Safe Work Australia has published new guidance to help businesses navigate the transition to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Revision 7 (GHS 7) from January 1, 2021.

From this date Australia will begin a two-year transition to GHS 7 which impacts users of refrigerants.

Safe Work Australia has published a dedicated GHS 7 web page and suite of information sheets.

These information sheets provide details about classification and labelling requirements for workplace hazardous chemicals, and the duties of manufacturers, importers, suppliers and end users.

The transition to GHS 7 was due to start on July 1, 2020, but was delayed due to the impact of COVID-19 on Australian businesses.

To ensure that businesses who had started to implement GHS 7 are not disadvantaged, work health and safety (WHS) regulators are allowing importers and manufacturers to classify and label chemicals in accordance with GHS 7 from July 1, 2020, ahead of the official transitional period from January 1, 2021.

Suppliers and end users can supply and use GHS 3 or GHS 7 labelled chemicals during this period.

The biggest change under the new system is the introduction of category 1B which is similar to the 2L classification in ISO 187. It is used to determine if a refrigerant is flammable or not.

Under the new Hazard Statement 18 gases are now listed as flammable instead of extremely flammable.





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