Did you know that if you have hazardous chemicals in your workplace, you must have an up-to-date hazardous chemical register in accordance with the WHS Regulations 2022. That register must be readily accessible to workers and anyone likely to be affected by hazardous chemicals.
Your hazardous chemical register must include the current safety data sheet for each chemical listed and be available to workers and emergency services at any time. They may be kept electronically, provided that workers have access to a computer, and / or as a hard copy near where the chemicals are mostly used.
The register is required to be updated as new hazardous chemicals are introduced into the workplace, or when the workplace stops using a hazardous chemicals. It may be useful to appoint a worker with the responsibility of managing the introduction, purchasing and removal of hazardous substances in your workplace to ensure that this register is accurate at all times.
Your register does not need to include chemicals that are not classified as hazardous, or hazardous chemicals that are in transit and are unopened, unused and stored for 5 days or less. There is also no requirement for consumer products packed primarily for use by a household consumer and are used in a manner consistent with normal household use. For example, a consumer pack of dishwasher tablets for the workplace dishwasher – that chemical is not required to be on the register. Nor are consumer office hazardous chemical products such as printer toner and whiteboard cleaner.
You may also be required to maintain a manifest if you use, handle, or store large quantities of hazardous chemicals. The manifest is primarily for emergency services if there is an incident in your workplace.
There may be more than one PCBU at the workplace that has responsibilities for maintaining a register of hazardous chemicals, for example, when the business engages contracted cleaners. If you engage cleaners, you need to include these cleaning chemicals on your register, even if your workers would not normally use the chemicals themselves.
For assistance on setting up your hazardous chemical register, or advice on your responsibilities on managing the risks from hazardous substances, please contact the Safety Solutions WA team.