WorkSafe has granted a class exemption from compliance with regulation 14.38(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations).
The exempt class of persons is every PCBU with management or control of quarantine or pre-shipment fumigation using methyl bromide on a ship that is berthed—
- at Berth MP1 inside the Marsden Point Security Area; and
- within 100 metres of a landside public access area adjacent to Berth MP1.
The exemption is granted in accordance with section 220 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 on the basis that WorkSafe is satisfied that:
- the extent of the exemption is not broader than is reasonably necessary to address the matters that gave rise to it; and
- the exemption is not inconsistent with the purpose of the Act.
The exemption is granted subject to the terms and conditions that:
- each hold on the ship must be located at least 50 metres from the landside public access area;
- the quantity of methyl bromide applied to each of the holds that are within 100 metres of the landside public access area must be less than 1000 kilograms; and
- no other hold on the ship may be vented at the same time.
The reasons for granting the exemption are:
- Prior to the commencement of the Regulations, contractors at Northport Marsden Point Wharf fumigated logs on board ships at berth MP1 in accordance with a code of practice issued by the Environmental Protection Authority under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996. This code of practice was revoked when the Regulations came into force on 1 December 2017.
- Northport cannot comply with the minimum buffer zone requirements in regulation 14.38(1) when fumigation is carried out on board ships at berth MP1 because a public area is located within the required 100 metre buffer zone.
- WorkSafe is satisfied that the conditions on the exemption place suitable requirements on the use of methyl bromide fumigation to protect workers and other persons against harm to their health.
This exemption replaces the class exemption that came into force on 1 December 2017 as WorkSafe subsequently became aware that an administrative error was made at the time of granting the exemption, and is correcting this error.
The exemption comes into effect on 1 December 2020 and expires on 1 December 2025 unless it is replaced sooner or revoked.