Hazardous waste

Most of the rules that apply to managing hazardous substances in the workplace also apply to hazardous waste.

When do I need to comply with the rules for hazardous waste?

The requirements for handling, storing, and transporting hazardous substances apply to hazardous waste from 1 June 2019, giving you 18 months to prepare after the majority of the Regulations come into force. However, a few requirements (eg inventory and labelling, and information, training and instruction) apply to hazardous waste from December 1, 2017.

Find out more about later commencement dates

What is hazardous waste?

It is waste generated from manufacturing and industrial operations that is likely to be, or contain, at least one hazardous substance that is, explosive, flammable, oxidising, toxic or corrosive. In other words waste that comes from work involving a hazardous substance is likely to be hazardous.

How do I manage hazardous waste?

The Regulations apply to the use, handling and storage of hazardous waste. You do not need a safety data sheet for hazardous waste, however:

  • hazardous waste must be included in your inventory of hazardous substances. This includes a name that best reflects what the waste is, the amount, its location and any specific storage requirements.
  • hazardous waste in containers must be correctly labelled. This includes labels in English identifying the waste as closely as possible, relevant hazard pictograms and statements, and contact details of the producer, if known.
  • you must provide workers with the relevant information, training, instruction and supervision before they carry out work involving hazardous waste. (Find out more about later commencement dates.)
  • you need to store hazardous waste as you would store any other hazardous substance with the same hazards.
  • your risk management for hazardous waste should be the same as for any other hazardous substance.

To find out what you need to do to keep your workers safe around hazardous waste, you can enter its likely classification (or its UN class and packing group if available) and its quantity into the hazardous substances calculator(external link).

Find out more

Your practical guide to working with hazardous substances.(external link)

New rules for hazardous substances: Changes to the regulations for hazardous substances in the workplace (PDF 316 KB)

Changes to hazardous substances regulations (PDF 71 KB)