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Cafes, bars, restaurants, fast-food outlets and mobile cooking facilities often use liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as a fuel for cookers, ovens, barbeques, cabinet heaters and patio heaters.
LPG is a highly flammable gas, and is dangerous if not used safely.
'You' - the PCBU
A PCBU is a person conducting a business or undertaking. A PCBU can be a person (eg if they are a sole-trader or self employed) however it usually refers to a business entity such as a company or an undertaking such as a not-for-profit organisation.
This guide is for PCBUs in the hospitality industry who use or store LPG in their workplace. It is designed to help them meet their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 (‘the Regulations’).
In this guide, ‘you’ means the PCBU.
More information on PCBUs and other duty holders in the workplace and their duties is available in our getting started section.
What does the law say?
Your obligations around LPG safety
The Regulations set out specific controls (rules) for safely using and storing LPG.
If you use LPG you must:
have a 2 kg dry chemical fire extinguisher on hand if there is more than 50 kg of LPG present on site.
have signs showing LPG is present if you have more than 50 kg stored inside, or more than 250 kg outdoors.
Signs must be located correctly, easy to understand and made from durable materials and show that LPG is flammable. Don’t put signs where they may be hidden (eg beside doors or gates that cover the sign when the doors or gate are opened).
- have a first aid kit available and trained first aiders on site in case of an emergency.
For more information on deciding how many trained first aiders you need, and what equipment and facilities you need to provide your workers, see our fact sheet First aid.
- make sure that everyone in the workplace has the information, training, instruction or supervision they need to use LPG safely. This means they need to:
- be aware of the hazard
- know what control measures are in place to reduce the risks caused by LPG
- know how to safely use, handle and store of LPG, and
- know what to do in an emergency.
- keep your cylinders secured from unauthorised persons. You can secure your cylinders in a cage, within a fenced perimeter, or in a way that the cylinders can only be disconnected by using a tool such as a spanner.
- Keep cylinders away from ignition or heat sources.
Some controls such as the requirement to train your workers, or labelling your substances apply to all hazardous substances. Other controls vary depending on the amount of LPG you hold in your workplace. Use the Hazardous Substances Calculator(external link) to help you determine what controls you need to apply.
How much LPG can I store?
Cafes, bars and restaurants that occupy a standalone building must not have more than 10 kg of LPG per 10 square metres of indoor floor area, up to maximum of 100 kg.
Each cylinder must be no more than 10 kg in volume.
Where the building is attached to another occupied building a maximum of 20 kg of LPG can be located indoors.
If you have more than 100 kg of LPG on site, this must be stored outside.
Safe use of LPG in market stalls
If you own or operate a market stall and use LPG in cylinders, we recommend you follow these basic rules to keep your site safe:
- store and connect your cylinder outside your tent or marquee
- don’t store more than a day’s supply of LPG on site
- always use your cylinder in a vertical position, unless it has been specifically designed to be used otherwise
- remove the cylinder from the appliance when not in use
- connect service and reserve cylinders through an automatic changeover device,
- so that the reserve cylinder is activated when the LPG supply in the service
- cylinder runs out
- get a gas fitter to check your barbecues and grill appliances are safe to prevent workers at the stall and members of the public from injury
- keep a 2 kg dry chemical fire extinguisher in your stall.
If you have more than 100kg of LPG at your workplace, you’ll need to apply for a location compliance certificate or a have a valid compliance plaque, which certifies that your site is safely managed, according to the rules.
Ask a compliance certifier to visit your workplace. A location compliance certificate lasts for one year but this can be extended up to a maximum of three years. Talk to your compliance certifier about this extension.
You don’t need a current location compliance certificate if:
- you have between 100 and 300 kg of LPG on site, and
- you’ve been granted a previous location certificate, and
- your supplier has performed a check of your installation, and they have issued you with a compliance plaque. Check with your supplier that they provide this service.
All LPG appliances (apart from portable appliances which are connected to their own cylinder supply) including the pipes and hoses must be installed by a licensed or registered gasfitter. Ask the gasfitter for a certificate of compliance for the installation.
The gasfitter should provide you with instructions on how to use the appliance safely.
Filling your cylinder
Only an approved filler or LPG Association (LPGA) filler can fill LPG cylinders.
After filling it’s a good idea to use the ‘soapy water’ test to check for leaks.
After connecting the cylinder to the installation apply soapy water to the connections and turn on the cylinder. If bubbles appear, you have a leak.
Important do's and don'ts
- Stand away from the flame when turning on an LPG appliance.
- Keep your appliances and fittings regularly serviced to ensure they are in good condition. Ask your supplier to confirm how often this is recommended.
- Check that you have the right connections for your cylinder.
- Have your cylinders tested every 10 years. Tests should be done by an authorised cylinder test station.
- Store your cylinders upright and in a well ventilated area.
- Don’t drop, drag or roll LPG cylinders.
- Never use damaged or corroded cylinders – this can lead to leaks and fire.
- Don’t use LPG cooking appliances or stoves as heaters.
- Keep LPG cylinders away from ignition, heat sources and materials that could catch fire.
- Don’t use outdoor gas appliances such as patio heaters or barbecues indoors.
- Never use unflued gas appliances in areas without sufficient ventilation.