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Bosses, workers learn about hazardous substances


17 October 2008
Wellington bosses and workers to learn about hazardous substances

The Department of Labour is offering free workshops to update Wellington, Porirua, Hutt Valley and Kapiti Coast workers, employers and health and safety professionals on the safe storage and handling of hazardous substances.

The workshops are being organised in conjunction with the Environmental Risk Management Authority, ACC and the New Zealand Chemical Industry Council.

The first workshop will be held on Wednesday (22 October) at the Petone Workingmen’s Club, Udy St, Petone.

On Thursday (23 October) a second workshop will be held at the Porirua Club, Logan Place, Porirua.

Both events will run from 9am to 12 noon.

Department of Labour Head of Occupational Health and Safety Craig Armitage says the Department decided to go ahead with the workshop after its inspectors found many employers were unaware of how to safely manage, store, handle and dispose of chemicals and other hazardous substances. Employees were similarly unaware of safe working practices.

Mr Armitage says chemicals are used in about 150,000 workplaces across the country. But they need to be handled safely. The consequences of not doing so can be fatal.

“These workshops aim to inform employers and workers what steps they can take to ensure chemicals and other hazardous substances are used and stored safely in the workplace.

“Workplace health and safety is not expensive. It is about having the right attitude and a determination to do things properly. The consequences of not doing it right can be much more expensive in the long term – for all concerned.”

Anyone wanting to attend should e-mail their name, address and contact details to

More information on safe storage and handling of hazardous substances is available at


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