHS is
hazard-based rather than risk-based
and covers whole of lifecycle from
manufacture to disposal.
There are also changes to the
language and organisation of labels
SDS -- GHS has new signal words, hazard
statements and precautionary statements
advising on safely handling, disposal and storage.
Perhaps the most noticeable change will be the
pictograms. There are now nine diamonds surrounded
by a red border, with two new symbols for those that affect
human health and one for environmental hazards.
Many Australian businesses have been preparing for the
transition well in advance of 31 December 2016 deadline and are
But quite a few Australian businesses are unaware that GHS applies
to them – and that signifcant preparation will be required to ensure
compliance by the deadline.
What do you need to do?
All chemical manufacturers and suppliers (including importers)
are responsible for relabelling and replacing SDS for all chemicals
that meet the GHS criteria. This includes all product for sale as
well as all existing NOHSC labelled stock to be retained beyond 31
All workplaces must ensure that any new purchases of hazardous
chemicals beyond 31 December 2016 have GHS-compliant labels
and SDS. Any existing NOHSC labelled stock requires relabelling
and a new SDS.
Prior to relabelling and replacing SDS, the frst step is to determine
the correct chemical classifcation according to the GHS Third Edition.
As you will appreciate, reclassifcation, relabelling and rewriting
SDS can be a complex and time-consuming process.
Some tips to get on top of GHS if you are a chemical manufacturer,
supplier, or work with hazardous chemicals:
• Identify deadlines and plan ahead. An implementation schedule to 31
December 2016 may be helpful.
• Conduct an inventory of all your chemicals. You may wish to identify
inactive products to eliminate unnecessary workload, and to source
GHS-compliant products now or reconsider purchase quantities to
avoid the need to relabel later.
• Assess your readiness. You will need to check labels and stock and
decide whether to keep and relabel, or dispose of/sell.
• Start transition. You will need to prepare new labels and SDS
or obtain these from the manufacturer/supplier; review
the new SDS to identify new hazards that may require
operational changes; update your systems; and train
your workers on the new labels and SDS.
Accord has held free training sessions to
assist our members in the introduction
of GHS. We also provide regular
updates via our monthly regulatory
bulletins, and our in-house
GHS experts are available to
members for assistance with
specifc GHS matters.
Accord is also seeking an
extension to the 31 December 2016
deadline for GHS implementation for
complex mixture products.
Currently the deadline applies to both
single substance chemical raw material suppliers
and to formulators of complex mixture products.
We are arguing that a staged deadline will allow time
for downstream companies to receive and use GHS
classifcation information provided by their upstream raw
materials suppliers. This is in line with arrangements made in
other advanced markets overseas.
However, we advise all manufacturers, suppliers and users of
chemicals to prepare for 31 December 2016 -- is your business ready?
Accord is the national industry association for manufacturers and suppliers
of all types of cleaning, hygiene, disinfectant and specialised products for use in
commercial, institutional and industrial applications
Chemicals and the GHS... don't let
your business be left behind
A new inter national system of chemical classiﬁcation and labelling is on the way and it will affect any
business in Australia that manufactures, buys, sells or uses hazardous chemicals – does your business fall
into this category? Bronwyn Capanna, executive director of Accord, explains.
To discuss advertising,
call Samantha Ewart on
02 8586 6106 or email
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