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Printing and related industries - Health, safety and environment guide
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Printing and related industries - Health, safety and environment guide

This guide has been compiled to provide simple, up-to-date information on health, safety and environmental issues and actions for the industry. It has been prepared to provide simple information relevant at the time of publishing to the industry. It is not a regulatory document.


Table of contents

  1. A step by step approach
    1. Develop a policy
    2. Allocate responsibility to staff
    3. Carry out an audit
    4. Develop procedures for high risk activities
    5. Include side design and structure plans
    6. Assess and prioritise options
    7. Staff training in health, safety and the environment
    8. Allocate budgets
    9. Inform customers and suppliers
    10. Commit to continual improvement
  2. Case Studies
  3. Are you in Compliance?
  4. Definitions
  5. Reference Materials

Important: Please Note

The subsection titled “Understanding Safety Data Sheets” (section 1.4, pages 20-21) contains an out-of-date template for a Safety Data Sheet format. The correct template for a Safety Data Sheet that is compliant with the Hazardous Substances (Identification) Regulations 2001 is produced here:

Template of a Safety Data Sheet Format

Section 1: Identification of the Substance or Mixture and of the Supplier
Product name(as found on the label and by which the product is commonly known. This may also include synonyms or proper shipping name if that is appropriate)
Recommended use(information about intended use and any restrictions on use)
Company details(company name with logo if desired)
Address(should be a physical New Zealand address not a box number)
Telephone number(should be a New Zealand phone number and include the STD and a cell phone number if appropriate)
Emergency telephone number(must be a New Zealand telephone number or 0800 free phone where additional health and safety information can be obtained. Times of operation should also be given)
Date of preparation(shown as Month and Year with the month written in full)


Section 2: Hazards Identification
Hazard classification(statement of hazardous or dangerous nature as decided according to legislation)
Required identification details(hazard statements, precautionary information and symbols (if required))


Section 3: Composition/Information on Ingredients
Classification and type(according to the HS (Minimum Degrees of Hazard) Regulations 2001)
Pure substance(Chemical identity of pure substance, common name, synonyms, CAS number and any impurities which may contribute to its classification)
Mixture(Chemical identity of ingredients, concentration or concentration range of ingredients and CAS number of ingredients)


Section 4: First Aid Measures
Description of necessary First Aid measures(describe symptoms of exposure and the initial care necessary and advice about when to seek medical attention)
Workplace facilities(a requirement for facilities such as emergency showers and eyewashes should be stated)
Required instructions(full but simple instructions for use by the exposed persons, or treatment personnel should be provided. This is the most important section of an SDS)
Notes for medical personnel(this should be compiled with assistance from a medical expert. The information must be kept short and relevant).


Section 5: Fire Fighting Measures
Type of hazard(describe the fire or flammability characteristics of the substance and any dangerous decomposition or combustion products)
Fire hazard properties(include all the relevant data applicable to the substance)
Extinguishing media & methods(include any fire or explosion hazards under any foreseeable conditions and include decomposition products. Include information about the preferred method of fighting a fire, type of extinguisher and dangerous interactions with other chemicals).
Recommended protective clothing(this sections needs to provide clear information about the preferred protection under all the different scenarios likely to be encountered)


Section 6: Accidental Release Measures
Procedures to be covered(this section provides information about what to do in the event of an accidental spillage. Include personal protective measures, containment, cleanup procedures and any special requirement)


Section 7: Handling and Storage
Subsection 1: Handling
Handling practices(include all the measures necessary to prevent exposure to the substance and to prevent fire or explosion. Any special precaution that is appropriate about minimising risks should be included in this section)
Subsection 2: Storage
Store site requirements(include all the necessary information about safe storage practices to be observed. This will cover safety of users, the public, and the environment. Any special requirements should be included)
Packaging(include any legislative requirement and compatibility issues)


Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
Subsection 1: Workplace Exposure Guidelines (may also be considered in Section 2)
Workplace Exposure Standards(a full explanation of the latest applicable exposure standard for the substances must be included. This will include any reference to the pure material or components of the mixture if applicable. Alternative exposure standards can be stated if there is no New Zealand standard set but the source must be quoted)
Application in the workplace(if there are any special circumstances applicable to the standard these must be quoted such as shifts over 8 hours, STEL or Ceiling limits)
Exposure standards outside the workplace(where exposure standards have been set for other reasons such as TELS and EELS these must be referenced in the SDS)
Subsection 2: Engineering Controls
Hierarchy of controls(this should include information about exposure control measures such as ventilation and process controls to prevent personal exposure. Alternative measures can be explained along with reference to personal protection in subsection 2)
Exposure control measures(include any recommendations applicable for the intended use, which will reduce exposure by the user)
No hazard indication(where the product is relatively innocuous or it must be used in an enclosed system due to its extreme toxicity a special instruction must be included)
Ventilation specification(include advice about preferred ventilation requirements during normal use)
Subsection 3: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Detail specifications for equipment(this subsection must include details of the types of equipment necessary to protect users from exposure)
Specific route of exposure(specific reference must be made to the route of exposure and the preferred equipment i.e. eye, face, skin, respiratory, or whole body protection. Types of equipment for radioactive or thermal hazards can also be included)
General hygiene(explain general hygiene requirements not otherwise covered)


Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties
Specify data for the product not the individual components(the properties must relate to the product not the individual components)
Required specifications(full details of the physical state, appearance and chemical attributes must be included. This will include the flammability limits also. See text of Approved Code of Practice for the Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for list)
Further specifications (where necessary)(where necessary due to the peculiar nature of the product further physical or chemical characteristics may be included)
Specific advice(it may be necessary to cross reference different sections in the SDS to ensure good understanding)


Section 10: Stability and Reactivity
Stability of the substance(indicate if the material is stable or dangerously unstable under different conditions)
Conditions to avoid(state any conditions likely to result in a hazardous situation)
Material to avoid(list the classes of materials or chemicals which may be incompatible with the product)
Hazardous decomposition products(list the known decomposition products)
Hazardous polymerization(state any substance likely to polymerize and cause dangerous conditions)
Specific data(state any other information which might describe a likely hazard from the product including mixtures)


Section 11: Toxicological Information
Data and interpretation(include all relevant information about short and long term health effects from all forms of exposure, likely outcome, and information about its classification under HSNO)
Summarise data(include brief details of test data if applicable and relevant)
Format(the presentation of the data may be done in a variety of ways but should include route, test animals and toxicological end point)


Section 12: Ecological Information
Potential environmental interactions(include toxicity to aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals and potential to persist)
Data organisation(this should clearly state the full range of species affected, media units, and test conditions and duration. It should summarise the HSNO ecotoxicity classification where appropriate)
Environmental risk phrases(risk phrases may be used)


Section 13: Disposal Considerations
Disposal information(include the property and information required out of the HS (Disposal) Regulations 2001)
Relevant information(include the full range of information about safe disposal options)
Avoid generalisations(be specific on the preferred methods)


Section 14: Transport Information
Relevant information(any regulatory information on transport must be included)
Other requirements(reference to international transport requirements may be necessary)


Section 15: Regulatory Information
Regulatory status(this section may include the relevant references to NZ legal status for the product such as the ERMA approval number)


Section 16: Other Information
Additional information(include any other information about the product which may be useful such as label details, revision indicator, key or legend to abbreviations used, or literature references)

Source: HSNOCOP 8-1 Code of Practice for the Preparation of Safety Data Sheets, Annex A: Template of a Safety Data Sheet Format. Published by the New Zealand Chemical Industry Council Inc.


Published by Printing Industries NZ Inc: PrintNZ with funding from Trust4Skills
PO Box 31 131 Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand
Phone 0800 654 455

Available to members of Printing Industries NZ Inc.


Last updated 5 September 2013


On Monday 4 April 2016, the New Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into effect.

HSWA repeals the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, with immediate effect.

All references to the 1992 Act on this website and within our guidance will be progressively removed.