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Test stations

Gas cylinders must be regularly inspected and tested to make sure they are safe for use, and from 1 December 2017 the rules are changing for who can carry out this duty.

Under the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017, any organisation inspecting, testing, and issuing test reports for refillable cylinders must be authorised as a test station by WorkSafe. The person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU) must apply for the authorisation.

A test station authorisation is valid for five years and covers individual testers (the signatories specified on the test station’s Scope of Accreditation) working at the test station (previously called periodic testers).

 

Who can apply to be a test station?

To be authorised as a test station, the PCBU must operate in New Zealand, and be:

  • accredited to NZS/ISO/IEC 17025 by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ); or
  • a member of a body that is recognised by WorkSafe (currently the New Zealand Underwater Association (NZUA) for test stations which will inspect and test non-composite SCUBA and breathing air cylinders); and
  • likely to ensure that the functions of a test station are performed in an impartial manner that promotes safety.

 

How do I apply for authorisation?

The PCBU, or a person authorised by the PCBU, must apply to WorkSafe for authorisation as a test station. One application is required per test station.

The application must include a copy of the test station’s IANZ letter of accreditation or confirmation it is a member of a body recognised by WorkSafe and audit results, and list the names of each worker at the test station who examines and certifies gas cylinders.

WorkSafe must keep a register of authorised test stations, including the location of the test station, the date authorisation was granted and any conditions imposed.

We have prepared a guide to help you through the authorisation process.

 

When do I need to apply?

If you want to inspect or test gas cylinders, from 1 December 2017 you must be authorised as a test station. You can apply from 1 September 2017. The test station authorisation will be valid from 1 December 2017.

 

What if I am currently a periodic tester?

Until 30 November 2017, you must ensure your periodic test certificate approval remains current. If your approval is due to expire before December, you must renew it before it expires.

If you want to continue testing and inspecting gas cylinders from 1 December 2017, your organisation needs to be authorised as a test station and you must be listed as a signatory on the test station authorisation granted by WorkSafe.

 

How much does it cost?

A fee of $369 (including GST) applies to each application for test station authorisation.

 

What does my authorisation cover?

The test station’s authorisation will be limited to the scope of activities covered by the IANZ or NZUA accreditation. WorkSafe will place conditions on a test station authorisation, such as:

  • Notifying WorkSafe of any change of signatory
  • Maintaining accreditation status with IANZ or NZUA
  • Maintaining records of periodic tests and test reports issued
  • Remaining at the same location

 

What if there are changes to my operation?

If there is a change of scope to the test station’s accreditation issued by IANZ or NZUA, you must apply to WorkSafe for a new authorisation. This includes any change to:

  • The physical address of the test station
  • The gas traffic or types of cylinders being tested
  • The type of cylinder testing being conducted

 

What is required of a test station?

The PCBU authorised as a test station is responsible for the periodic testing of gas cylinders and LPG fittings and may mark refillable cylinders and fire extinguishers.

A test station must issue a certificate for any cylinder that passes the required visual inspections and tests. If a cylinder fails the test, the test station must provide the owner with a copy of the report showing why it failed.

If a cylinder fails a tests or inspection, depending on the circumstances, there are options for it to be retested, or repaired. A test station must not allow a failed cylinder to be removed from the test station without the consent of WorkSafe, unless the cylinder is altered such that it can never be used to contain a gas under pressure.

 

Do test stations need to keep records?

Test stations must keep a record of all testing for at least the specified testing interval in regulation 15.56(1) plus one year.

 

Can an authorisation be suspended or cancelled?

WorkSafe may suspend an authorisation if it reasonably suspects information relating to the application to be false, misleading, or incomplete, or if the work of the test station does not ensure the safety of cylinders. The authorisation may be cancelled if WorkSafe finds the test station is not operating to the required standard or is no longer accredited or a member of a recognised body.

Last updated 9 October 2017