Safety tips for handling workplace chemicals

Check out these tips for safely managing workplace chemicals

These tips were shared at the recent RCNZ conference and are sourced from Responsible Care


1) Appoint a person in charge: Responsible for security and management of chemicals

2) Maintain a Site Hazard Register

  • Identify each chemical product you have, particularly tracked substances
  • Record the hazard classification and maximum quantities at any one time in this register
  • Obtain compliant Safety Data Sheets (SDS) from your supplier (ACoP)

3) Manage the risk

Obtain advice from:

  • Person in Charge, Approved Handlers
  • Chemical Suppliers
  • Group Standards including Site and Storage Conditions
  • Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs)
  • Health and Safety Inspectors
  • Hazardous Substances Enforcement Officers
  • Test Certifiers
  • Industry Association

4) Safely manage your site chemicals

  • Ensure chemicals are correctly packaged and labelled
  • Ensure SDS are available within 10 minutes (ACoP)
  • Provide correct PPE
  • Ensure Secondary Containment is in place (ACoP)
  • Correctly segregate and store chemicals (ACoP)
  • Provide appropriate fire extinguishers and spill kits
  • Install Emergency Showers/Eyewash adjacent to 
  • chemical operations
  • Provide trained First Aiders
  • Review site signage (ACoP)
  • Develop and annually test emergency response plan (ACoP)

5) A helping hand

Verify the need for:

  • Test certificates
  • Approved handlers
  • Location Test Certificates
  • Stationary Container Sytems (Bulk Storage) (ACoP)
  • A site plan must include
  • Hazardous substances locations
  • Hazardous atmosphere zones
  • Hazardous control zones
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