These are the questions our ChemAlert Support Team are asked most often.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, please click the here to get in touch with a Team Member.

Contact ChemAlert Support

‘How To’ Questions

If you have a new chemical which needs to be added to the ChemAlert database, simply email the manufacturer’s SDS through to ChemAlert Support. You will receive an automated email back with a ticket number to quote if you have any queries regarding the request. Alternatively, you can submit the SDS via ChemAlert’s Request module. For more information on how to do this, please contact our Support team on freecall 0800 889 225.

Many organisations have internal procedures in place for the approval of new chemicals. If you are unsure about procedures within your organisation, check with a supervisor or your health and safety team first.

Once an SDS is on ChemAlert, RMT will take all reasonable measures to ensure that its currency is maintained. Our dedicated team of SDS Administrators identify SDSs on ChemAlert that are nearing 5 years since last review and will then attempt to source an updated SDS directly from the manufacturer. If the manufacturer does not yet have an update, they will be asked to notify RMT once one is available.

Some manufacturers will update an SDS well before the 5 year review period. RMT has automated technological processes to try to detect SDSs that are updated and download them for review by a scientist.  However, the greatest asset to keeping the ChemAlert database up-to-date is you. If you receive an SDS that is more current than the one on ChemAlert, we would greatly appreciated if you would forward it through to our Support team by email or through the Upload function in ChemAlert.

Updated SDSs are available immediately through your ChemAlert database. The subsequent updated product reports are delivered via Automatic Product Updates (APU) at least once a fortnight to ensure that you have access to the most current information available.

Obsolete

This means that the product is no longer manufactured, supplied, or distributed; or that the product is no longer exported to New Zealand. In this case, it is acceptable to use the latest available SDS for any product remaining on site. If the product is brought back into circulation by the manufacturer/supplier, RMT will review the product’s status on ChemAlert.

Discontinued

This means that RMT is not currently maintaining the SDS, with the main reason for this being that despite repeated requests, we are unable to source an updated SDS for the product. An Alert will typically exist for the product outlining the reason(s) why it has been discontinued.

SDS Discontinued

This means that the product is non-hazardous and manufacturer is no longer supporting an SDS for the product.

RMT currently writes and maintains Safety Data Sheets for thousands national and international chemical manufacturers, importers and suppliers. The partnership established between RMT and these companies enables them to proceed with operations, confident that their SDS are written to the highest standard and comply with the relevant legislative standards. If you are interested in our SDS Authoring Service, please call us on freecall 0800 889 225 or contact us.
When adding items to the Stock Register, the system automatically allocates a unique stock number, but it is possible to change this stock number to the one used on your site. This can be done when adding the product to the register or by changing the details of the product through the Stock Item Properties option.

In the Stock Register:

  • Click on the product to open the Stock Register Item Properties window.
  • Replace the Stock Number allocated with your new site-specific stock or part number.
  • Click OK to save the change and return to the Stock Register Products window.
  • The change is saved immediately and shown in the Stock list.
Mac OSX users who are operating with the track-pad on an Apple laptop (MacBook, MacBook PRO or MacBook Air) or have an older style, single-button apple mouse, can access the right-click menus by holding down the CONTROL key while clicking. If you have a two button mouse, but don’t have right-click functionality, you can activate the right button in the Mouse Settings under System Preferences.
If the request for a username and password appears prior to ChemAlert opening, your system administrator has put this in place. Please contact your System Administrator to resolve this.
If your licence is about to expire, the renewal process for ChemAlert generally works as follows:

  • 2 months before your ChemAlert licence is due to expire, an invoice is generated and posted to you by the accounts department at RMT
  • Once payment is received, a system configuration certificate containing the new 12-month serial number is either emailed or posted out to you
  • Once you have received your serial number, you will need to enter it into ChemAlert, either on your server or at individual PCs depending on how your system is set up. To update your registration, refer to the Renewals section in Registration Details.
See SaaS access document or contact your System Administrator

Instructions are available in ChemAlert Help, ChemAlert Admin > ChemAlert Batch Reports  

You can forward any updated SDSs to the ChemAlert Support team for review and uploading to your ChemAlert system.

A large umber of expired SDSs may indicate that the Automatic Product Updates (APUs) are not working, in which case, see the Portal Troubleshooting Guide.

