October 2014 Hazardous Substances Update

The Health and Safety Reform Bill currently before Parliament proposes changes to health and safety laws in New Zealand, including the way hazardous substances will be managed. The Bill will replace the Health and Safety in Employment Act with a new Health and Safety at Work Act and make changes to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act. New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority will shortly release two consultation documents proposing five EPA Notices under the HSNO Act reforms. A major driver of this reform is to improve the legislation so businesses and enforcement agencies find it easier to know what requirements apply to them. EPA Notices are the first step in improving HSNO’s workability. They are a new legal mechanism to set, consolidate and update hazardous substance controls and more readily keep them up-to-date. One document contains the proposals to update the hazardous substances classification system, and the requirements for labelling, packaging and safety data sheets. A second document proposes changes to hazardous substance enforcement officer qualifications. Your feedback will be important to help inform the content of the Notices. EPA aim to have these five EPA Notices in place when the new legislation takes effect. This is currently aimed for mid-2015. After the Notices are finalised we will be able to update group standards and other existing approvals to align with the new requirements. From 30 October 2014 there is a new 0800 number for EPA hazardous substances queries. The new number is 0800 HAZSUBS (0800 429 7827) and the new email address is hazardous.substances@epa.govt.nz. All technical queries on hazardous substance applications and compliance can be directed to this number.

N.Z EPA, 31 October 2014 ;http://www.epa.govt.nz ;