Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals

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MANAGING RISKS
OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS

Draft
Code of Practice

Table of Contents

FOREWORD3

SCOPE AND APPLICATION3

1.INTRODUCTION5
1.1Who has health and safety duties in relation to hazardous chemicals?5 1.2The meaning of key terms6
1.3What is required to manage the risks of hazardous chemicals?7

2.HOW TO IDENTIFY HAZARDS10
2.1Labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS)10
2.2Unlabelled containers10
2.3Hazardous chemicals generated or manufactured in the workplace12 2.4Chemicals with exposure standards13
2.5Hazardous chemical register13
2.6Other sources of information13

3.HOW TO ASSESS RISKS14
3.1Decide who should do the assessment14
3.2Decide what sort of risk assessment is appropriate15
3.3Things to consider in assessing health risks16
3.4How to assess physicochemical risks20

4.HOW TO CONTROL RISKS25
4.1The hierarchy of risk control25
4.2Specific control measures29

5.REVIEW RISK CONTROLS33

6.EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS34
6.1Emergency plan36

APPENDIX A – DEFINITIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS39

APPENDIX B – COMPARISON OF HAZARD CLASSES AND CATEGORIES UNDER THE ADG CODE AND THE GHS CLASSIFICATIONS UNDER THE WHS REGULATIONS41

APPENDIX C – PRACTICAL EXAMPLES OF CONTROLS44

APPENDIX D – OVERVIEW OF A RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESS45

APPENDIX E – RISK ASSESSMENT CHECKLIST46

APPENDIX F – CASE STUDY – WORKPLACE RISK ASSESSMENT48

APPENDIX G – EXAMPLES OF COMMON FUEL AND OXYGEN SOURCES50

APPENDIX H – FIRE AND EXPLOSION RISKS52

APPENDIX I – PLACARD AND MANIFEST QUANTITIES55

FOREWORD

This Code of Practice on how to manage the risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace is an approved code of practice under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act). An approved code of practice is a practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations (the WHS Regulations). A code of practice applies to anyone who has a duty of care in the circumstances described in the code. In most cases, following an approved code of practice would achieve compliance with the health and safety duties in the WHS Act, in relation to the subject matter of the code. Like regulations, codes of practice deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks which may arise. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and codes of practice exist. Codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings under the WHS Act and Regulations. Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates. Compliance with the WHS Act and Regulations may be achieved by following another method, such as a technical or an industry standard, if it provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety than the code. An inspector may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice. This Code of Practice has been developed by Safe Work Australia as a model code of practice under the Council of Australian Governments’ Inter-Governmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety for adoption by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments. A draft of this Code of Practice was released for public consultation on 26 September 2011and was endorsed by the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council on [to be completed].

SCOPE AND APPLICATION

This Code provides practical guidance for persons conducting a business or undertaking on how to manage health and safety risks in relation to hazardous chemicals.

This Code applies to substances, mixtures and articles used, handled or stored at the...
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