Gas safety and standards – latest gas sector meetings

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To share information and improve standards on gas safety, Standards New Zealand organises and facilitates 6-monthly meetings of the Gas Community Group and New Zealand Gas Sector Board.

The groups met in October 2014 and reviewed gas safety and standards development work. 

Stakeholder update

  • WorkSafe New Zealand provided presentation outlining gas accident statistics.
  • The Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board (PGDB) outlined the current ‘Ask for the card/Show the card’ advertising campaign. This campaign aims to increase public awareness of how important it is to ensure that gas work is carried out by properly qualified gasfitters.
  • The LPG Association highlighted updates it has made to the gassafety.org.nz website, including changes covering safety in caravans. The Association also outlined its ongoing work with WorkSafe NZ to update the hazardous substances and major hazard facilities regulations.
  • The Gas Association of New Zealand (GANZ) noted the recent review work to align the Safety Management Systems Handbook with the recently published NZS 7901:2014 Electricity and gas industries – Safety management systems for public safety. GANZ also explained that it is extending its membership to include network contractors to ensure representation of a cross section of the industry.
  • The Electricity and Gas Complaints Commission confirmed that it is now accepting a new category of complaints: consumers who are supplied by LPG cylinders greater than 15 kg.

Standards New Zealand update

Standards New Zealand highlighted its work programme, noting the following.

  • NZS 5259:2004 Gas measurement is currently under review, with the first committee meeting in November 2014. It was noted that this group may also consider whether updates are needed to NZS 5263:2003 Gas detection and odorization, but that this is yet to be confirmed.
  • Standards New Zealand published three standards in June 2014.
    • NZS 5255:2014 Safety verification of existing gas installations.
    • NZS 5256:2014 Verification of the safety of gas appliances.
    • NZS 5266:2014 Safety of gas appliances.
  • Standards New Zealand also reissued three interim standards until 2016. It is anticipated that the AS/NZS 5263 series of standards, currently under development, will replace the following interim standards by 2016:
    • NZS AS 4553(Int).1&.2:2013 Gas space heating appliances – Part 1: Essential safety and Part 2: Efficiency and emissions
    • NZS AS 4557(Int):2013 Domestic outdoor gas barbecues
    • NZS AS 4558(Int):2013 Decorative gas log and other fuel effect appliances.
  • The New Zealand members of joint committee AG-001 met in July 2014 to confirm the New Zealand position on the public comment drafts of DR AS/NZS 5263 Parts 1.1, 1.3 and 1.7. Standards New Zealand submitted a proposal to the AG-001 working group, on behalf of the NZ members of AG-001, requesting the addition of some New Zealand only appendices to address the few differences between the two markets. To date, Standards Australia has accepted in principle the idea of NZ variations in appendices to these joint standards on gas appliances.
  • Joint committee AG-006 is updating both parts of AS/NZS 5601:2013 and a technical amendment is scheduled for 2016 to address those issues identified immediately prior to the 2013 publication, but too late to be added.
  • Joint committee AG-008 is reviewing AS/NZS 4645 Parts 1, 2, and 3. This work is due for completion in 2016.
  • WorkSafe New Zealand, the PGDB, and other industry bodies recently met to discuss the options for a gas practitioner video. The video is in production and will address the recent changes to the gas regulations.
  • New Zealand is participating on a new ISO technical committee (ISO/TC 291 Domestic gas appliances). Standards New Zealand is setting up an International Review Group that will assist in providing New Zealand input to the work of ISO/TC 291.

Groups focus on safety and sharing information

The Gas Community Group is a forum that brings together key stakeholders to share information and improve public safety. It includes regulators, industry groups, trade organisations, training organisations, and consumer groups.

The New Zealand Gas Sector Board is an industry advisory group that includes regulators, industry groups, and trade organisations, many of whom are on the Gas Community Group. The Board focuses on gas standards and regulations, including current and future standards work, updates on any amendments to the Gas (Safety and Measurement) Regulations, and identifying priorities for future gas standards work.

If your organisation is interested in participating in either of these groups, please email enquiries@standards.co.nz.

Published in energy.