What’s the best way to navigate New Zealand’s chemical storage regulations?

December 2023

This area can seem on the surface to be a bit of a minefield, but if we break it down into components it makes the whole task a bit more straight forward.
The Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) bring together workplace requirements for hazardous substances (other than for ecotoxic substances and for disposal) into a single place. The new regulations sit under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA). Previously these requirements were in regulations, group standards, transfer notices and individual substance approvals under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO). Most HSNO workplace requirements transfer directly to the new regulations with only minor changes.

Wow that’s a mouthful and can seem like an ordeal to understand, and the penalties for non-compliance can be severe.

A good place to start would be to go the Calculator on the WorkSafe site and load up an inventory list of all chemicals and hazardous substances (not just chemicals but engineering products etc as well).

This will create for you a unique link you can save to your favourites and will tell you information such as segregation requirements and whether the volume stored on site requires you to hold a Location Test Certificate.

If you do require an Location Test Certificate, We suggest looking for a HSNO Test Certifier to come to site and go through the requirements with you – search here for someone in your area (under Certification type select ‘Location’), or you could try contacting one of these certifiers first before loading up the calculator to give you an idea if an LTC is required or not. They can drill down into what distances you may need between the likes of acids and alkalis, also bunding requirements etc.

The importance of having substances stored correctly not only saves you from potential health and safety risks, but also help stop pollution of air, soil, stormwater, and local waterways.

While we are not certified HSNO Test Certifiers, we are happy to help point you in the right direction – simply fill out this form and one of our team will get right back to you.