Hazardous substances: Get your register live and up to date

Proper management of hazardous substances on-site is important to keep everyone and our environment safe. 

Legally speaking, hazardous substances refer to substances which have any of the following properties:

  • Explosive
  • Flammable
  • Able to oxidise – (create oxygen)
  • Corrosive
  • Toxic to humans or the environment

If you are using any hazardous substance in the workplace you need to make sure they are stored, used, transported and disposed of correctly, which will help to reduce the risk to anyone who uses or comes into contact with them.

To capture what hazardous substances you are using you must by law have a hazardous substance register along with the relevant safety data sheet (SDS).

What is a Hazardous substance register?

This is a list of all your hazardous substances (including hazardous waste) that is used, handled, or stored at any of your sites. Having a register will ensure you know the substances you have on-site, the safety measures you need to follow, and what to do in case of an emergency.

Keeping a Hazardous substance register

Keeping your register in a central location on your site means that in case of an emergency, it can be accessed quickly by anyone who needs it. 

Here are some key bits of information that need to be included on your register: 

  • The name of the substance and, if available, its UN number 
  • A current safety data sheet or a condensed version of the key information from the safety data sheet
  • The maximum amount that is stored at the workplace
  • Where it’s located
  • Specific storage requirements
  • Any hazardous waste

Not only do you need the information above, but you must also make sure that the register is up to date and available on-site. 

As the register represents the maximum amount of the substance held, it means it’s not going to be a daily task to keep it up-to-date. But if the maximum quantity changes, the register needs to reflect this. We recommend that you review your register each time you make a change to ensure it’s up to date and accurate.

How do I create a hazardous substance register?

Creating your hazardous substance register is made much simpler with our Hazardous Substances Register, HazardCo members can access this via the HazardCo Hub in the templates section. 

Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

The purpose of a safety data sheet (SDS) is to provide key information about hazardous substances to the people who handle, use or store them or who could be exposed to them. 

An SDS tells you 

  • The product (its name, ingredients and properties) 
  • Who manufactured or imported it 
  • How the product can affect your health 
  • How to use, store and transport it safely
  • How to manage an emergency involving the substance

Remember it is the business owner’s responsibility to have an up to date SDS for each hazardous substance and make sure that their workers have access to it. The SDS must be less than 5 years old. 

If you need a hand getting started with your hazardous substances register or would like more information, get in touch with the friendly HazardCo team today – we’re always happy to help.

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