Workplace hazardous chemicals are substances, mixtures or articles in the workplace which have either health or physicochemical hazards.
Health hazards include skin irritants, carcinogens or respiratory sensitisers that have an adverse effect on a worker’s health as a result of direct contact with or exposure to the chemical, usually through inhalation, skin contact or ingestion.
Physicochemical hazards generally result from a substance’s physical and chemical properties, as is the case with flammable, corrosive, oxidising or explosive substances.
For the purposes of University procedures, hazardous chemicals include dangerous substances, controlled substances (scheduled drugs and poisons), carcinogens and security sensitive substances. Asbestos and Radiation are covered by separate University policies.
The University has a primary duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of workers and other people are not put at risk from the use, handling or storage of hazardous chemicals.
The Code of Practice Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace is a practical guide for achieving the standards of health and safety required under WHS legislation. In most cases, following the Code of Practice will achieve compliance with the health and safety duties of WHS legislation. However compliance may also be achieved by following other methods, such as technical or industry standards, provided these provide an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety than the Code.
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Prohibited and restricted carcinogens
Prohibited and restricted carcinogens are listed in Appendix C of the Code of Practice Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace .
WHS legislation requires any person using, handling or storing prohibited or restricted carcinogens to be authorised to do so by the relevant Regulator1 . Staff or research higher degree students who are planning to use prohibited or restricted carcinogens must follow the following procedures:
- Every staff member or research higher degree student wishing to use a prohibited or restricted carcinogen must complete a Prohibited or restricted carcinogen worker registration form. This form requires each applicant to specify amounts, location, provide reference to risk management procedures including Risk Assessment and a Safe Work Method Statement. This form must be signed by the Supervisor who oversees this work involving the prohibited or restricted carcinogen.
- The form must be submitted to the relevant Dean of School or delegate for signature as a competent person, confirming that risk management processes are in place.
Note – steps 1 & 2 need to occur for every staff member or student who will be working with a prohibited or restricted carcinogen.
- The form must be submitted to the WHS unit who will collate the information and maintain a register of those who receive potential exposure.
- The Manager, WHS must sign the completed SafeWork SA (for S Aust), NT WorkSafe (for Northern Territory) or WorkSafe Victoria (for Victoria) application form for each identified prohibited or restricted carcinogen used per building, prior to submitting the application form to SafeWork SA/NT WorkSafe/WorkSafe Victoria (as appropriate).
|Internal application form by staff/student
|Competent person Deadn of college signs
- Form sent to relevant Dean of College to sign that risk management processes are in place
- Dean of College (or delegate) signs as Competent person
|WHS unit to collate & place on register
- WHS unit collates Worker Registration forms and risk management data and maintains register of exposed staff/students
|Manager WHS Unit to sign
- Manager, WHS signs application per carcinogen/building
- WHS Unit submits completed application to SafeWorkSA / NTWorkSafe / WorkSafe Victoria
Work involving prohibited or restricted carcinogens must comply with the University’s
Hazardous chemicals safety management procedures.
1SafeWorkSA (for staff in SA)
NTWorkSafe (for staff in NT)
WorkSafe Victoria (for staff in Vic)
University policies and procedures
Hazardous chemicals safety management procedures
Work health and safety risk management procedure
Hazardous chemicals risk assessment form
Prohibited or restricted carcinogen worker registration form
Guidelines for the storage and segregation of hazardous substances in laboratories and workshops
Code of Practice Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace
Code of Practice Labelling of Workplace Hazardous Chemicals