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Australia SWA Consults on Proposal to Adopt GHS 7

On July 3, 2019, the Safe Work Australia (SWA) opened a consultation on the proposal to adopt an updated version of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) for management of workplace hazardous chemicals.[1] The consultation is set to end on July 28, 2019.

As clarified in the Notice, the 3rd revised edition of GHS (GHS 3) has been practiced under the model Work Health and Safety laws starting from January 1, 2017. However, since many of Australia’s key trading partners have moved to the 7th revised edition of GHS (GHS 7), the SWA reckons that it is imperative to adopt the newer version so as to keep pace with others in management of workplace hazardous chemicals.

The SWA also noted that the aim of the consultation is to ensure that relevant changes to the country’s classification and hazard communication requirements for workplace hazardous chemicals can be enabled in a manner that “minimizes impacts to the industry”.

To help potential participants convey their feedbacks on its key concerns, the SWA has prepared a consultation paper which includes ten questions in total. In addition, several supporting documents are offered to enumerate major changes between GHS 3 and GHS 7, especially those in precautionary statements for physical hazards and health hazards.

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