Working with chemicals

Victoria has a reputation as a reliable supplier of clean agricultural products, in both international and domestic markets. To maintain this valuable reputation, it's essential that agricultural and veterinary chemicals are used in a responsible manner.

Improper use of chemicals can result in unacceptable chemical residues in produce, which can have a negative effect on public health and trade.

It can also result in:

  • accidental poisoning
  • pollution
  • damage to native flora, fauna or beneficial insects
  • chemical resistance in the pest or disease being targeted

Responsibilities of the chemical user

Chemical users must ensure their own safety and be aware of community concerns about how chemicals might affect human health and the environment.

Minimise the risks associated with chemical use by ensuring you are trained and authorised with an appropriate licence or permit to use agricultural or veterinary chemicals, and apply them in line with current legislation.

Always read the label

Before using any chemical, users must always read and familiarise themselves with the entire label, and get a copy of the product's Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Both provide useful information about:

  • the chemical product
  • its contents
  • health hazards
  • safe use
  • handling instructions
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • first aid

Copies of SDS are available on the manufacturer's website or on request from chemical resellers.

More information

For information on managing Occupational Health and Safety issues relating to working with agricultural and veterinary chemicals, please refer to the following websites:

More information on the ground-based spraying of agricultural chemicals in Victoria can be found on the Spraying agricultural chemicals page.

Page last updated: 03 Nov 2023