Hazardous substances are chemicals that have potential to cause harm to human health. The substance, after being exposed to a person can have adverse health effect on health. These substances include poisons, irritants and carcinogens.
Dangerous goods are substances or materials that pose an immediate hazard to people, property or the environment because of their physical, chemical or acute toxicity properties. These goods that are classified as dangerous goods include flammable liquids and gasses, explosives, corrosive, chemically reactive or acute toxic substances.
Many dangerous goods are also classed as hazardous substances. Dangerous goods are regulated by Department of Mines and Petroleum.
A substance is considered to be a hazardous substance if it meets the classification criteria specified in the Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substance [NOHSC: 1008 (2004)] (Approved Criteria). Substances that have been classified in the Approved Criteria can be found on an online database Hazardous Substances Information System.
Dangerous goods criterion is contained in the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code). The ADG Code contains list of substances classified as dangerous goods. The criteria for classifying combustible liquids are contained in AS1940 – The Storage and Handling of Flammable and Combustible Liquids.
Since the adaptation of the model WHS in 2012, a new system of chemical classification and hazard communication on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS), based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) will come into effect.
Due to systems that are currently in place and with the GHS being implemented there is a 5 year transitional period to move to the new GHS-based system. This will allow the two systems to be used concurrently until the transitional period is over. More information can be found at Hazardous Chemicals.
Source: SafeWork Australia
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