Hazardous substances and explosive areas

Best practice solutions

About 1 in 3 New Zealand businesses manufacture, use, handle or store hazardous substances. These substances are a major contributor to the estimated 600-900 deaths and 30,000 cases of serious ill health from work-related disease each year. To ensure your workplace isn’t contributing to these overwhelming statistics, an in-depth risk assessment is crucial.

New Zealand has strict and complex governance around hazardous substances and explosive areas. TEG Risk’s best practice advice comes from years of experience and in-depth understanding of the regulations and risks involved.

Risk Management

Hazardous Substances

We extensively review your operations and any hazardous substances used. We then provide a breakdown of exactly what needs to be done to mitigate the risk these substances can present if used incorrectly.

We take into account:

  • Type of substance
  • What it is used for
  • How it is handled
  • Who is using it (and how they are trained)
  • Inventory
  • Storage
  • Signage
  • Hazardous area classifications
  • Secondary containment

Our risk management of hazardous substances covers all relevant aspects of operation and compliance with the requirements of the Health and Safety of Work (Hazardous Substances) regulations.

We will work with you to identify operational improvements to not only make you compliant, but to reduce the personnel and property risks associated with these substances.

Our hazardous substance assignments include:

  • Materials Inventory Registers: creation and auditing.
  • Hazardous substance location (HSL): review and auditing.
  • HSL specification and scoping for upgrades.
  • Materials handling process reviews for risk reduction.
Risk Management hazardous substances

Explosive Atmospheres

New Zealand regulations require that areas with potentially explosive atmospheres must be assessed by competent individuals to ensure there are no electrical devices or ignition sources with inadequate protection present. 

Explosive atmospheres are areas containing flammable substances (defined under the Hazardous Substances regulations) and certain powders or dusts (e.g. flour, starch, milk powder) that are not usually hazardous but can be an explosion risk in certain circumstances. 

At TEG Risk, we have the qualifications and years of experience in risk management of hazardous substances and areas, particularly in the chemical and food and beverage industries. We are acutely aware of the implications hundreds of different substances may have in potentially explosive atmospheres. We can classify hazardous areas with optimum accuracy, and explain the best solutions to mitigate risk in these areas.

Some of our explosive atmosphere projects have included:

  • Classification of combustion gas supply lines and new metering locations.
  • Characterisation of multiple specialty chemicals and liquids where no safety data existed, which meant we could then accurately classify a hazardous area.
  • Characterisation of variable, complex mixtures of combustible dust ingredients to allow hazardous area classification of flavour and ingredient handling and extraction systems.
  • Identified best practice for multi-stage powder handling, transferring, processing and storage systems. 

Experts in the field

TEG Risk Director Hamish Baker spent many years working in the UK as the Environment, Safety and Health Manager for an international chemical and food additives company.

He was responsible for the safety management of the Major Accident Hazard site and its (COMAH/SEVESO) regulatory requirements. This included process safety and occupational health and safety aspects related to the storage, processing and handling of a vast array of different hazardous substances to international best practice standards.

Combined with his process engineering training background he is ideally placed to understand your operations and how they might be affected by hazardous substances or explosive atmospheres.

Hamish has completed formal Hazardous Area Classification training in the UK through BASEEFA and has also obtained Unit Standard Certification to the Australian standards concerning hazardous area classification.

  • AS/NZS 60079.10.1-2009 Explosive atmospheres – Classification of areas – Explosive gas atmospheres
  • AS/NZS 60079.10.2-2016 Explosive atmospheres – Classification of areas – Combustible dust atmospheres

TEG Risk also has a network of supporting partners and associates who can provide additional related services e.g. detailed design of electrical systems, verification of designs and complete final inspection services.

Risk Management explosive areas

New Zealand / Australia