Occupiers

As an occupier – the person who has overall management or control of the workplace - of premises where dangerous goods are stored or handled, you have the following duties:

Identify hazards

You must identify any hazards associated with the storage and handling of dangerous goods at the premises. It may also be necessary to assess any risks involved.

Control risks

You must eliminate any risks associated with the storage and handling of dangerous goods at your premises.
If it's not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk, you must reduce the risk so far as is reasonably practicable by:

  • substituting goods that are less of a risk
  • reducing the quantity of dangerous goods

Risk to workers

If you hire any workers and it's not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk, you need to reduce the risk by:

  • substituting goods that are less of a risk
  • using engineering controls, or
  • isolating the dangerous goods

If there is still a risk, you must use administrative controls or personal protective equipment to reduce the risk.

Obtain and provide information

Occupiers are required to:

  • prepare a manifest (record) if dangerous goods exceed prescribed quantities
  • display appropriate signage
  • provide an appropriate fire protection system and develop an emergency plan and/or emergency procedures (as appropriate)
  • keep a register of all dangerous goods that are stored or handled at the premises and make it accessible
  • obtain a current material safety data sheet (MSDS) or safety data sheet (SDS) for each dangerous good supplied to your premises and make it accessible
  • not alter the information on a MSDS/SDS
  • ensure that containers and packages of dangerous goods are properly labelled

Investigate incidents and undertake review

Occupiers must investigate any incident at their premises to determine the likely cause and must keep a record of the investigation for five years. You should also review your risk controls in light of the results of the investigation.
Risk controls should be reviewed at a minimum every five years. They must be reviewed sooner if things change significantly or an incident occurs.

Other requirements

In addition, you must ensure that:

  • dangerous goods stored or handled at your premises do not become unstable or react with anything in a way that would increase the risk
  • plant and structures used in the storage or handling of dangerous goods are made, operated and maintained in a way that controls the risk, and are protected against damage from impact
  • provision is made to contain any spills or leaks and control any associated risks
  • risks involved with the transfer of dangerous goods at the premises are controlled
  • ignition sources are not present, so far as is practicable, in any hazardous area where dangerous goods are stored or handled
  • risks associated with any atmospheric conditions that are flammable, explosive or asphyxiant are controlled
  • security is provided at the premises, as far as is practicable, to prevent access by unauthorised persons.