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FAQ Chemicals

6/07/2015 7:36 AM

FAQs for test certifiers

Test certifier approvals

What is the renewal process for my current test certifier approval?

WorkSafe NZ will follow the same process that is currently used by the EPA when assessing a test certifier’s renewal application. An application form for a renewal and explanatory information will be available on the WorkSafe NZ website from 1 September 2014.

There will be no change to the fee for renewing a test certifier approval.

 

As a test certifier, how do I go about expanding the scope of my approval?

Test certifiers will make applications directly to WorkSafe NZ. An application form and explanatory information will be available on the WorkSafe NZ website from 1 September 2014. WorkSafe NZ will follow the same process that is currently used by the EPA when assessing an application to extend the scope of an approval.

There will be no change to the fee for extending the scope of a test certifier’s approval.

 

How should payment for an application be made?

From 1 September 2014, on receipt of an application, be it for a new approval, a renewal or an extension to an approval, WorkSafe NZ will send the test certifier an invoice. The test certifier will then pay on this invoice. There will be no need for the test certifier to enclose upfront payment with their application. This is a slight change to the process that the EPA has used when processing test certifier applications.

 

What will happen to the documentation that the EPA holds on my current test certifier approval?

Relevant information on your current approval (including renewals and extensions) that has previously been supplied to the EPA (and before that ERMA New Zealand), both in hard and electronic copy, will be transferred to WorkSafe NZ.

You should not need to resend information to WorkSafe NZ.

 

Will WorkSafe NZ maintain a register of test certifiers on their website?

Yes. There remains a statutory requirement to have a public register of approved test certifiers. From 1 September 2014, the register will be accessed through the WorkSafe NZ website. There will be no change to a test certifier’s current listing on the register unless specifically requested by the test certifier.

 

How can test certifiers update their details on the test certifier register?

From 1 September 2014, test certifiers can email the details of any change they wish to have made to: If you have a generic question that you would like included, please email it to us at hsinfo@worksafe.govt.nz

 

How will a test certifier renewing or expanding the scope of their approval, or someone seeking to become a test certifier, be notified of the decision of their application?

WorkSafe NZ will send the outcome of any decision on a test certifier application to the applicant in writing. The test certifier will also be advised either by email or phone prior to this formal notification. This is the same process followed by the EPA.

 

Will test certifiers receive a different approval certificate from WorkSafe NZ?

The certificate will be identical to the certificate a test certifier currently receives from the EPA, except that it will carry the WorkSafe NZ logo and contact details and will be signed by the Chief Executive of WorkSafe NZ.

 

From 1 September 2014, will there be any change in test certifier fees?

There will be no change to the application or annual maintenance fee for test certifiers.

 

Technical support to test certifiers

Will WorkSafe NZ continue to provide test certifier workshops?

WorkSafe NZ intends to hold test certifier workshops in 2014/15. Test certifiers will be provided with further details of these workshops in due course.

 

What is happening with the EPA’s 0800 number (0800 376 234)?

From 1 September 2014, the EPA’s 0800 number (0800 376 234) will take you through to a hazardous substance advisor at WorkSafe NZ. You will no longer be able to contact the EPA on this number. If you need to talk with someone at the EPA, call 04 916 2426. This will take you through to their main reception.

The 0800 number will be test certifiers first point of contact to WorkSafe NZ for all technical advice on hazardous substances, including test certification.

 

If I need to talk to a HSNO specialist, who do I contact?

From 1 September 2014, all technical enquiries to WorkSafe NZ relating to HSNO should be directed through the 0800 number (0800 376 234). Alternatively, you can email WorkSafe NZ on If you have a generic question that you would like included, please email it to us at hsinfo@worksafe.govt.nz

 

Issuing test certificates

Will there be any changes to issuing test certificates?

WorkSafe NZ will not make any changes to the way test certificates should be issued. Where the EPA has published a test certifier performance standard for issuing a test certificate, then it is expected that test certifiers will continue to follow this standard. Performance standards will continue to apply as if they had been issued by WorkSafe NZ.

 

Where can I find copies of test certifier performance standards?

Test certifier performance standards are currently available on the EPA’s website. From 1 September 2014, these standards will be available on the WorkSafe NZ website.

 

Should references to the HSNO Act and regulations change on test certificates being issued?

No. Until the new Health and Safety at Work regulatory framework comes into effect, test certificates will continue to be issued under the HSNO Act and test certifiers should continue to cite the relevant hazardous substance regulations as appropriate on the test certificates they issue.

 

Test certificate register

What will happen to my current login to the test certificate register?

The test certifier login (user name and password) procedure to access the test certificate register will not change. From 1 September 2014, test certifiers will continue to use the same login details that they used when the register was administered by the EPA.

 

If I’ve lost my password to the test certificate register, who should I contact from 1 September 2014?

Contact WorkSafe NZ on 0800 376 234 or email hsinfo@worksafe.govt.nz and request a new password.

