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Hazardous chemicals

Exposure to hazardous chemicals can cause serious illness, irritations, injury or even death.

All workplaces must manage health and safety risks associated with the use, storage and handling of hazardous chemicals.

For mine and petroleum sites, hazardous chemicals are regulated under provisions outlined in Chapter 7 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017, in addition to the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 and the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2022.

Duties relating to hazardous chemicals

Some of the duties relating to hazardous chemicals include:

  • ensuring all hazardous chemicals are labelled and classified under the Globally Harmonised System (GHS)
  • cleaning of containers before they are used again
  • obtaining current safety data sheets prior to use of the hazardous chemical and providing them to workers, emergency services personnel or anyone who requests the information
  • keeping of a register that lists all hazardous chemicals used, stored or handled onsite
  • if required, keeping a manifest of hazardous chemicals including the type, quantity and location of chemicals, in addition to a site plan and contact details for emergency services. For further information please see the Fire and Rescue NSW website
  • submitting emergency plans to the primary emergency services organisation (Fire and Rescue NSW) where manifest quantities of hazardous chemicals are stored at the mine
  • notification where a quantity of a Schedule 11 hazardous chemical, or group of Schedule 11 hazardous chemicals, exceeds the manifest quantity. This notification must be made via the Regulator Portal
  • display of placards and warning signs if hazardous chemicals exceed the placard quantity
  • keeping chemicals stable
  • availability of emergency equipment and plans
  • management of spills and leaks
  • installation of appropriate fire protection
  • implementation of proper storage and handling systems
  • health monitoring for workers regularly exposed to certain hazardous chemicals
  • appropriate supervision for anyone likely to be exposed to hazardous chemicals.

Schedule 11 notifications

Schedule 11 hazardous chemicals notifications must be completed on the Regulator Portal. The Fact Sheet outlines how and when a notification must be made and what information must be submitted with the notification.

Further information and Codes of Practice

Further information on duties relating to hazardous chemicals, including specific Codes of Practice, is available from the SafeWork NSW website.

Emergency Plans

For mines and petroleum sites storing in excess of the manifest quantities in Schedule 11 of the WHS Regulation 2017, emergency information must be kept in a place determined in agreement with the primary emergency service organisation (Fire and Rescue NSW) at the site, and a copy of the emergency plan must also be submitted.  

See the Fire Rescue NSW website for more details, including guidelines for: