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Certified Handler (toxic products)

Certified handler is a HSW Act control specific to some classes of products.  

A certified handler is someone qualified to handle very toxic substances.  A certified handler may also provide guidance and assistance to other people handling the substances.
You need to be a certified handler if you want to purchase or use tracked agrichemicals with hazard classifications of 6.1A or 6.1B .

Certified handler replaced the approved handler scheme from 1 December 2017.
Prior to 1 December 2017, other hazard classes including 6.1C (toxic), 6.7A (carcinogenic) and 8.2A (skin corrosive) and wide dispersive use of highly ecotoxic products also required approved handler certification.

What are the responsibilities of a Certified Handler?

In addition to being competent to handle and use hazardous agrichemicals yourself, you must:

  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge about the product being used and have received training in its use, including information about its risks, any controls on its use and management of any emergency involving the product.
  • be available and provide advice and guidance to others using these agrichemicals who are not certified handlers. This means that you must:
    • provide guidance to the user on the agrichemical's use, handling, disposal, and application area, before spraying starts
    • remain on the property (you don't need to remain at the actual site of the spraying)
    • be available at all times to assist while the person is handling the substance.

More information can be found in WorkSafe’s Quick Guide to Certified handler requirements.

Under transition arrangements, approved handler certificates are valid as certified handler certificates until they expire.

Note that labels will continue to say approved handler until they are updated.

Whilst fewer people will need the Certified Handler, the level of competency required will be higher with Test Certifiers likely to require an interview or even site visit before issuing a certificate.