Our expectations of businesses that have PECPR equipment and those with hazardous substances.

Our expectations of businesses that have PECPR equipment

We expect businesses with equipment subject to the Health and Safety in Employment (Pressure Equipment, Cranes and Passenger Ropeways) Regulations 1999 to comply with those regulations.

Some businesses may have equipment with certificates of inspection that are about to expire. When the certificate expires we expect:

  • the equipment to be shut down if it is not being used and it is safe to do so. 
  • the business to obtain a certificate of inspection, where reasonably practicable, if the equipment needs to be used. 

If, due to COVID-19 Alert Levels, inspection is delayed or cannot be safely undertaken we expect the PCBU to consider, as a minimum, the following;

  • Are safety critical devices operational, and if so,
  • Are control systems checked and verified and/or
  • Are safety valves tested and operational?
  • Have there been any problems with the equipment during the certification period?
  • What is the risk if the equipment fails?
  • On balance, is the equipment safe for continued operation?

We expect clear, accurate and comprehensive documentation of these considerations to be started, maintained, and available for inspection by anyone in that workplace, including an equipment inspector or certifier. This documentation should also be available for a WorkSafe inspector. 

Where businesses are satisfied they have done all that’s reasonably practicable to obtain certification – but are delayed in doing so solely due to Alert Level circumstances – the equipment may remain in service until inspection and re-certification services are available. This is on the basis that the equipment remains safe to use. We ask businesses in this situation to inform WorkSafe they are doing so via technicall@worksafe.govt.nz

Our expectations of businesses with hazardous substances

We expect businesses with hazardous substances to comply with the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substance) Regulations 2017. This includes obtaining compliance certification, where the regulations require it.

Compliance certificates can only be issued by WorkSafe authorised compliance certifiers and for many certificate types the compliance certifier must visit the site. If, as a direct result of COVID-19 Alert Levels, you are unable to renew your certificate or obtain a conditional location certificate (see below) you may need to hold and use the hazardous substance(s) for a short period without certification in place. During this period, we expect you to:

  • comply with the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 in all other respects, and
  • review your operations against the prescribed requirements for obtaining certification, and
  • ensure your operations have remained compliant, and
  • document that review, and
  • ensure the documentation is made available on request to a compliance certifier or a WorkSafe inspector, and
  • renew the compliance certificate immediately when the COVID-19 Alert Level permits that.

Conditional Location Certificates

Where a compliance certifier is asked to issue a location compliance certificate, and they are not able to visit the site or organise a site visit through another compliance certifier as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 Alert Level, they may consider issuing  a conditional location certificate in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 if:

  • the compliance certifier has visited that specific site for the immediately preceding certificate, and
  • there has not been any significant change at the site, and
  • the compliance certifier has records of the site (Emergency Response Plans etc.), and
  • the site has not changed ownership since the preceding certificate was issued.

A full certificate must be sought and issued immediately after the Alert Level is lowered.

Transit depots that can’t clear hazardous substances consignments within the statutory period

Due to the COVID-19 Alert Levels some hazardous substances sent via transit depots (including ports) may be unable to be cleared within the statutory 72 hour period. We expect transit depot PCBUs in this situation to comply with all other requirements for transit depots set out in regulations.

We’re unlikely to prioritise enforcement action against the transit depot holding the hazardous substance, as long as the COVID-19 Alert Level is the only reason the substance is being held for longer than 72 hours. If we do decide to take action, our response will reflect the risk gap.