The Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) 1996 has been in force for hazardous substances since 2001. It is administered by the EPA who imposes controls on any approved used of Hazardous Substances.

Anyone involved in the handling, sale or servicing of any of these substances must comply with the controls, throughout the life cycle of the substance.

As a business owner you are responsible for ensuring that your site complies with the relevant parts of the HSNO legislations including signage and separation distances.

A residential customer using LPG for heating will also have to obtain a Location Test Certificate for larger containers greater than 100kg in total.

Check out the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)(external link) website at for further details on hazardous substances

Classification of hazardous substances

How these substances are classified and what controls are needed depends on their properties. Classification is within nine groups:

Class Example
Class 1: Explosives dynamite, bullets, fireworks
Class 2: Flammable gases LPG bottles, high pressure cylinders
Class 3: Flammable liquids Diesel, Gasoline, Kerosene
Class 4: Flammable solids Magnesium, matches
Class 5: Oxidisers Hydrogen peroxide, sodium nitrate, nitric acid
Class 6: Toxics Lead paint
Class 7: Radioactive

(administered by The National Radiation Laboratory)

Uranium, Thorium, Plutonium
Class 8: Corrosives Hydrochloric acid, Caustic soda
Class 9: Ecotoxics
(harmful to the environment or a specific ecosystem)