National Regulations Governing SDSs/MSDSs:
Australia’s chemical regulation falls under the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation. Specifically for Safety Data Sheet authoring, there are two standards that can apply. First, the National Code of practice for the Preparation of Material Safety Data Sheets 2nd edition [NOHSC:2011(2003)] applies until December 31, 2016. Alternatively, the National model Code of Practice for the Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals (2011) – which incorporates the new GHS based-system may be used, and will become mandatory after December 31, 2016.
Australia has a new GHS based system
For the new GHS based system, the following additional regulations are in effect:
- Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals 3rd Revised Edition,
- National model Code of Practice for the Labelling of Workplace Hazardous Chemicals (2011).
GHS Implementation Status:
With the adoption of the Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulations in 2012, there is a new system of chemical classification and hazard communication for labels and SDS’s based on the GHS system. There is a 5 year transition period in effect between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. After December 31, 2016 all labelling and SDS’s must be updated to the new system based on the GHS. For more information please refer to Safe Work Australia.
Multi-Jurisdiction SDS/MSDS Options:
Australian SDS’s can be combined with New Zealand regulations so that one document will be compliant in both jurisdictions. Having a single document for use in other jurisdictions should be avoided due to significant differences between systems.