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Work Health and Safety (Labelling Hazardous Chemicals) Exemption 2016

The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) was adopted in Australia under the model work health and safety laws in 2012 with a five year transition period. This transition expires in the federal jurisdiction on 31 December 2016.

To ensure there is no disruption to business with the commencement of the GHS, Comcare has issued a class exemption under the Federal Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 which provides suppliers, by way of a limited one year exemption, an additional period of transition for hazardous chemicals already in the supply chain (regulation 338).

The Instrument also exempts persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) in relation to hazardous chemicals that were purchased, manufactured at the workplace or decanted before the new requirements commenced (regulations 341 and 342). The exemption for PCBUs is not intended to be limited to one year, and regulations will be made to provide an ongoing exemption. The Instrument will ensure that PCBUs do not become non-compliant prior to the commencement of these regulations.

The additional transitional arrangements were agreed to by a majority of Safe Work Australia Members and will be implemented by all jurisdictions that have enacted the model WHS legislation.

For further information regarding this exemption refer to the Explanatory Statement for the Work Health and Safety (Labelling Hazardous Chemicals) Exemption 2016 which can be found at the Federal Register of Legislation.

Page last updated: 23 Dec 2016