WHS: Chemicals/ Hazardous Substances/ Poisons

Exposure to some hazardous substances can cause many problems whether through inhalation, skin contact or ingestion and can cause problems from mild rashes to fatal reactions.  It is often surprising how many common items are classed as hazardous substances.  Detergents and oven cleaners can be harmful if ingested or inhaled.  Glues, liquid paper, solvents and photocopier toners can also be hazardous – especially in poorly ventilated offices.  Petrol, poisons, gardening chemicals and heavy duty cleaning products in storage sheds can cause serious ill-health if not handled safely.

Serious consideration must be given when storing products containing hazardous substances/materials as to how they are labelled, sealed and contained as well as where they are stored, keeping in mind the people that may access and/or use the products (eg. kitchen detergents, cleaners, etc).  People with potential access or exposure to these products include employees, volunteers, contractors and visitors.  More particularly, people who have difficulty reading English, the hirers of premises and children are at risk if hazardous substances are not stored safely.

Material Safety Data Sheets must be placed in a prominent area near to where the substances are stored.  These Data Sheets can be obtained from the manufacturer.   Safe disposal of these substances should also be adhered to.

For assistance contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26

Relevant Information

  • Statutory Compliance & Property Policy, please contact Building Projects and Compliance Officer at property@sa.uca.org.au