• Chris Harris
    I'm hoping to get a definitive answer to when a hazardous substance location must be established (and hence a Location Compliance Certificate must be obtained), as I get different advice, even from Compliance Certifiers.
    I understand classifications and trigger levels, etc. - the lack of clarity is the wording about management or control of a "place within a workplace" where substances are stored. Some Certifiers say that the relevant quantity is the total on the whole site (aligning with the requirement for the inventory). But other Certifiers say that the relevant quantity is the amount in any particular store or location - assuming separation between stores. I've tried to get an answer from WorkSafe NZ too - but no response.
    So for example, if I have a large worksite with four separate storage sheds - each several metres apart - with 20L of petrol in each (so 80L total on site) - do I need a Location Compliance Certificate or not?
    Is anybody able to provide a definitive answer - and ideally provide a supporting document for reference (to shut down any further debate)?
    Thanks in advance!
  • jason farrow
    flammables good cabinet at each shed
  • Alex P
    To give a different perspective but along the same lines, we have LPG in various amounts in different locations on our worksite. We have a Location Certificate for each location that contains more than 100kg of LPG - as required by the regulations. We don't have a Location Certificate for the worksite as a whole because that is not achievable, however we do have some areas where we store LPG in less than 100kg quantities. This is below the threshold and therefore does not require a Location Certificate.
  • Meihana
    Hi, I believe this link should help. It's a pdf from WorkSafe NZ for Location Compliance Certificates


    A location compliance is issued for various classes of substances which are over certain amounts and in a single location.
    The definition of single location is:
    "A single location refers to a hazardous substances location - for example, a storeroom
    - on a property rather than the location of the property itself. "

    "What this means is, if you split the volume of the substances you hold into below -
    threshold quantities, and store them in separate locations (and at appropriate
    distances), you may not need a location compliance certificate."
  • Chris Harris
    Thanks Meihana - that is exactly what I've been looking for and does clarify the requirement. We can now show this document to those Certifiers who insist it's the total quantity onsite that is the key one!
  • Chris Harris
    Thanks Alex - that's helpful!
  • David Brown
    Hi Chris,

    I know it's not trendy to give praise to WorkSafe, but they have a great hazardous substances calculator tool that we use at our sites. This has been updated recently with new features.

    You can input the same hazardous substance types multiple times when they are stored in different areas/locations. The calculator will give out a report at the end showing what controls are required including whether they require separate Location Compliance Certificate.
    The calculator gives you some comfort that the controls are accurate as I can imagine it to be a reasonable defence in law to state that 'we used the WorkSafe calculator tool'.
    So as a start point, we update out hazardous substances inventory, then input that into the WorkSafe Calculator. Once we have the calculator report, then we engage our specialist certifiers to conduct the required site audits for the location compliance certificates, tank certifications etc.

    A benefit is that you can play around with quantities in the calculator tool to see if you can reduce the quantities that you hold on the site, to reduce the number of required controls or even avoid having to have a location compliance certificate.

    A final benefit is that you get a Pin # to go back into the calculator at any time to modify any of the information, and this then changes the report.

    Link here: WorkSafe Calculator tool

    PS I don't work for WorkSafe, but fair to acknowledge they have put some effort into this tool!

  • Leah

    See if this link works: https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2017/0131/latest/DLM7311227.html
    Section 9, Table 4 lists the type and qty's to trigger a certificate
  • Chris Harris
    Thanks Dave
    With regards the WorkSafe NZ Calculator - I agree that it's pretty good, but I just tested it by entering 20L of petrol in 3 different locations. The calculator reported that because I now have 60L on site, I now need a Location Compliance Certificate. Which is against what the WorkSafe guide provided by Meihana above says. It would appear that it is only when a quantity in a single location (e.g. store or room - or "a place within a workplace") exceeds the trigger do you need to establish a Hazardous Substances Location, and get a Compliance Certificate. So in theory, you could have hundreds of litres of petrol in your workplace as long as there is never more than 50L in any single location - and there is sufficient separation between them all.
    So I think maybe the WorkSafe NZ Calculator - as good as it is - is adding to the confusion?
  • MattD2
    The calculator reported that because I now have 60L on site, I now need a Location Compliance Certificate. Which is against what the WorkSafe guide provided by Meihana above says.Chris Harris
    To be fair, the WorkSafe guidance says "...you may not need a location compliance certificate."
    The real confusion is the fact that the regulations deal with the requirements for Hazardous Substances Locations and Location Compliance Certificates completely differently for each Class (and sometimes Sub-Class).
    The WorkSafe Toolbox seems to be correct or petrol (3.1A, etc.):
    • R10.26 - if you store over the threshold quantity of petrol for over the threshold time you need to establish one or more Hazardous substance Locations to store it in. So this could be 20L in three separate stores as in your example.
    • R10.34 - every Hazardous Substance Location used to store petrol must have a location compliance certificate (some exemptions with limits for farms or temporary storage >2 weeks).

