Major hazard facility regulations amended

Thursday, 24 July, 2008

The updated major hazards facilities regulation has been published by WorkCover NSW in the NSW Government Gazette.

The amendments commenced on 14 July 2008, but later commencement dates are specified in some clauses so that requirements are introduced in stages. The effect of the regulation is to add a new chapter (Chapter 6B) to the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001, to reduce the risk of a major accident and to minimise the consequences in the event of a major accident.

Major hazard facilities (MHFs) are facilities such as oil refineries, chemical processing plants, large chemical and gas storage depots, and large chemical warehouses that have dangerous goods in amounts that exceed specified threshold quantities.

The aim of Chapter 6B is to put in place measures to prevent major accidents at MHFs, and to help protect employees and the public in the event of a major accident.

Requirements for operators of MHFs include:

  • Notification to WorkCover — this applies not only to MHFs, but also to other facilities that exceed 10% of the threshold quantities of dangerous materials that are set out in the regulation;
  • Hazard identification and risk assessment, specifically directed towards prevention of major accidents;
  • Emergency plans and security plans;
  • Provisional registration and (later) registration of MHFs; and
  • Preparation and submission to WorkCover of a safety report, demonstrating that the operator of the MHF is adequately managing safety and preventing major accidents.

For a guide and a conditions document to support the new regulation, contact WorkCover NSW.


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