Businesses may soon fall under the latest version of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), after Safe Work Australia (SWA) proposed adopting the 7th revised edition of the GHS.
“As Australia’s transition to the GHS is now complete, it is time to move beyond GHS 3 to ensure Australia’s classification and labelling requirements for workplace chemicals are aligned with our key trading partners, as they move to the 7th revised edition of the GHS (GHS 7),” SWA said in a statement.
The national regulator says it is committed to minimising the impact of any implementation on industry, and is therefore seeking feedback on its proposal via its Engage platform – which will open for considerations next month.
What is the GHS?
The GHS sets guidelines for the safe production, transport, handling, use and disposal of hazardous materials, and the third-revised edition became mandatory in Australia from 01 Jan 2017. Developed by the United Nations, it is seen as a way to bring into agreement the chemical regulations and standards of different countries.
This seventh revised edition of the GHS contains various new or revised provisions including:
- revised criteria for categorisation of flammable gases within Category 1
- miscellaneous amendments intended to clarify the definitions of some health hazard classes
- additional guidance to extend the coverage of section 14 of the Safety Data Sheets to all bulk cargoes transported under instruments of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), regardless of their physical state
- revised and further rationalised precautionary statements in Annex 3
- a new example in Annex 7 addressing labelling of small packagings with fold-out labels