 

Will I need to continue to use the test certificate register?

Yes. There remains a legal requirement to maintain a national register of test certificates. Test certifiers will be able to access the current register through the WorkSafe NZ website.

 

Investigating complaints made against test certifiers

What is WorkSafe NZ’s approach to investigating test certifiers?

Regulation 86 of the HSNO Act provides for the Authority to investigate any complaint made against a test certifier. The EPA uses standard processes when investigating complaints made against test certifiers. From 1 September 2014, WorkSafe NZ will follow these same processes. Therefore, there should be no change in approach by WorkSafe NZ when investigating a complaint.

 

What happens to ongoing investigations on complaints against a test certifier?

From 1 September 2014, any investigation that is ongoing (that is, where an investigation has begun but is not yet complete) will be transferred to WorkSafe NZ. These investigations will be progressed by WorkSafe NZ through to final resolution.

 

FAQs for regulatory change to the test certification regime

The following three FAQs relate to proposed changes to the test certification framework that are being progressed as part of the wider health and safety regulatory reform. Further information is provided in the discussion document Developing regulations to support the new Health and Safety at Work Act, available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website. The Government’s current intention is for the proposed new Act and hazardous substances regulations to come into force on 1 April 2015.

 

What are the changes proposed to test certification?

In 2013, changes were proposed that would make improvements to the test certification regime by:

  • clarifying the EPA’s ability to employ additional test certifiers
  • improving the capability of test certifiers and
  • performing mandatory targeted auditing and applying sanctions to manage test certifier performance.

 

In July 2013, the Government agreed that changes be made, including providing the EPA with the following powers:

  • enabling them to employ or contract test certifiers
  • enabling them to impose conditions when approving a test certifier
  • enabling them to set mandatory performance standards for test certifiers
  • enabling mandatory performance- targeted auditing on a cost recovery basis
  • specifying mandatory data requirements for the test certificate register and requiring mandatory use of the register by test certifiers.

 

Subsequently, Cabinet agreed that these changes should be made to the test certification regime under the new Health and Safety at Work legislation, rather than the HSNO Act. These changes are proposed in the new Health and Safety at Work regulations for hazardous substances and would not come into effect until 1 April 2015 at the earliest.

 

Why is it necessary for WorkSafe NZ to appoint its own test certifiers?

The initial approval was for the EPA to be able to appoint its own test certifiers. Subsequently, Cabinet agreed that this power should be given to WorkSafe NZ as the future administrators of the test certification regime.

Enabling WorkSafe NZ to appoint their own test certifiers will allow them to provide cover in areas where only a few test certifiers are currently active. The test certification regime is particularly vulnerable in these areas should

those test certifiers stop practicing, for example through retirement. There are generally few new entrant test certifiers in these markets.

For those areas of test certification where there is an adequate number and supply of test certifiers (for example, issuing location test certificates), there should not be a need for WorkSafe NZ to maintain an in-house capability.

This change would not come into effect until 1 April 2015 at the earliest.

 

Why is there a proposal to cost recover the auditing of test certifiers?

For test certifiers, test certification is a business activity. As with any type of business that provides an independent third party verification service, auditing is an important part of the operation, both to demonstrate quality and to provide assurance to the regulator. Auditing costs are therefore a standard operating cost for that type of business. The regulator, if it were to fund the cost of auditing, is effectively providing a subsidy to the business.

A risk based auditing programme, where certifiers that perform well are audited less frequently than those who are not, introduces a financial incentive. Those who are performing well will benefit from comparatively lower auditing costs. Those who are not performing will be encouraged to reduce auditing costs through performance improvement.

This proposal is no different to that found in other regulatory frameworks that require the auditing of independent third party verifiers.

This change would not come into effect until 1 April 2015 at the earliest.

 

FAQs on compliance applications

The following FAQs that refer to an ‘application’ apply to all types of compliance applications that may be made directly by industry or through a test certifier. These applications are for:

  • a compliance plan for a stationary container system, a secondary containment system, or a tank wagon
  • a variation to separation distance or other matters
  • a waiver for removing a disused underground tank
  • a waiver to or variation of fire-fighting provisions for a stationary tank
  • a waiver to or variation of secondary containment requirements
  • approval of a burner, a vaporiser or fuel dispenser
  • an extension to a stationary container test certificate
  • an extension to a location test certificate
  • a waiver of pre-commissioning testing of a compressed gas cylinder
  • approval of a recognized inspection agency and
  • a controlled substance licence.

 

Where will application forms be found?

From 1 September 2014, all application forms and explanatory information currently on the EPA website will be available from the WorkSafe NZ website. These forms will have been refreshed to include the WorkSafe NZ contact details, but in all other respects will be the same.

If you have previously downloaded and saved the EPA forms to your computer’s desktop or network, you will need to replace these with the refreshed WorkSafe NZ forms.

All applications to WorkSafe NZ must be made using the refreshed WorkSafe NZ forms.

