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Group standard advisory

​Last updated 9 October 2017

The working safer reforms have made changes to the way hazardous substances are managed in New Zealand. As part of the changes, many of the rules that govern the use of hazardous substances in the workplace are moving from the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) framework into the new Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations (HSWA HS regulations).

Many of the rules that are staying under the HSNO Act will be set in EPA Notices rather than regulations or within group standards. EPA Notices are a new way to set rules under the HSNO Act.

Group standards are getting a facelift 

Group standards need to be reissued to refer to EPA Notices. By 1 December 2017 all of our group standards will have been reissued to take into account our new EPA Notices. 

We’ve now published 29 draft group standards representing the different groups to show you how the changes are reflected. By 1 December we plan to have all of the group standards updated and published.

The updated group standards will have the same:

  • name (with one exception), but updated year

  • approval number

  • classifications currently covered by the group standard.

Hazardous substances covered under reissued group standards will have four years to comply with the Labelling, Safety Data Sheet and Packaging Notices.

In addition, the reissued group standards will make it clear that any substance covered by the group standard cannot contain:

  • asbestos, or

  • a component that the HSNO Act defines as a persistent organic pollutant.

This is achieved in an additional scope clause, but we don’t expect that any substances currently assigned to the group standards will contain the restricted components.

Any changes to the conditions set in group standards are due to the development of the EPA Notices, which have already undergone extensive consultation. 

In September 2017 we sent out an advisory document about the changes to the group standards and asked people to let us know if they found any errors or omissions in the draft group standards.

Group Standard Advisory (pdf, 331 kb)


Download and read the draft example group standards below 

Got questions?

Email them to us at hsreform@epa.govt.nz.