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Australia - GHS Status

GHS Status

Focal point:

Safe Work Australia (for implementation in the workplace)

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (for implementation in transport)

Main relevant legislation:

Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws consisting of a model WHS Act, supported by model WHS Regulations and model Codes of Practice and a National Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

The current version of the Model WHS Regulations (dated 9 December 2019) as released by Safe Work Australia, includes all amendments made since 2011. The amendments to the Model WHS laws and regulations do not automatically apply in a jurisdiction, unless the jurisdiction has separately taken action to implement them. The model laws and supporting instruments are given legal force through their adoption in Australian States and Territory workplace laws.

 

Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADGC) sets out the requirements for transporting dangerous goods by road or rail. It is given legal force in each Australian state and territory by laws that incorporate the code as law. The Australian Dangerous Goods Code is updated every two years, with a one-year transition period for each edition.

GHS implementation status

Transport of dangerous goods

Implemented

For international transport of dangerous goods, see “Implementation through international legal instruments, recommendations, codes and guidelines”.

 

For domestic land transport, edition 7.7 of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG 7.7) is the latest edition. It can be used from 1 October 2020 and will become mandatory as from 1 October 2021. Edition 7.7 is aligned to the 21st revised edition (Rev.21) of the UN Model Regulations.

Workplace

Implemented

 

Australia has implemented, through model work health and safety (WHS) and other equivalent laws, the third revised edition (Rev.3) of the GHS for chemical classification and hazard communication requirements for workplace chemicals. Information about implementation in the various jurisdictions can found here.

 

Model Codes of Practice for the labelling and preparation of SDS were published to support the amended model WHS laws. Guidance material was also published on GHS classifications, with a focus on the translation from existing classifications where possible.

 

From 1 January 2017, manufacturers and importers of workplace chemicals must classify and prepare labels and safety data sheets according to the GHS. Suppliers may continue to supply existing stock-in-trade after 1 January 2017 providing the chemical was manufactured or imported prior to 1 January 2017 and correctly labelled at that time. Suppliers will need to provide GHS compliant safety data sheets from this date. Users of hazardous chemicals are not required to re-label or dispose of existing non-GHS labelled stock.

 

On 1 January 2021, Australia will begin a two-year transition to GHS Rev.7. During the transition, manufacturers and importers may use either GHS Rev.3 or GHS Rev.7 to prepare classifications, labels and SDS for hazardous chemicals. From 1 January 2023, only GHS Rev.7 may be used. Additional information on the transition from Rev.3 to Rev.7 in Australia is available here.

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