ACT to adopt national model laws for hazardous chemicals and major hazard facilities soon

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The ACT will soon adopt national model laws for hazardous chemicals and major hazard facilities following the introduction of legislation in the Assembly.

In the legislation, the ACT Government has moved to introduce the last two chapters of the national model work health and safety legislation.

Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Rachel Stephen-Smith said bringing the hazardous chemicals and major hazard facilities chapters into work health and safety legislation means the ACT will now be aligned with other states and territories that have also adopted the national model laws.

“The proposed changes will see many of the safety duties currently captured in the ACT’s Dangerous Substances laws move into work health and safety law,” she said.

“The current dangerous substances framework uses a number of different tools to identify what a hazardous chemical is. Under national model laws, the United Nation’s Globally Harmonised System for Classification and Labelling of Hazardous Chemicals (GHS) will be adopted, which will mean a single for the classification and labelling of hazardous chemicals.”

Some of the benefits of the adoption of GHS in the ACT include:

  • Trade benefits to industry by using a universal system;
  • Improved safety by applying a common set of pictograms, signal words, hazard statements and precautionary statements to communicate information about a chemical, and
  • Simplified arrangements, as chemicals entering the ACT should already be classified, labelled and packed according to the GHS

Under this bill, the new laws will commence 28 March 2018.

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