Instructions are available in ChemAlert Help. ChemAlert Stock > ChemAlert Stock Reports.

ChemAlert access is maintained by Site Administrators.

Instructions are available in ChemAlert Help. ChemAlert Admin > Adding new Users to ChemAlert and ChemAlert Groups.

To purchase ChemAlert report paper and labels, download the Stationery Order Form complete both pages and print it out. Fax it back to RMT on +61 8 9322 1794 with your purchase order.

Compliance Questions

In Australia, the manufacturer or importer of a hazardous chemical must prepare a Safety Data Sheet for any hazardous chemical to be supplied to a workplace. A substance is considered hazardous if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • Has been classified as a hazardous substance by the manufacturer or importer in accordance with the Workplace Health and Safety Act Code of Practice for the Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals;
  • Is listed on Safe Work Australia’s Hazardous Chemicals Information List;
  • Is classified as hazardous according to the criteria of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

From the 1st of January 2017 onwards, only SDSs prepared according to the GHS will be accepted in many Australian states and territories. The Code of Practice for the Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals requires that SDSs consist of and include:

  • 16 header sections;
  • Australian contact details including a physical address and emergency phone number;
  • A review date within 5 years;
  • Relevant classifications for a Hazardous Chemical and/or Dangerous Good and Australian exposure standards.

Under the Model Work Health and Safety Regulations, consumer products are exempt from requiring an SDS or to be listed on a Hazardous Chemicals Register. Consumer products are those packed for and used by household or office consumers, in the same quantity as would be expected to be used in a household or for office work. Not all states and territories have adopted the model Work Health and Safety Regulations.

You are required to have the SDS for the specific product that you use. This means the supplier details on the SDS should match the supplier details on the label of the product. Does a ChemAlert report replace an SDS? A ChemAlert report does not replace an SDS, but is a very useful document to use in conjunction with the SDS. There are many benefits to the ChemAlert report including:
  • Instant visual indicators such as colour ratings, PPE icons, pictograms and DG diamonds;
  • Standardised formatting;
  • Translations into other languages;
  • Customisability to include sections that are important to you; and
  • Additional product research by a team of qualified Scientists.
ChemAlert has a wide range of international users, and so there are many SDSs from different countries. If a chemical is non-hazardous, an SDS is not required and so the importer may choose to use the international SDS to communicate additional information to the end user.

It is possible to exclude SDSs from countries other than your own through Business Unit Preferences. Contact the ChemAlert Support team or freecall 0800 889 225 and we’d be happy to show you how.

Terminology & Procedures

We aim to complete each singular chemical addition request within one (1) working day from receiving the request. If you have several SDSs per request, it may take longer. We will let you know an estimated completion date for large requests, where it may take longer than a week to complete.

For urgent request please don’t hesitate to mark your email request as “Urgent”, or call us on (08) 9322 1711 to speak directly to our Science team.

A Product Alert is a message from the scientist who reviewed the Safety Data Sheet when it was added or updated on ChemAlert.  Alerts are used to advise end users of potential issues with the Safety Data Sheet or explaining significant discrepancies between the SDS and the ChemAlert report.

Once an SDS is on ChemAlert, RMT will take all reasonable measures to ensure that its currency is maintained. Our dedicated team of SDS Administrators identify SDSs on ChemAlert that are nearing 5 years since last review and will then attempt to source an updated SDS directly from the manufacturer. If the manufacturer does not yet have an update, they will be asked to notify RMT once one is available.

Some manufacturers will update an SDS well before the 5 year review period. RMT has automated technological processes to try to detect SDSs that are updated and download them for review by a scientist.  However, the greatest asset to keeping the ChemAlert database up-to-date is you. If you receive an SDS that is more current than the one on ChemAlert, we would greatly appreciated if you would forward it through to our Support team by email or through the Upload function in ChemAlert.

Updated SDSs are available immediately through your ChemAlert database. The subsequent updated product reports are delivered via Automatic Product Updates (APU) at least once a fortnight to ensure that you have access to the most current information available.

Product Obsolete

This means that the product is no longer manufactured, supplied, or distributed; or that the product is no longer exported to Australia. In this case, it is acceptable to use the latest available SDS for any product remaining on site. If the product is brought back into circulation by the manufacturer/supplier, RMT will review the product’s status on ChemAlert.

