Hazardous Substances
What are Hazardous Substances?

A hazardous substance is a substance which is listed in the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission List of Designated Hazardous Substances or has been classified as a hazardous substance by a supplier in accordance with the Approved Criteria For Classifying Hazardous Substances

States have promulgated Regulations for hazardous substances. These Regulations are generally based upon National Model Regulations and Code of Practice. Hazardous substances are those substances, which may have an adverse effect on the health of people in both the short and long term.

In many cases chemicals will be Hazardous Substances and also Dangerous Goods.

Hazardous substances in the workplace are of increasing concern and all organisations using them must train their staff in safe storage and handling practices. Hazardous substances have long been used but the recent development of research resulting in new processes and corresponding industrial growth has meant that:

there are now many more hazardous substances in the workplace
larger volumes are being stored and handled
many of the new substances are very complex mixtures

Suppliers will now be required to review the format and content of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and considerably enhance the labelling of hazardous substances. Suppliers are obliged to provide statements on MSDS either "Hazardous according to National Criteria" or "Not hazardous according to National Criteria."

Hazardous Substances Legislation poses additional challenges to employers to those encountered under Dangerous Goods Legislation. Hazardous Substances Legislation is health and safety orientated and places emphasis on workplace risk assessment, consultation, employee training and proper workplace practices.

EMP has developed a training programme for Hazardous Substances in the Workplace.

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