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New Hazardous Substances Regulations - Is your workplace prepared?

23 October 2017

New Hazardous Substances Regulations - Is your workplace prepared?

23/10/2017 by Andrew Saunders
 

The new Hazardous Substances Regulations will start to impact your business from the 1st December 2017.

The new regulations put the onus for the understanding and control of Hazardous Substances in your workplace on the Person in Charge of a Business or Undertaking (PCBU): Are 'you' ready?

 Here are a couple of the changes you need to be aware of: 

There are now two pieces of legislation, two bureaucracies and two regulating controls on Hazardous Substances in New Zealand:
• The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will administer the HSNO Act and will set rules and controls for Hazardous Substances through new Notices
Worksafe will administer the HSW Act and will set rules and controls for Hazardous Substances through the new Regulations

Table 1: Roles and responsibilities for the upcoming controls on Hazardous Substances

 

Hazardous substance rules to protect

Hazardous substance rules to protect the

Hazardous substance rules at the

Hazardous substance rules to protect

people from workplaceactivities

environment

and for disposal in workplaces

top of the supply-chain

people and the environment in

non-workplaces

Set under HSWA Act

Set under HSNO Act

Set under HSNO Act

Set under HSNO Act

Implemented by

WorkSafe

implemented by

EPA

implemented by

EPA

implemented by

EPA

enforced by

WorkSafe

enforced by

WorkSafe

enforced by

EPA

Enforced by Councils


Note that the EPA now has powers of enforcement. This is new. The EPA will not issue notices regarding workplace rules. Theirs are called 'instructions' and follow a different process.

What will this mean for you? 
If you import or manufacture Hazardous Substances you need to engage with both regulators. 
If you just purchase Hazardous Substances make sure your substance are provided with a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) evidencing an EPA Approval Number compliant to the new Notices and comply to the new Hazardous Substances Regulations.
You need to be aware the EPA covers all areas for class 9 substances and these may now conflict with the WorkSafe regulations – i.e. Diesel has different secondary containment requirements under its 3.1D classification than it does under its 9.1B classification. There may be different controls regarding hazardous substances in workplaces, regulated by WorkSafe, and non-workplaces, regulated by the EPA i.e. the controls on the storage of LPG differ between workplaces and non-workplaces.