How to Manage Hazardous Substances | Hasmate
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How to manage Hazardous Substances

How to manage Hazardous Substances

Hazardous Substance registers – how do you manage them?

We get asked a lot about the storage and recording of chemicals and other hazardous substances.

Here are our recommendations to manage hazardous substances.


When it comes to the recording of hazardous goods/substances (what you have on site and use) and their controls, there are a number of ways you can do this:

  1. Develop a paper-based or spreadsheet of hazardous goods/substances register as a starting point; or
  2. Use an online program to record this – such as the Hasmate program, which has a module that can record all this information for you with the advantage of:
    • No material safety data sheet (MSD) manual or paper copies;
    • Access any time, anywhere; and
    • The ability to print a chemical profile (a shortened version of the material safety data sheet) ,that can also be used as the training procedure for staff training.

Both methods require the identification of the hazardous goods/substances, etc.

Identification and Recording process.

  1. Identify and collect all hazardous substances used in the business into one location.
  2. If there are any chemicals or hazardous substances that are no longer used, find a solution to dispose of them.  This is usually noted on their material safety data sheets (MSDs or SDS).
  3. Prioritise the toxicity from high to low.
  4. Record the name of each product on the register.
  5. Contact the supplier of the chemicals, and ask them to supply an electronic version of the hazardous substance material safety data sheet (MSDs or SDS).
  6. The other option is to go online (using Google), and search for the material safety data sheet. If this option is used, create a folder, and store the electronic copies.
  7. Note: any employees using hazardous substances must be trained in the safe use of the chemicals, PRIOR to them using the products.
  8. If you are going to use the hard copy method for your hazardous substance management, then I recommend that you:
    • Place the material safety data sheets into a hard cover manual, and identify it as such.
    • Place in alphabetical order, and number them.
    • For quick easy reference, create an index of the hazardous substances with the relevant numbers.
    • As a key point and emergency process, use a highlighter, and highlight the following areas:
      • The PPE to be used;
      • The storage requirements;
      • The recommended safety features and use/application;
      • The emergency procedures.
    • Another way to address this is to copy and paste the above key points from the material safety data sheet onto a separate coloured paper sheet, and attach this to the front of the MSD as a quick reference in an emergency.
    • Review the staff training records to see who has been trained in what, and train as required using the highlighted information from the MSD.
    • Bring all staff together and inform them of the MSD manual and its location, for use in case of an emergency.
  9. Set up a material safety data sheet annual review date, as all MSDs must be less than 5 years old.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss.