WorkSafe has granted an exemption to the Civil Aviation Authority from compliance with regulations 9.23(3) and 9.27 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 commencing on 1 December 2017.

An exemption has been granted by WorkSafe in accordance with section 220 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) because:

  1. The Aviation Security Service (AvSec, an operational arm of the CAA) holds explosives of less than 25 kg in Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland to train EDDU dogs to detect improvised explosive devices on crew, cargo and passengers before they board aircraft.
  2. Given the quantities involved and likely means of delivery to the hazardous substance location (HSL), the requirement in regulation 9.23(3)(a) to cease loading or unloading a class 1 substance if a thunderstorm approaches a HSL may require explosives to remain in vehicles until the storm has passed, resulting in more risk than that posed by unloading them directly to the HSL. The requirement in regulation 9.23(3)(b) does not apply to the use given to explosive samples by AvSec.
  3. The CAA is unable to meet the requirement in regulation 9.23(3)(c) of the Regulations to evacuate to a specified distance from the substance in the event of an approaching thunderstorm because its HSLs include multiple level office buildings.
  4. As the storage rooms holding the small amounts of explosive substances are located in office buildings and in airports near public traffic routes of varying densities, the CAA cannot meet the requirements in regulation 9.27.
  5. WorkSafe is satisfied that the any risks that could arise from the exemption will be managed if the CAA meets the conditions specified in the appendix of this this exemption.

The exemption is granted subject to the terms and conditions that:

  1. The CAA must not store or hold actual or likely initiators (including detonators).
  2. The CAA must hold less than 25 kg of class 1 substances in any single explosive storage room.
  3. The CAA must store the explosives in readily moveable containers.
  4. The CAA must comply with the requirements for explosive samples in its operational policy.
  5. The CAA must review its operational policy annually and update it accordingly to ensure that it remains fit for purpose and effective.

The operational policy must provide a means of eliminating or minimising risk that is no less effective than compliance with the regulations.

Civil Aviation Authority - Exemption from provisions of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 (PDF 157 KB)