Safe Work Australia issues updates to GHS 7 transition guidance

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Wednesday, 11 November, 2020 - 12:00
Policy & legislation
National News

Safe Work Australia has updated the model Work Health and Safety Regulations (Hazardous Chemicals) Amendment 2020 and explanatory statement for the transition to GHS 7.

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Revision 7 (GHS 7) is a global method of classifying chemicals and preparing labels and safety data sheets (SDS).

Australia will begin a two-year transition to GHS 7 from 1 January 2021.

The updates correct an error that could have required businesses to relabel old stock of hazardous chemicals in some circumstances.

Safe Work Australia said the updated versions should be downloaded and the versions published on 5 November 2020 should be used in place of the original published on 28 August 2020 in all cases.

These updated amendments will be inserted into the model WHS Regulations from 1 January 2021.

“Please note that amendments to the model WHS Regulations do not automatically apply in a jurisdiction,” said Safe Work Australia in a statement.

“For the model WHS Regulations, including any amendments, to have effect in a jurisdiction, they must be made in that jurisdiction.

“Review the WHS laws in your jurisdiction and contact your WHS regulator for more information.”

To help businesses understand the changes required under GHS 7, Safe Work Australia has published a GHS 7 web page and suite of information sheets.