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Law/Legislation

Controls under the HSNO Act

When ERMA approves a hazardous substance for use, it will usually impose controls with which everyone must comply. These controls apply throughout the life cycle of the substance.

Controls are based on specific regulations made under the Act, or codes of practice approved by ERMA. Regulations have been developed for each class of hazardous substance, and for particular phases of a substance’s life cycle, e.g. labelling, packaging, disposal, etc.

The systems of test certification and approved handlers are pivotal to implementing many of the controls required the HSNO Act. For guidance on the controls that apply to hazardous substances in your workplace, refer to the ERMA Compliance section.

Enforcement by the Department of Labour

The HSE Act requires employers to eliminate, isolate and minimise all hazards in the workplace. Hazardous substances within the workplace can, by definition, cause harm, and the Department uses the same approach in enforcing the HSNO Act as in enforcing the HSE Act.

When the Department looks at whether businesses are complying with the HSNO Act, it looks for conformity with the controls required by ERMA. However, it should be noted that there may be situations where the HSE Act’s hazard management process requires an employer to eliminate a particular hazardous substance as a "significant hazard", meaning that implementing the HSNO Act controls will not be sufficient compliance.