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Hazardous Substance Register

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

Hazardous Substances refer to chemicals or substances which can be toxic, corrosive

and cause harm to people, animals or the environment. It is important that we document what substances are on site, when they are on site, and how they are stored.

There are processes, by law, that need to be followed to ensure that all hazardous substances are stored, used and disposed of correctly to reduce the risk to anyone that

uses or comes into contact with them. The best way to do this is by having a Hazardous Substance Register.

What is a Hazardous Substance?

As the register represents the maximum amount of the substances held, it means it

does not require updating on a daily basis, but reviewed on a regular basis (quarterly

or 6-monthly), especially when maximum quantities change or products used (brand or

specific product) change.

What to include on the register:

A Hazardous Substance Register should include all hazardous substances that

are used, handled or stored on a site or workplace (including hazardous waste).

The register should include:

  • The substance name

  • The maximum quantity to store

  • Where it can be found on site

  • UN number of the substance

  • Specific storage requirements

  • Any key information from the Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

  • What to do in an Emergency

  • Any information about waste

Current Safety Data Sheets for each substance and emergency information/ equipment

must be immediately available at all times.

A hazardous substance is any product or chemical that has explosive, flammable,

oxidizing, toxic, corrosive or ecotoxic properties.

  • Explosive - Explodes or causes explosion

  • Flammable - Ignites easily and burns rapidly

  • Oxidizing - Could be gaseous, solid or liquid and can cause or intensify fire and explosion

  • Toxic - Can harm people if it enters the body through contact, being inhaled or ingested. The effects can range from mild to life threatening and can be immediate or long term.

  • Corrosive - Can cause severe skin burns and eye damage

  • Ecotoxic - is toxic to the environment

Reading a Safety Data Sheet

Most people find the challenging step in completing the Hazardous Substance Register is where to get the information from. The best place to look is your Safety Data Sheets (SDS) that are supplied with the product from your supplier.

If you do not receive these, contact your supplier and ask for copies.

Ensure the copy is the latest version and has a current date.

Reading a Safety Data Sheet

The SDS will contain the information required for your register. Read through

each section and you will be able to find all details required.

The SDS Sections should include:

  • The substance name

  • UN number of the substance

  • Specific storage requirements

  • Any key information from the Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

  • What to do in an Emergency

  • Any information about waste

Current Safety Data Sheets for each substance and emergency information / equipment must be readily available at all times. Create a file (hard copy and electronic) keep in the main database and near the product storage and area used.

Label Your Containers

Check that your containers of hazardous substances are clearly and correctly

labelled so people know what is inside. Labels must be maintained and

readable. The SDS sheet will have a section outlining what to include on the


You have labelling responsibilities for:

  • Substances that have come from a supplier and are already labelled

  • Substances that you decant or transfer into a smaller container at your workplace

  • Stationary tanks, process containers and transportable containers

  • Hazardous waste

Install Signs

Signs provide clear and concise information. Signs are often the first warning

for people. Place signs to warn about hazardous substances in use / present

on site at key points such as entrance ways, on buildings, in areas where

hazardous substances are used or stored.

Signs should be clearly visible, easy to read and let people know what

hazardous substances that are present, and emergency information.

Check the regulations for signage requirements specific to your industry or talk

to your signage distributor. Share the SDS with your signage provider to gather

details required.

Inform and Train Workers

Everyone who works with and around hazardous substances must have a

knowledge and practical experience to do so safely. Workers need to know

about the hazardous substances relating to their work and the dangers the


Training can be completed by supervisors or competent experienced workers.

Keep a record of training that is completed.

Store Hazardous Substances Safely

Where and how you store hazardous substances will depend on the type of

substance and the amount that you have on site. The Regulations prescribe

requirements for different solutions, types, classes and quantities of hazardous


Check out the Safety Data Sheet for information regarding storage

requirements, speak to a Hazardous substances specialist or talk with your

safety equipment provider to see if they have a Hazardous Substance Storage

sales expert available.

Plan for Emergencies

All workers and emergency services need to know what to do in a hazardous

substance emergency and who is responsible for what. Preparing for an

emergency depends on the types and quantities of hazardous substances you

use and store.

Things you must do include:

  • Training your workers about what to do in an emergency

  • Keeping your inventory of hazardous substances readily accessible to emergency service workers

  • Labelling all hazardous substances and ensuring the label is readable

  • Have Safety Data Sheets available and readily accessible

  • Prepared to deal with spills and leaks or hazardous substances

  • Complete emergency drills regularly

Need Assistance?

Please contact us if you require any advice or check out our website:

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