Approved Handler

  1. Home
  2. Our Courses
  3. Course Catalogue
  4. Approved Handler

The new Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations (Haz Subs Regs) came into effect on the 1st December 2017. One of the key changes brought about by the new regulations is the demise of the Approved Handler role. This has been replaced by a new requirement for organisations to have a Certified Handler for certain types of hazardous substances.

Key changes under the new Haz Subs Regs include:
  1. Approved Handlers are now known as Certified Handlers
  2. Test Certifiers are now known as Compliance Certifiers
  3. Test Certificates are now known as Compliance Certificates
  4. Fewer substances are now required to be under the control of a Certified Handler (see below)
Hazardous substances required to be under the control of a Certified Handler:
  1. Those that currently require a controlled substance licence, including explosives, vertebrate toxic agents (VTAs) and certain fumigants
  2. Most, but not all, Class 1 (Explosive) substances
  3. Class 6.1 A and 6.1 B substances (e.g. substances that are acutely toxic that can be fatal)
What is a Certified Handler?
  1. A Certified Handler is someone who has been certificated as being competent to handle very hazardous substances safely. Certified Handler compliance certificates are issued by Compliance Certifiers and are valid for five years
  2. The competency requirements for Certified Handlers are detailed in Part 4, Regulation 4.3 of the Haz Subs Regs
  • What does this mean for PCBUs (Organisations)?


    Section 2: Hazards Identification, of a SDS (Safety Data Sheet) lists the hazardous substance Classes contained within the substance. If the hazardous substances you use, store or handle do not contain any of the above Classes then it is likely that you do not require a Certified Handler.

    That said, in addition to complying with Regulation 9 of the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016 (GRWM Regs), a PCBU must ensure (Regulation 4.5 of the Haz Subs Regs) that every worker who uses, handles, manufactures, or stores a hazardous substance (including hazardous waste) is, before the worker is allowed to carry out or supervise work involving those substances, provided with relevant information, training and instruction.



  • New Regulations - Certified Handler

     Under the new regulations, a Certified Handler is no longer required for the following hazardous substance Classes (which previously required an Approved Handler)

    Class 2 substances (flammable gases);

    Class 3 substances (flammable liquids);

    Class 4 substances (flammable solids);
    Class 5 substances (oxidising substances);
    Class 6.1C (acutely toxic) and 6.7A (carcinogens);
    Class 8 substances (corrosive substances);
    Class 9 substances (those that are toxic to the environment).
    Useful Guidance on the new Haz Subs Regs. For the full legislation update please visit:


  • WorkSafe Quick Guides


    Changes to Hazardous Substances Regulations

    Hazardous Substance Risk Management

    Certified Handler Requirements

    Inventory Requirements for Hazardous Substances

    Safety Data Sheets in the Workplace

    Labeling, Decanting and Repackaging Hazardous Substances in the Workplace

    Hazardous Substance Signage

    Storing Class 6 and 8 Hazardous Substances

    Information, Training and Instruction for Workers Handling Hazardous Substances

    Link to WorkSafe website -

    Link to your practical guide, Working Safely with Hazardous Substances


What does the Certified Handler course cover?

Course Detail