Fumigants

Fumigants are used to control a variety of pests, for example, fungi, insects and rabbits. 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:

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.

Guidance

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.

Tracking

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.

Methyl bromide fumigations (PDF 288 KB)

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.

Keeping safe from harmful substances while inspecting or unpacking containers (PDF 248 KB)