Dangerous Goods and Hazardous Substances

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Purpose of this policy

To ensure that all risks associated with the use of dangerous goods and hazardous substances in government schools are safely controlled and managed.


Principals are responsible for ensuring that:

  • all dangerous goods and hazardous substances are identified within the school and included in a chemical register
  • risk assessments and controls are established for dangerous goods and hazardous substance use in consultation with the Health and Safety Representative and employees;
  • Safe Work Procedures (SWP) specific to the handling of dangerous goods and hazardous substances stored in the workplace, are developed and implemented
  • safety information, including Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and the Chemical Register is readily available
  • chemicals are not introduced into the school without considering and managing any associated risk;
  • restricted substances are not used or stored in the workplace
  • appropriate training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is provided for employees who may be exposed to dangerous goods and hazardous substances
  • relevant signage is displayed, highlighting the hazardous nature of chemicals used or stored in the workplace
  • decanted chemicals are labelled according to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). Labels can be obtained from ChemWatch
  • chemicals purchased from commercial suppliers are labelled according to the GHS system and similarly, safety data sheets will be provided in the GHS format. See: Guidance Sheet 1: Chemical Storage (docx - 99.67kb)

Accidental poisoning/contamination

The Poisons Information Centre at the Royal Children’s Hospital on 13 11 26 is available 24 hours a day.  The centre can provide advice on all types of poisons and poisoning.

If there is a case of accidental poisoning, telephone the Poisons Information Centre and provide the:

  • name of the poison
  • length of time of the exposure
  • any signs and symptoms.

If there is accidental contamination:

  • clothing should be changed promptly
  • skin washed (without scrubbing) with soap and water
  • follow the directions on the label which might include getting to a doctor or hospital quickly.

Related policies

Related legislation, regulations and standards

  • AS 1319 - Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment
  • Australian Dangerous Goods Code 7th Edition (ADG7 Code)
  • Code of practice for the storage and handling of dangerous goods 2013
  • Dangerous Goods Act 1985
  • Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2012
  • Hazardous Chemicals Information System (HCIS)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017

Department resources

For more information see:

Advice may also be obtained from the Department’s:

Other resources