Welcome to the Office Safety tool, previously called the Virtual Office. As well as a new name, we have updated the site's navigation and content.

Use space to open navigation items

Kitchen cleaning products

Domestic consumer products, such as cleaning chemicals, and therapeutic goods require labelling under the Poisons Standard and the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

Chemicals that are produced for domestic use and considered safe in the home may present greater risks in the workplace depending on how they are used, how often and for how long.


  • Use cleaning chemicals only for their intended use.
  • Follow instructions and handle with care.
  • Store away from food.

Potential harm

  • Allergies
  • Poisoning
  • Skin rash

Identified hazards and controls

Storage and handling


  • Chemicals stored above head height may spill on the worker when handled or lifted.
  • Chemicals that are not securely contained can produce odours or fumes.
  • Chemicals not stored in their original container can be misused.

What workers can do

  • Store chemicals away from food and put them back when you are finished using them.
  • Be aware that some people can suffer asthma or allergic reactions from certain types of spray cleaners, perfumes and liquids.
  • Always read and follow label directions and any other usage instructions.
  • Know who the first aid officer is and how to contact them quickly.

What employers can do

  • Ensure that the chemicals are clearly labelled and stored away from food.
  • Store chemicals out of reach of children.
  • Leave the original labelling on each container.
  • Obtain the safety data sheet (SDS) from the manufacturer for each chemical used in your workplace, including any domestic cleaning products as they may be used differently than normal household use. The SDS provides detailed information on safe use and handling, incompatibilities with other chemicals, risks from use in enclosed areas, and appropriate controls.
  • Check the cleaners’ stores to see if any bulk chemicals are stored that may be subject to stricter controls under the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling.
  • Where possible, substitute hazardous chemicals with less toxic alternatives.

Labelling and identification


  • Substances kept in containers without proper labels.

What workers can do

  • Do not use an unlabelled product.
  • Only decant in accordance with safety data sheets and procedures.

What employers can do

  • Record details of all substances kept.
  • Ensure all substances are clearly and correctly marked and labelled.
  • Clearly mark all substances and ensure the labels are correct. Meet requirements of the Globally Harmonised Labelling System (GHS) and Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011. This includes requirements for chemicals stored in bulk.
  • Maintain a file of safety data sheets (SDSs) for all substances used by or stored at the workplace.
  • Maintain strict controls on decanting of substances.
  • If the contents of the container cannot be identified, dispose of the container in accordance with relevant local waste management requirements.
  • Conduct regular inspections of chemicals.



  • Containers not secured properly.

What workers can do

  • Secure lids properly after use.
  • Do not clean up spills if you are unsure of what the liquid is.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when required, to protect health and safety.
  • Report spills to your employer.
  • Set up signage to let others know that there has been a spill.
  • Do not puncture or damage pressure containers.

What employers can do

  • Have a safety data sheet (SDS) for each chemical held on the premises and available to workers.
  • Have personal protective equipment (PPE) specified in the safety data sheet (SDS) available, such as face masks and breathing apparatus.
  • Provide workers with instruction in dealing with substance spills, including the name of contacts to arrange clean up.
  • Warn others to stay clear of spillage site.
  • Keep emergency response plans updated and current.

First aid treatment


  • Contact with a substance or cleaning product.

What workers can do

  • Follow recommended first aid information provided on the safety data sheet (SDS) where available.
  • Ensure you know how to contact the first aid officer.

What employers can do

  • Check that first aid officers in your workplace are familiar with the types of chemicals in use and the appropriate response to a spill or emergency.
  • Provide emergency first aid officers with information on the appropriate treatment of skin, eye and internal organs for the substances used at your workplace.
  • Display first aid and emergency contact number in obvious positions at work.
  • Make safety data sheets (SDSs) readily available.
Page last reviewed: 09 May 2021

Comcare (Office Safety tool)
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 29 Jun 2022