There is a range of hazards associated with the storing and handling pool chemicals in the retail sector.
Pool chemical retailers store and handle hazardous chemicals and related products associated with pool water treatment including:
- hypochlorite solution also known as liquid pool chlorine
- hydrochloric acid and 'pool acid'
- calcium hypochlorite
- sodium dichloroisocyanate
- trichloroisocyanuric acid
- sodium hydrogen sulphate
- hydrogen peroxide.
A guide for pool chemical retailers (PDF, 2.86 MB) identifies a range of hazards associated with the storage and handling of pool chemicals found in the retail sector.
- storage and handling of hazardous chemicals in packages
- storage of hypochlorite solution in tanks
- bulk delivery of hypochlorite solution
- dispensing hypochlorite solution.
The latest edition (2023) of the guide incorporates improved recognition of the globally harmonised system for the classification and labelling of chemicals (GHS) for pool chemical products. Under workplace health and safety (WHS) laws, placarding, manifest and notification requirements are dependent on the GHS classification. Some changes in trigger levels have happened in the transition from dangerous goods classification to the GHS. The guide has been updated to better reflect GHS information and related requirements.
There are many products from different suppliers that are based on the same active chemical constituent but at varying concentrations which may result in different GHS classifications as determined by the product’s Australian manufacturer or importer. You must always refer to the manufacturer’s safety data sheet (SDS) for health and safety information related to the product.
For example, liquid pool chlorine (i.e. sodium hypochlorite solution) is classified under the GHS as a Skin Corrosion Category 1B by manufacturers (refer to section 2 of the product SDS). Under WHS laws, storing more than 2500 L of hypochlorite solution triggers a manifest, notification of the workplace to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, and submission of the emergency plan to the Fire Service.
The sample manifest for pool chemical retailers (DOC, 0.33 MB) provides assistance to develop a manifest that meets the requirements of Schedule 12 of the WHS Regulation.
The guide also:
- includes appropriate risk control measures based on good industry practices and relevant standards to assist pool chemical retailers protect people, property and the environment
- outlines relevant safety obligations and provides practical tools to assist with meeting these obligations.
Practical tools provided in the guide include:
- a chemical register
- an example risk assessment for hypochlorite solution storage and handling
- pool chemical specific compatibility charts.
Retail outlets such as service stations and hardware stores will have additional hazards that are not covered here (e.g. the hazards associated with the storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids such as fuels and oils).
A number of frequently asked questions are also available as further guidance to assist pool chemical retailers.