SDS Discontinued

This means that the product is non-hazardous and manufacturer is no longer supporting an SDS for the product.

Discontinued

This means that RMT is not currently maintaining the SDS, with the main reason for this being that despite repeated requests, we are unable to source an updated SDS for the product. An Alert will typically exist for the product outlining the reason(s) why it has been discontinued.

RMT cannot test substances for hazards classification, as we do not have testing facilities. However, scientific data exists for numerous pure substances, as well as for some mixtures. These substances have previously been tested against certain Health, Physical and Environmental criteria for hazards identification. Using peer reviewed, scientific literature, we can provide you with relevant supplementary information, assisting you in making the most accurate, informed decisions about the hazards classification for your chemical substances.

In line with best practice, we strongly recommend that manufacturers perform any testing prior to data being sent through to RMT for SDS authoring.

As part of your subscription to ChemAlert, you are allocated a number of free new report additions per subscription year. If you are unsure of how many of these free additions are remaining, please contact ChemAlert Support or phone (08) 9322 1711. Alternatively, you can also contact your Account Manager to advise of remaining free additions and any fees thereafter if applicable. Updates are always performed at no charge (excluding SDS writing).
We have a dedicated SDS Updating team constantly sourcing updated SDSs from manufacturers for SDSs which are about to or have expired. When we receive the SDSs, our Science team updates the ChemAlert reports accordingly, and every fortnight, the updated reports are delivered via Automatic product Updates (APU) to ensure that you have access to the most current information available.

If your supplier has sent you an updated SDS, please send the SDS through to ChemAlert Support, and we will have the product updated for you. You can also use the Upload SDS to RMT function via the Reports tab in the Product Identification screen to send the SDS directly to us for updating.

Not all manufacturers have the resources or expertise available to issue comprehensive, legislatively compliant SDS for the products which they manufacture. ChemAlert reports are independently researched documents which provide additional information for products used on site, ensuring that maximum knowledge is available throughout the workplace when working with potentially hazardous or dangerous chemicals. ChemAlert reports detail information which may not be available on the manufacturer’s SDS such as:

  • Toxicological effects resulting from acute and/or chronic exposure to the product
  • Toxicity data for the individual ingredients present in the product
  • Environmental impacts of the product to land and marine life, as well as to the atmosphere
  • Exposure standards of ingredients in the product, in line with the Adopted National Exposure Standards for Atmospheric Contaminants in the Occupational Environment [NOHSC:1003(1995)]

Other features of ChemAlert reports designed to enhance safety in the workplace include a unique colour rating system and pictograms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These features ensure that simple and effective awareness of risks which may be associated with a chemical product is afforded to all employees, especially for those who understand English as a second language.
ChemAlert reports are available in three standard formats:

  • Summary Report: provides a brief overview of the product covering health hazards, first aid, precautions and PPE.
  • Extended Summary Report: provides information such as synonyms, ingredients, health hazards, precautions, PPE, first aid, safe handling, emergency procedures, safe handling, and physical and chemical properties of the product.
  • Full Report: provides information for the product in accordance with the format outlined in the Code of Practice for the Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals [December 2011].

When used in conjunction with the manufacturer’s SDS, ChemAlert reports are an excellent tool in helping to ensure that workplace risks are minimised.

You can forward any updated SDSs to the ChemAlert Support team for review and uploading to your ChemAlert system.

A large umber of expired SDSs may indicate that the Automatic Product Updates (APUs) are not working, in which case, see the Portal Troubleshooting Guide.

To purchase ChemAlert report paper and labels, download the Stationery Order Form, complete both pages and click Submit or print it out and fax it back to RMT on (08) 9322 1794 with your purchase order.
The ChemAlert Colour Rating system provides you with a visual indication of the hazard level a chemical represents for normal use.
Green rated chemicals are considered to pose a Low level of hazard for normal use;
Amber rated chemicals are considered to pose a Moderate level of hazard for normal use;
Red rated chemicals are considered to pose a High level of hazard for normal use.

You can also click on the Colour Rating icon in ChemAlert to display a detailed Colour Rating Guide.

ChemAlert reports display one of three possible colour ratings:
Green rated chemicals are considered to pose a Low level of hazard for normal use;
Amber rated chemicals are considered to pose a Moderate level of hazard for normal use;
Red rated chemicals are considered to pose a High level of hazard for normal use.

