All you need to know regarding the Hazardous Substances regulation change

Changes to your obligations around Hazardous Substances

We have recently been advised of changes to the regulations around Hazardous Substances coming into effect on 1st December 2017. Before your eyes glaze over, this is not something that you can ignore, even if you only have a jerrycan of Petrol on site!

At this stage, updates are still coming through but the main points are as follows:

  • Responsibility for administering and enforcing regulations regarding Hazardous Substances moves from EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to Worksafe
  • The PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) is liable for infringements around the storage, handling and emergency management of Hazardous Substances
  • A Hazardous Goods Inventory is required to be maintained and readily accessible at all times, including in the event of an evacuation (typically required to be held at reception or the gatehouse). This is required to list the maximum amounts of each Hazardous Substance (including Hazardous Waste) likely to be held on site – not what is actually on site at any one time. This is required to be kept updated as maximum holdings and/or substances change. It also needs to list the location, any specific storage or segregation requirements and you must have a current MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).
  • Approved Handlers are being renamed Certified Handlers. There will be fewer substances requiring a Certified Handler than currently require an Approved Handler. A Certified Handler will require a greater depth of understanding of the substances that they are dealing with, their obligations around protecting other people and what to do in an emergency. Currently if you hold an Approved Handler Certificate, this will remain valid for the full period for which it was issued. When it expires, you will need to apply for a Certified Handler Certificate if you still require one. More information on the substances that will require a Certified Handler can be found here
  • Signage is required for Hazardous Substances at the entry points to the building and also near the Hazardous Goods storage area
  • SWI (Safe Work Instruments) will come into force for certain industries. These largely replace HSNO Codes of Practice and are very industry specific. Information on these can be found here

What do you need to do?

We recommend that you get professional advice on your obligations under the upcoming legislation, however we are more than happy to work with you through your specific situation to help you get an understanding of what is needed. A lot of what is in the new legislation is best practice anyway and you are quite possibly already compliant with most of the points.

Click here for this incredibly powerful HSNO calculator – an invaluable tool for you to start your journey, and once again, we are more than happy to talk you through this.

What we can do to help

Fear not, we can help! We are more than happy to work with you through the new standards. We have a comprehensive range of products that we can offer to help meet your obligations. Our offerings include:

  • Spill Kits
  • Spill Containment Solutions
  • Dangerous Goods Cabinets
  • Safety Showers
  • Gas Bottle Cages
  • Bunded Pallets
  • Customised Signage
  • Stormwater protection


Contact Jacob 09 281 2484 or Nick  09 281 2485 to find out more about what your responsibilities are. As mentioned earlier, most of the requirements are current best practice so there is no point in delaying the implementation of these requirements.

About the author / Melisa Capper