    Therefore for petrol - once you hit the combined site limit for having to establish Hazardous Substance Location(s) then you also need to get a compliance certificate for each location(s).

    Compare this with Class 5.1.1 / 5.1.2
    • R12.2 / 12.8 - Similar to R10.26 quantity/time thresholds that trigger the requirement for Hazardous Substance Locations
    • R12.17 - a separate set of quantity thresholds for each hazardous Substance Location that determine if each individual one requires a Location Compliance Certificate or not.
    So for Class 5.1.1 / 5.1.2 oxidisers if you store over the threshold that have to have at least one Hazardous Substances Location, you can split the total to be stored into multiple locations to eliminate the need for compliance certification.

    Noting however the oxidiser (and specific Class 6s / 8s) situation does seem to have confused even WorkSafe as they break WorkSafe's Toolbox, as it (incorrectly) automatically lumps "requires Hazardous Substance Location" with "requires Compliance Certificate" together.
  • Chris Harris
    Hi Matt
    The trigger quantities and classes are clear enough (well, relatelively). The Class 5 stuff above seems to be more to do with what is in storage (closed containers) vs what is being manufactured or used (potentially open containers). There are some similar provisions for the flammables (e.g. used as fuel) and toxic/ corrosive substances. If you compare the values in the Schedule from r12.2 and r12.8, with the values in r12.17 - they're basically the same except special case for farms, chlorine and permanent gases. Again, there are "special cases" for other classes too.
    What isn't clear in the Regs (because they don't have definitions for "Place" or "Location"), is the meaning of the phrase "place within a workplace", where you may need one or more Hazardous Substance Location(s) if you exceed trigger levels. That was the basis of my question.
    But again, that WorkSafe guide that Meihana shared does give an interpretation and definition that seems very clearly to me to say that it is about storing substances in a single location - and not the whole site (or workplace. Further - it then specifically says that means you can split quantities below threshold values and not need a Compliance Certificate.
    Although the guide seems to be part of a suite of documents for Agrichemicals, it does say that it applies to flammable and oxidising substances as well as toxic and corrosive ones.
    So again, for me at least, that WorkSafe Guide does seem to remove the uncertainty about WorkSafe NZ interpretation (whatever the intent was), and so I will be looking for triggers at a single location and then checking separation between them. From a risk perspective I think that also makes sense as it means if there is an incident - which will usually be at a single location not a whole site - the consequence will be limited.
  • MattD2
    the HSNO regulations were definitely some of the most poorly written regulations, and the basically copy/paste into the Haz Sub regs didn't help either.
    Further - it then specifically says that means you can split quantities below threshold values and not need a Compliance Certificate.Chris Harris
    Those guidelines are clear that you can consider each Hazardous Substance Location separately, however they don't actually go so far as saying you don't need a Location Compliance Certificate if you do split up you storage. It only says it may not be required:
    What this means is, if you split the volume of the substances you hold into below-threshold quantities, and store them in separate locations (and at appropriate distances), you may not need a location compliance certificate — WKS-6-AGCHEM-Location-Compliance-.pdf

    The regs do actually define a Hazardous Substance Location in S3 Interpretation as (paraphrasing) "an area where a quantity of the substance exceeds the relevant quantity specified in [the relevant table of threshold quantities] forclonger tgav[the applicabletimeframe]" - which does support your point that the thresholds should be consider individually per each storage area rather than the site as a whole.
    What is a concern is there doesn't seem to be any specifics of what "appropriate distances" are (as mentioned in the guidelines) for the seperation of areas where substances are stored under the threshold levels. So technically you could define multiple "storage area" on your site and store 49L of petrol in eachof them, with no real separation between them and not be required to establish any Hazardous Substance Locations or get any Location compliance certificates. Although you would still likely be pulled up on a general duty to manage risks as there is other guidance that you should follow as known industry practices in this case, such as AS/NZS 3833 for The storage and handling of mixed classes of dangerous goods, in packages and intermediate bulk containers.
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