When assigning colour ratings to ChemAlert reports, the safety and environmental impacts are reviewed for each product. SDS are assessed independently by our team of Scientists, with parameters such as chemical ingredients, product form, potential routes of exposure, toxicity and chemical properties of each individual product evaluated in order to assign an appropriate colour rating to the ChemAlert report.
The following outlines the criteria addressed in order to assign one of three colour ratings.

Chemical ingredients:

  • Product form (ie. solid, liquid, or gas);
  • Product use and nature of application (ie. paint, spray, brush or roller applied)
  • Potential route of exposure (ie. eye, respiratory, skin absorption, ingestion);
  • Inherent toxicity of chemical ingredients (ie. physiological effects – acute and chronic, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, teratogenicity, reproductive effects – Additive and Synergistic effects are also taking into account);
  • Irritancy and corrosive nature (ie. mild irritation versus corrosive damage, reversible or irreversible);
  • Dose – Response (ie. concentration required to cause a toxic response – LD50; LCLo; TC50; TCLo, etc);
  • Exposure Standard (ie. Time Weighted Average – TLV; STEL; IDLH);
  • Chemical reactivity (ie. spontaneously explosive, radioactive, etc);
  • Flammability (ie. flammable, non flammable, combustible); and
  • Legislative requirements and Storage and transport requirements (ie. Poison Schedule Classification, Dangerous Goods Classification, Hazardous Substances Classification).

A scale is adopted for each of these criteria. The relevant information is then considered in the overall hazard the product presents to the safety of the individual intending to handle the product.

For an example of how a colour rating may be assigned to a product, Download the ChemAlert Colour Rating System FAQ

According to Appendix E of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP), “scheduled substances and their preparations are required to be labelled with appropriate directions for first aid attention in case of poisoning”. The first aid information displayed on the majority of ChemAlert reports is taken from the “Standard Statements” guide, Part 1 of Appendix E of the SUSMP. Click here to view SUSMP No. 24
Certain chemicals require specific first aid advice. The toxicological properties, health effects and subsequent first aid treatment of these chemicals are researched using scientific, peer reviewed sources such as:

  • RTECS – Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances, compiled by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • HSDB – Hazardous Substances Data Bank, compiled by the National Library of Medicine, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Reprotox – information system developed by the Reproductive Toxicology Center for clinicians, scientists and government agencies.
  • Martindale – The Complete Drug Reference – Monographs, prepared by the editorial staff of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

An example of a chemical which requires specific first aid instructions is hydrofluoric acid. Due to the nature of this chemical, there are very specific first aid instructions which must be adhered to in the event of an accident.

In order to minimise the inaccuracy of manufacturer’s SDS, RMT undertakes a rigorous process of validation against recognised national and international reference sources.

Each and every SDS is reviewed by a qualified RMT Scientific Services Adviser prior to inclusion on the ChemAlert Global Register.

Under the Work Health & Safety regulations, manufacturers or importers of substances are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health before supply. They are also required to produce Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all hazardous substances. In order to achieve this, the manufacturer or importer will first review the Hazardous Chemicals Information List which contains a list of the commonly used workplace Hazardous Chemicals.

If a substance does not appear on the list, the manufacturer or importer should then consider information on its health effects against the WHS Guidance on the Classification of Hazardous Chemicals document to determine whether it is hazardous or not.

ChemAlert reports are independently researched and are not compiled on behalf of the manufacturer. Hence, when compiling a ChemAlert report, since we are not the manufacturer or importer of the substance, nor are we compiling the report on their behalf, we do not have the authority to classify the substance as Hazardous or Non Hazardous.

However, we do try to verify the classification with the respective manufacturer’s or importers where we believe further clarification is required. We will often provide our recommendation as to how we believe the substance should be classified, however we cannot amend the classification without total consent from the manufacturer.

RMT provides a range of on-site interactive training programs suitable for ChemAlert users at all levels.

ChemAlert v4.1 Comprehensive User Course

This 2 day course is designed for those who are new to ChemaAlert. The course trains participants in all aspects of using ChemAlert v4.1.
This course is also offered as a public training course at various dates and venues.

Search & Stock Course

This 1 day course is designed for staff responsible for safety aspects relating to chemicals used in the workplace.

