Health & Safety Bulletin – Hazardous Chemicals – March 19

What is a placard, manifest or registers?

A hazardous chemical register is a list of hazardous chemicals at the workplace. It includes current SDS for each of the chemicals listed.

Chemicals that must be included on the placard, manifest or registers

SDS may be requested from the manufacturer, importer or supplier of a hazardous chemicals and many manufacturers and importers/suppliers make electronic copies of the SDS available on their websites

All hazardous chemicals that are stored, handled and / or used at a workplace must be listed on the register.

Accessibility and keeping up to date – register

The hazardous chemical register must be readily accessible to all workers involved in the use, storage and handling of the hazardous chemicals at the workplace.

Manufacturers and importers of hazardous chemicals are required to update their SDS at least every five years and must supply the updated version when they next supply the chemical to a business on request.

Hazardous Chemical Manifest

A manifest is a written summary of hazardous chemicals with physical and acute toxicity hazards that are used, handled or stored at a workplace.

A manifest is only required where the quantities of those hazardous chemicals exceed the threshold amounts.

The primary purpose of a manifest is to provide emergency services with information on the quantity, classification, and location of hazardous chemicals at the workplace. It also contains information such as site plans and emergency contact details.

A manifest must comply with the requirements of model Workplace Health and Safety Regulations and it must be updated as soon as practicable after any change to the amount or types of chemicals being used, stored, handled or generated at the workplace.

Manifest vs. register

A manifest is different to a register. A manifest is only required where hazardous chemicals at the workplace exceed the manifest threshold quantities. It is intended primarily for emergency services at the workplace.

Hazardous chemical placard

Placards are special type of signage required at workplaces that store hazardous chemicals above the placard quantities. Placards provide warnings about the stored hazardous chemicals and contain specific information for emergency service personnel. Placards are available in various types which includes outer warning placards, placards for package goods and bulk storage placards.

The threshold quantities

Example of threshold quantities:

Table 1: Placard and manifest requirements of hazardous chemicals

ItemHazard classHazard categoryPlacard quantityManifest quantityADG code classification
1Flammable gasesCategory 1200 L5,000 L2.1
2Gases under pressurewith acute toxicity, categories 1, 2, 3 or 4 Note—Category 4 only up to LC50 of 5,000 ppmV50 L500 L2.3