Hazardous drugs

Safe handling of hazardous drugs

In recognition of the potential occupational health and safety risks from working with hazardous drugs, including cytotoxic drugs, monoclonal antibodies (MABs) and BCG, a policy has been developed to describe SA Health’s position on the safe handling of hazardous drugs and related waste.


The Handling of Hazardous Drugs (including Cytotoxic Drugs) and Related Waste in South Australian Health Services policy (PDF 107KB) provides direction to management and staff involved in the management, preparation, transportation, administration of hazardous drugs and related wastes, in the hospital and/or community setting.

Implementation of the policy

There will be a phased implementation of the directive. The milestones are indicated below.

  1. 30 September 2012 - completion of gap analysis
  2. 31 December 2012 - completion of risk assessment and schedule for implementation
  3. 31 December 2013 - compliance with new legislative requirements for cyclophosphamide
  4. 31 December 2014 - full compliance with directive

The implementation of the Directive will be monitored by SA Health’s Health Performance Systems Division.


The Cytotoxic Drugs and Related Waste: A Risk Management Guide for South Australian Health Services (PDF 1MB) document details legal obligations and is a significant review of safe handling practices incorporating evidence-based and best-practice standards. It is intended to provide a risk management framework to assist in the development of local policies and procedures for the safe handling cytotoxic drugs.