Search Stock and Risk Assessment

Similar to the Search & Stock course this 1 Day course is aimed at Supervisors and HSE Advisors and incorporates dealing with Risk Assessments.

Click here for more information on ChemAlert training.

Troubleshooting & Technical Questions

If the request for a username and password appears prior to ChemAlert opening, your system administrator has put this in place. Please contact your System Administrator to resolve this.

The following environments are fully supported by ChemAlert 4.1, however other environments may also function without issues. For full details please refer to the ChemAlert Supported Environments Matrix as found in the download package:

Web browsers:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Internet Explorer 9, 10 & 11
  • NB: IE 8 is supported with reduced functionality

Operating systems:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 & 2012

Databases:

  • Oracle 10g & 11g
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 XE (provided free)
  • SQL Server 2008 R2, 2012 & 2014

The 401 Authorization required or unauthorized error means that access cannot be granted to ChemAlert until you first log on with a valid username and password.

Common Resolutions Options:

  1. Check that your internet is working (http://ismyinternetworking.com/)
  2. Username and password security is case-sensitive and therefore please verify the credentials entered are correct.
  3. Verify that the ChemAlert web address/web link/URL that you are accessing is correct https://chemalert.rmt.com.au/yourcompanyname/
  4. If you were able to access ChemAlert before without requiring a username and password then it is likely that your IP address has changed. Contact your local IT team or your company’s ChemAlert business owner to confirm you are allowed to view ChemAlert from your location.

If you believe you have received this message in error please contact ChemAlert Support

The Error 403 is displayed when your access is forbidden to ChemAlert. ChemAlert is secured on the internet using external IP address and/or username and password.

403 error messages are commonly displayed when your external IP address(es) have changed or have not been added to your Managed Access List.
Common Resolutions Options:

  1. Check that your internet is working (http://ismyinternetworking.com/)
  2. Contact your local IT team or your company’s ChemAlert business owner to confirm you are allowed to view ChemAlert from your location.

If you believe you have received this message in error please contact ChemAlert Support

The Error 404 is displayed whenever someone asks for a page or web link that is not available.

Common Resolutions Options:

  1. Check that your internet is working (http://ismyinternetworking.com/)
  2. Check that your ChemAlert web address/web link/URL is correct
  3. Add a forward trailing slash ‘/’ at the end of the web address e.g. https://chemalert.rmt.com.au/yourcompanyname/

If you believe you have received this message in error please contact the ChemAlert Support team.

Please refer to the Portal Trouble Shooting Guide or contact your System Administrator

This is usually due to file being blocked by the web browser and the web browser may need to be configured to the download without prompting the user.

Please contact the ChemAlert Support team who will require a copy of your application server logs (typically C:\CA-Intranet\Tomee\logs\*) to diagnose the exact cause of the issue.

Please contact the ChemAlert Support team who will require a copy of your application server logs (typically C:\CA-Intranet\Tomee\logs\*) to diagnose the exact cause of the issue.
The version number will appear in the bottom left hand corner of your screen. The latest version of ChemAlert is 4.1.

To upgrade to a newer version please contact the ChemAlert Support team.

This can occur if incorrect credentials are entered or the login details are not in the database. Your System Administrator can assist in resetting or creating the required login details.

Your designated ChemAlert administrator can assist with resetting the password. For SaaS proxy login, the ChemAlert Support team can assist with providing or resetting the credentials.

Verify the ChemAlert web address and check if any scheduled maintenance is underway. For further assistance contact the ChemAlert Support team

See SaaS access document or contact your System Administrator

Instructions are available in ChemAlert Help. ChemAlert Stock >  ChemAlert Stock Reports.  

ChemAlert access is maintained by Site Administrators.

Instructions are available in ChemAlert Help. ChemAlert Admin > Adding new Users to ChemAlert and ChemAlert Groups.

ChemAlert 4.1 supports the following browsers

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) 9, 10 & 11  (MSIE 8 is supported with reduced functionality).
Check your database settings as specified in the CAi Admin program (found on the computer where ChemAlert is installed).  If the settings are incorrect, change them and restart the ‘ChemAlert Server’ service, then test again.  Otherwise, please contact the ChemAlert Support team who will be able to assist.

Want to know more?

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