Chemical Registers and The Global System of Classification

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The New Global System of Classifications (GHS) is mandatory in Australia from 01 Jan 2017.

A Hazardous Chemicals Register is a list of hazardous chemicals in a workplace, accompanied by the current Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each of those chemicals.

An SDS, (previously called a Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS), is a document that provides information on the properties of hazardous chemicals and how they affect health and safety in the workplace. myosh Chemical Registers allow you to create this register and upload the relevant SDS for each chemical.

The International Labour Standards (ILO) on Occupational Safety and Health brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member states to set labour standards. The ILO constitution promotes the principle that workers should be protected from sickness, disease and injury arising from employment. This includes ensuring the safe use, handling and storage of substances.

The new Globally Harmonised System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) sets guidelines for the safe production, transport, handling, use and disposal of hazardous materials. Developed by the United Nations, it is seen as a way to bring into agreement the chemical regulations and standards of different countries and has been adopted to date by 65 countries.

GHS will be mandatory in Australia from the 01 January 2017, in all jurisdictions where the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations have been adopted.

The GHS was introduced in Australia in January 2012, with a 5 year transition period, in order to give chemical manufacturers and importers enough time to implement all the necessary changes. GHS applies to chemicals with physical hazards (e.g. flammable liquids), health hazards (e.g. carcinogens) and environmental hazards (e.g. aquatic toxicity).

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.

Worldwide, countries have registers or inventories for classifying and controlling chemicals. *The European Union has the REACH initiative which controls chemicals in the European market, The USA has TSCA and Canada has CEPA requirements. In Australia, there is AICS, China has the IECSC and similarly many other countries including Japan, India, Switzerland, South Africa etc. all have regulations which include duties to manage the risks to health and safety associated with using, handling, generating and storing hazardous chemicals at a workplace.

The duties generally include: ensuring that a register of hazardous chemicals is prepared and kept up-to-date so that people can easily find information about chemicals stored, handled or used at the workplace, as well as identifying risk of physical or chemical reaction of hazardous chemicals

Registers should be readily accessible to workers involved in using, handling or storing hazardous chemicals and to anyone else who is likely to be affected by a hazardous chemical at the workplace. They must be updated as new hazardous chemicals are introduced to the workplace or when the use of a particular hazardous chemical is discontinued.

The myosh Chemical Register meets the requirements in terms of the GHS. It is important to ensure that the accompanying SDS which is uploaded, also meets these requirements.

Bullet points:

The myosh Chemical Register enables the user to:

  • Upload and store SDS
  • Record the SDS expiry date and create an action when the SDS should be updated using the link to the myosh Actions Module
  • Record the Chemical Classification in terms of CAS No.; UN Number and hazards
  • Carry out a Risk Assessment on the Chemicals listed in the register
  • Indicate where in the company it is used and the quantities used
  • Health surveillance required for persons handling the chemical, PPE to be worn and other safety measures
  • Clone the chemical record
  • Archiving chemical information
  • A Search function rapidly finds information on a specific chemical