Fumigants are used to control a variety of pests, for example, fungi, insects and rabbits. Fumigants present airborne risks to workers and others. They are highly hazardous substances and must be managed safely to prevent them causing harm to people and the environment.
Fumigants are used in a number of different situations such as:
- injected into soil
- used to treat timber
- used to treat export and import goods
- used to debug buildings and ships
- used extensively by the agriculture and horticulture industries and other pest management services
Controls on fumigants
To find out what the controls are on the fumigant(s) you are using, search the approved hazardous substances with controls(external link) database and download the substance controls document.
There are a number of key HSNO controls that need to be followed to help you comply with the hazardous substances legislation. Use the hazardous substances calculator to find out about these.
Compliance certification requirements
Depending on the type and quantity of fumigants held at your site, you may require one or more of the following compliance certificates:
- location compliance certificate
- certified handler compliance certificate
- stationary container compliance certificate
If you are unsure about your compliance certification requirements, contact a compliance certifier for advice.
Find a compliance certifier
As a general rule, you should keep the quantities of hazardous substances stored on your site to a minimum. In this way the risks may be reduced and the need for compliance certification reduced.
Controlled substance licence
Anyone who manufactures, sells, uses or stores a fumigant will need a controlled substance licence (CSL). Only a person who has a CSL can take possession of a fumigant.
While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.
Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.
Fumigants are required to be tracked. Tracking is the recording of what happens to the fumigant throughout its lifecycle. To buy a tracked substance your supplier will need to confirm there is a competent handler available, and that the site has a location compliance certificate if needed.
Guidance for Methyl Bromide Fumigations
The EPA has published a guidance document for fumigators, providing information on air quality monitoring and tolerable exposure limits, buffer zones, notifications and annual reporting.
Annual monitoring report
You must provide an annual monitoring report to WorkSafe if methyl bromide was used in quantities great than 500 kg at your work site. The report must be provided by 30 June for the preceding calendar year.
Keeping safe from harmful substances while inspecting or unpacking containers
This guide provides advice to employers so their workers can safely enter containers that may contain residual fumigants or off-gases.