 

I’ve already sent in an application and payment to the EPA before 1 September 2014. Will I need to send another to WorkSafe NZ?

No. If you have a current application with the EPA it will be treated as if it were an application to WorkSafe NZ. The application will be transferred to WorkSafe NZ on 1 September 2014. You will not need to resubmit your application or make further payment. However, a WorkSafe NZ advisor will contact you if more information is needed to progress the application.

 

For an application to WorkSafe NZ, where do I send my application form?

From 1 September 2014, completed applications should be sent to:

WorkSafe New Zealand
Certifications, Approvals and Registrations team
PO Box 165
WELLINGTON, 6011

These contact details will be on each application form.

 

From 1 September 2014, will there be any change to the cost of a compliance application?

There will be no change to the cost for a compliance application. A copy of the hazardous substance compliance fee schedule is available on the EPA website. From 1 September 2014, the fee schedule will also be available on the WorkSafe NZ website.

 

FAQs on controlled substance licences

How do I apply for a controlled substance licence?

Applications for a new controlled substance licence (CSL), or a renewal or extension to a CSL, should be made through a test certifier. Applicants for a CSL are recommended to work with the test certifier who issued their approved handler test certificate. From 1 September 2014, the test certifier will submit your application to WorkSafe NZ. Assuming your application is approved, the CSL will be issued by WorkSafe NZ.

 

Do I need to contact a test certifier for a controlled substance licence?

It is advisable to make your application for a controlled substance licence (CSL) through a test certifier. The test certifier will help you put together all the information you need and they will submit the application on your behalf.

 

Who do I contact to replace a lost or stolen controlled substance licence?

From 1 September 2014, all enquiries regarding lost or stolen controlled substance licences (CSL) should be addressed to WorkSafe NZ. Contact the 0800 number (0800 376 234) or email WorkSafe NZ on If you have a generic question that you would like included, please email it to us at hsinfo@worksafe.govt.nz

To replace a lost or stolen CSL, you will need to complete an application form. From 1 September 2014, this form will be available on the WorkSafe NZ website. The completed application form should be submitted to:

WorkSafe New Zealand 
Certifications, Approvals and Registrations team
PO Box 165
WELLINGTON, 6011

There is a fee for replacing a lost or stolen CSL.

 

Are the criteria for the fit and proper person test going to change for controlled substance licence applications?

The guidance booklet for making a controlled substance licence (CSL) application (published by the EPA) includes criteria for the fit and proper person test. These criteria will continue to be used by WorkSafe NZ when assessing applications for a CSL.

From 1 September 2014, the guidance booklet will be available from the WorkSafe NZ website.

 

What happens to ongoing controlled substance licence applications?

From 1 September 2014, all ongoing controlled substance licence (CSL) applications (that is, any applications received but not yet completed) will be transferred to WorkSafe NZ. Each application will be completed by WorkSafe NZ. If approved, the CSL will be issued by WorkSafe NZ.

If more information is needed by WorkSafe NZ to progress your application for a CSL (for example, the Police have opposed your application), a WorkSafe NZ advisor will contact you.

 

FAQs for hazardous substance users

Who do I contact to get a test certificate?

Test certificates are issued by test certifiers. A test certifier is an independent person who has been approved to issue test certificates. The test certifier will tell you what information you need to give them to issue you with a test certificate.

A list of test certifiers is currently available on the EPA website. From 1 September 2014, the list of test certifiers will be available on the WorkSafe NZ website.

 

Where do I find information on the controls for hazardous substances?

Information on the controls for approved hazardous substances is available from the EPA website. This includes information on the safe use, handling and storage of hazardous substances.

 

Where do I find compliance information and codes of practice for the hazardous substances I use?

From 1 September 2014, information on the use of hazardous substances in the workplace, including relevant codes of practice, will be available on the WorkSafe NZ website. Information and codes of practice for non- workplace use of hazardous substances (for example, the code of practice for retail fireworks) will be available on the EPA website.

 

Where can I get a copy of the Hazardous Substance Toolbox and other printed guidance material?

Copies of the Toolbox and other printed guidance material for using hazardous substances in the workplace can be obtained by calling 0800 376 234.

You can also order the Toolbox through the  Hazardous Substances Toolbox website

 

My product label or safety data sheet is non-compliant. Who should I report this to?

You should contact your supplier in the first instance and ask them to provide you with a compliant label or safety data sheet.

If your supplier does not provide you with this information, you should report the non- compliance to WorkSafe NZ on their general 0800 number (0800 030 040).

 

How do I report a concern about a test certifier?

From 1 September 2014, complaints or concerns about the work of a test certifier should be reported to WorkSafe NZ.

You can either write to: The Manager, Technical Services, WorkSafe NZ, PO Box 165, Wellington, or email If you have a generic question that you would like included, please email it to us at hsinfo@worksafe.govt.nz

When contacting us, please include your name and contact details and a description and date of the problem.

 

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