A tank wagon is a vehicle used to transport liquid or gaseous hazardous substances by road or rail. Tank wagons have a tank that is permanently fixed to the vehicle or a tank attached to a trailer.

Manufacturing or importing tank wagons

Tank wagon designs must be certified by a compliance certifier and must comply with Part 16 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017(external link).

Once the compliance certifier certifies the design, the compliance certifier must forward the details to WorkSafe and we will issue a registration number. This number must be marked on the tank wagon.

Check the tank wagon record to find out if your tank wagon design has already been recorded.

Once constructed, the tank wagon must undergo a pre-commissioning inspection by a compliance certifier prior to being placed into service and must also undergo in-service assessment by a compliance certifier every 2 years.

Getting your tank wagon approved

A tank wagon must have design, pre-commissioning and in-service compliance certificates. Compliance certificates are issued by approved compliance certifiers.

Find a compliance certifier(external link)

Approved code of practice

This approved code of practice provides guidance on the design and construction of tank wagons for the transportation of flammable liquids by road.

ACOP: Flammable liquids road tank wagons (PDF 339 KB)

HSNO codes of practice

Two codes of practice have previously been issued under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996.  These codes provide useful information to help minimise the risks associated with the transport of hazardous substances in tank wagons.

The codes are currently being revised to reflect the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017.  Until these revisions are complete the HSNO codes of practice may still provide useful information to help you meet your duties under the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017. 

Design compliance certificate

You must include technical drawings, calculations and specifications for each design component when you apply to a compliance certifier for a design compliance certificate.

A pre-commissioning compliance certificate must be issued after fabrication of a tank wagon and before the tank wagon is placed into service Records of pressure tests for each tank compartment will be needed.

A tank wagon does not require a pre-commissioning compliance certificate if:

  • It is holding low-hazard hazardous substance and has a capacity less than 450 litres OR
  • It is manufactured by an approved fabricator  and has a capacity less than 2,000 litres. To become an approved fabricator for tank wagons of capacity less than 2,000 litres, you must apply to WorkSafe.
Application for approval as a tank wagon fabricator (PDF 69 KB)

You must get an in-service compliance certificate at least every two years (unless you have applied to us for an extension). The name and contact details of the compliance certifier who issued the in-service compliance certificate must be attached to the tank wagon.

Using tank wagons

Tank wagons must be operated under Part 16 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017(external link).

Tank wagons holding LPG

If tank wagons containing LPG, propane, butane or isobutene with a capacity greater than 12,000 litres are parked and left unattended for more than 1 hour, fire-detection and fire-fighting facilities must be provided.

You may apply for an exemption to these requirements.

Application for exemption from fire fighting for LPG tank wagon (PDF 50 KB)

Some basic rules

When using your tank wagon, you must:

  • empty each compartment before you carry hazardous substances with different hazard classifications
  • not fill compartments past the maximum filling level
  • supervise the tank wagon as the substances are transferred in and out of it
  • not leave the tank wagon unattended for more than 15 minutes and only if all valves are closed
  • not park within 30 metres of a protected place
  • have fire extinguishers on board.