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An induction for Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) workers Supporting the implementation of Managing Risks with Chemicals in DETE workplaces – procedure and guideline. Managing Risks with Chemicals. What are we talking about? .

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managing risks with chemicals

An induction for Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) workers

Supporting the implementation of Managing Risks with Chemicals in DETE workplaces – procedure and guideline

Managing Risks with Chemicals

what are we talking about
What are we talking about?

Chemicals can be divided into hazardous chemicals and non-hazardous chemicals.

Hazardous chemicals is a term that collectively describes substances, mixtures or articles which are classified according to the hazard they present.

A chemical’s hazardous nature is stated on its label and safety data sheet.

Specific legislation applies to hazardous chemicals but all chemicals need to be managed safely at your workplace.

Non-hazardous chemicals generally do not represent a threat to the health and safety of employees if used correctly and safely.

Hazardous chemicals are those that, following worker exposure, can have an adverse effect on health.

A chemical is deemed to be a hazardous chemical if it meets the classification criteria specified in the Globally Harmonised System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals 3rd revised edition (GHS).

The GHS is integrated into the WHS regulation 2011 Chapter 7. It incorporates the AC Classification System [NOHSC:1008 (2004)] and the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code) classification systems for hazardous substances.

Hazardous chemical classes are listed in the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 – Schedule 11. A hazardous chemical may also be listed as a dangerous good for the purpose of transport and storage.

A manufacturer or importer must prepare, amend, provide and review a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for a hazardous chemical.

The SDS and the chemical’s label will state that the chemical is classified as a ‘hazardous chemical’.

Hazardous Chemicals

Chemicals are classified as dangerous goods if they meet the criteria documented in the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG7).

Dangerous goods are usually chemicals which have the potential to present a present a risk during transport or storage as they pose an immediate threat to people, property or the environment if not properly contained or controlled.

They are classified according to the nature of the hazard into nine classes, some of which are divided into sub-classes. These classes are denoted by specific labels (or diamonds).

Dangerous Goods

Chemicals can be found in a range of locations at your workplace. This means hazardous chemicals may be in places you don’t expect:

science and laboratory facilities - labs, prep areas, store rooms

industrial and manufacturing areas – ITD workshops, wood, metal, plastics, paint or welding facilities

creative arts areas - photographic areas, kilns, theatre

grounds maintenance storage areas

cleaning storage areas

classroom and administrative areas – cupboards and under sinks

reprographic facilities – printing and copy rooms

other practical areas – agriculture sheds, marine studies

Locating hazardous chemicals

Check your work area for all chemicals so you can implement appropriate safe work methods.

There is a general obligation under two new pieces of legislation to ensure that all chemicals are managed safely.

The major pieces of legislation are the:

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 including the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

Globally Harmonised System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals 3rd revised edition (GHS).

What legislation applies?

Managing Risks with Chemicals in Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) Workplaces is the department’s procedure on managing chemicals at our workplaces.

The procedure informs DETE workers of their key legislative responsibilities and describes how the legislation applies to DETE workplaces.

The Guideline for Managing Risks with Chemicals in DETE Workplaces provides supporting information as to how to meet these legislative and departmental responsibilities.

Check out the procedure and guideline on line.

DETE Policy and Procedure

Officers in charge e.g. principals and institute directors are to ensure that:

Risks of exposure to chemicals are controlled

Information, instruction and training are provided – and records kept

Resources and time are provided to support the safe management of chemicals

Safe work practices are developed and implemented

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are made available to users

A register of hazardous chemicals is maintained

Risk assessments on hazardous chemicals are recorded and reviewed

Hazardous chemicals are labelled

Prohibited chemicals are not purchased or used

Responsibilities- Officer in Charge

Read the procedurefor responsibilities and definition of prohibited chemicals

As a worker you are required to:

Follow health and safety instructions

Follow safe work practices

Take reasonable care for your own health and safety

Take reasonable care that your actions do not adversely affect the health and safety of others

Participate in training

Assist in identifying, assessing and managing risks

Use appropriate equipment and personal protective equipment

Not purchase or use prohibited chemicals.

Responsibilities – Workers & Others

Read the procedure for responsibilities in detail

The following resources will assist you meet regulatory requirements and departmental responsibilities:

Use the Guideline for Managing Risks with Chemicals in DETE workplaces for:

Risk assessment pro-formas

Record keeping

Information for instruction and training

Storage and handling


Use ChemWatch for:

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Establishing a manifest and hazardous chemical register

Labelling containers

Assisting with storage compatibilities

Implementing the requirements

All DETE workplaces have access to ChemWatch at no cost to the school or workplace.

Locate chemicals in your workplace:

Determine if they are ‘hazardous’ or ‘non-hazardous’

by accessing the safety data sheet (SDS) and labels

For ALL chemicals –

ensure correct labelling

follow safety instructions on label and SDS

inform users of correct use, storage and disposal

In addition, for hazardous chemicals –

ensure the SDS is accessible

add details of the hazardous chemicals to the register

complete and record a risk assessment

Provide information and training to ensure safe practice

Keep records of training, register, risk assessments.


A Safety Data Sheet (SDS):

identifies if the product is classified as ‘hazardous’ or ‘non-hazardous’

helps make an assessment of the risk to the health of people at your workplace from chemical exposure

provides safe use advice including recommended control options – this helps inform risk assessments and management

provides emergency information including first aid advice and spills treatment

must be made available by suppliers or alternatively is available through Chemwatch

What is a SDS?

A risk assessment process is required for all hazardous chemicals

The processis toevaluate the risk associated with the use of the chemical and implement control measures to minimise exposure and therefore risks to the user

Detailed guidance on the process is provided in Chapter 5 of the Guideline

A risk assessment template is also provided.

What is a risk assessment?


Some effective controls

We can eliminate or minimise the risk of injury or illness by preventing chemicals entering our body or reducing our exposure.

Safe work practices aim to prevent chemicals entering our body and reducing our exposure to chemicals that can cause us harm.

Remember – simple steps such as correct dilution, labelling containers and appropriate use and wearing PPE help to ensure your safety now and health in the future.

The bottom line

Induction - use this presentation and;

Identify the chemicals to be used by staff

Provide information about the chemicals and the associated hazards

Add safe work practices for using the chemicals including use of PPE

Ensure emergency procedures are understood

Ongoing Training

On the job training – experienced staff mentoring new staff

Review of procedure and relevant sections of the Guideline

Participation in risk assessment processes

Identify other training needs

Conducting risk assessments can also assist to identify who needs further training, what training is needed and the method of training.


Information to tailor this induction presentation and develop other training is available in:

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Chemical labels and instructions for use


Guideline for Managing Risks with Chemicals in DETE Workplaces

Introduction to chemicals at work

Information, communication and training

Record keeping

Purchasing, storage and handling

Risk management


Emergency planning


Managing Chemicals in DETE workplaces,-Training-and-Employment-%28DETE%29-Workplaces.aspx

Guideline to Managing Chemicals in DETE workplaces


Chemicals and Hazardous Chemicals – Creating Healthier Workplaces website

Workplace Health & Safety Queensland Resources of Practice for Hazardous Chemicals

Hazardous chemicals Code of Practice

Senior Health and Safety Consultants

Information sources summary