Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Are certified handlers required at all businesses that handle hazardous substances?
Businesses only require a certified handler if you use, store or transport certain types of hazardous substances.
In many cases workers who handle hazardous substances only need to be properly trained and do not require certification. Records of this training and instruction for each worker need to be kept on file. Workers who handle highly hazardous substances, such as, explosives, fumigants, vertebrate toxic agents (VTAs) or acutely toxic (6.1A and 6.1B) substances require additional training, instruction and information.
“know the hazards you can face, and what to do to minimise and manage the risk"
What is required of the PCBU?
PCBU’s have a duty to ensure that substances with certified handler requirements
are under personal control of a certified handler. All known risks involved with
the hazardous substance must be recorded and have measures in place to control the risk.
Companies do not need a certified handler for class 2, class 3, class 4, class 5, class 6.1C and class 6.7A substances.
Laboratories where hazardous substances are used in research and development, analytical
testing or teaching are also except, though a CSL for certain substances may still be required. This information can be found on the Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
Certified Handler Compliance Certificates
Certified handler certificates can be issued by compliance certifiers. Certificates can be obtained for manufacture, transport, use, storage and disposal of hazardous substances. These certificates are valid for five years.
The certificate shows that the worker meets the competency requirements for handling
highly hazardous substances.
The worker has to show :
• Evidence of competency.
• In-depth Knowledge surrounding the substance.
• Knowledge of Hazard classification and properties of the substance.
• How the substance can harm people and how to prevent harm.
• Knowledge of what the regulations say you must do when handling the substance.
• The requirements and controls, including SWI variants.
• Emergency response procedure involving the substance. (includes demonstration)
• PPE requirements.
• Demonstrate managing the substance safely.
Other workers can handle substances if:
• A certified handler has trained and approved the person handling the substances
• The certified handler is present and available at all times to assist the person handling the substance.
Annual refresher training is required to keep workers knowledge updated.