This is the Health and Safety in Employment (Pipelines - Design, Construction, Operation, Maintenance, Suspension, and Abandonment Requirements) Safe Work Instrument 2023.
This safe work instrument specifies the design, construction, operation, maintenance, suspension, and abandonment requirements for pipeline operations for the purposes of regulation 8(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment (Pipelines) Regulations 1999.
Application of standards under the safe work instrument for pipelines
- Amendments to the Health and Safety in Employment (Pipeline) Regulations 1999 enable a safe work instrument (SWI) to be made to prescribe standards for the design, construction, operation, maintenance, suspension, or abandonment of a pipeline operation.
- The amended regulations and the Health and Safety in Employment (Pipelines - Design, Construction, Operation, Maintenance, Suspension, and Abandonment Requirements) Safe Work Instrument 2023 (the SWI) took effect on 22 June 2023.
- Inspectors from recognised inspection bodies will now apply the new standards specified in the SWI in their annual surveys of pipelines.
- From the date of their next annual survey, pipeline operators will have 12 months to conform with the new standards. This will be subject to engagement with the inspector, who may impose limitations or conditions on the operation where necessary, if conformance takes longer than 12 months.
- In situations where the standards listed in the SWI aren’t applicable to a pipeline or parts of a pipeline, the operator must ensure that the pipeline or parts of the pipeline conform with generally accepted and appropriate industry practice.
How the standards apply
1. Operation requirements
All currently operating pipelines, including existing pipelines designed to different standards, should conform with the following standards listed in the SWI:
- AS 2885.3-2022, Part 3: Operation and maintenance, and
- AS/NZS 2885.6 - 2018 Part 6: Pipeline safety management.
2. Design and construction requirements
Retrospective application for existing pipelines
AS 2885.0 prescribes procedures and practices for dealing with retrospective application of, and non-conformance with, the AS/NZS 2885 series. An update to a specific part of the AS/NZS 2885 series may not require modification of existing physical assets that were constructed to a previous standard. However, operators of existing pipelines should note the following:
- They will need to carry out a ‘gap analysis’ to identify any gaps between the standards that previously applied and the standards listed in the SWI. If this analysis indicates that the pipeline does not conform to the standards listed in the SWI, the operator should apply additional controls to ensure the risk is as low as reasonably practicable. These controls should be documented by the operator and approved by the recognised inspection body.
- Any new realignment or major modifications to a pipeline (for example due to the Fit for Purpose (FFP) Assessment required by AS 2885.3 – 2022) must be fully in conformance with the current AS(/NZS) 2885 series.
Design and construction of new pipelines after the SWI took effect on 22 June 2023 should demonstrate conformance with the relevant standards listed in the SWI. Preference should be given to the cited AS(/NZS) 2885 standards as these are best practice for pipeline operations in New Zealand.
However, where ASME B31 applies to particular types of pipelines (e.g. geothermal pipelines), it can be used in conjunction with the relevant parts of AS(/NZS) 2885.
For geothermal pipelines, operators should use ASME B31.1 in conjunction with AS/NZS 2885.1:2018 (and any other relevant parts of the AS(/NZS) 2885 series).
Operators must ensure the pipeline conforms with generally accepted and appropriate industry practice. As no relevant New Zealand or Australian standard exists for hydrogen pipelines, operators could use ASME B31.12 as a benchmark for hydrogen, or other approved new international standards that may be published later.
The selected standard should be applied in conjunction with an appropriate gap analysis comparing the standard and the AS/NZS 2885 series to identify and address any areas the standard does not adequately address.