Gas cylinders and fire extinguishers

If you use or import gas cylinders, fire extinguishers, aerosols or non-refillable gas canisters, you must comply with the Part 15 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017. The Regulations cover all gases under pressure including pure gases, mixtures of gases and breathing air.

Cylinders used as part of an aircraft, ship, boat or vehicle must comply with the rules for the relevant transport mode.

Filling containers of gases under pressure

People filling containers with gases under pressure, including cylinders, aerosols, and non-refillable containers must be trained and hold an Approved Filler Compliance Certificate. An Approved Filler Compliance Certificate must be issued by a compliance certifier.

Find a compliance certifier(external link)

For more information see the Guide to gas cylinders.

An LPG cylinder of less than 110 kg water capacity can be filled by someone who is not an approved filler if they follow the requirements set out in a safe work instrument.

Periodic testing

All refillable cylinders, including fire extinguishers, must be regularly tested to ensure they are safe for continued use. The interval between tests depends on the type of cylinder.

Requirements are detailed in regulation 15.56 and Schedule 22 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations(external link). For more information see the Guide to Gas Cylinders.

Is my cylinder approved?

All refillable gas cylinders approved for filling in New Zealand are required to be stamped with a record number, normally done at the time of manufacture. The record number is in the form of LAB xxxx or, in the case of special cylinders, LAB xxxx SP. An alternative is provided for UN cylinders. These cylinders are stamped with a UN stamp and marked according to the UN requirements. 

To find out if your cylinder is approved, check the WorkSafe record, Record of gas cylinders. This can be found on the Gas cylinder record page.

Getting my gas cylinder approved

All cylinders imported into New Zealand for filling with gases under pressure are required to be compliance certified, or be UN cylinders as noted above. The steps for compliance certified cylinders are:

  1. Design verification
  2. Pre-commissioning certification
  3. Import clearance compliance certification.

These steps are undertaken by compliance certifiers approved for each type of certification.

Low pressure fire extinguishers do not need compliance certification, but are required to have a fire extinguisher registration number (FERN) under a product certification scheme.

Requirements are detailed in regulations 15.21 to 15.24 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations(external link). For more information see the Guide to Gas Cylinders.

Special cylinders

Individual cylinders brought into New Zealand as personal effects may not be filled in New Zealand unless they are approved for this purpose by WorkSafe.

Small numbers of cylinders for specialised uses may be granted an exemption from design verification, pre-commissioning and import compliance certification as a special cylinder.

An application for a special cylinder is made as an exemption from design verification, pre-commissioning and import clearance certification and is made through a test station.

Application for exemption from certain certificates (PDF 51 KB)

Requirements are detailed in regulation 15.18 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations(external link)

Guide to gas cylinders

The Guide to Gas Cylinders, previously published under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996, provides useful information on the importation, use, charging and inspection of containers for gases under pressure.  This guide is currently being revised to reflect the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations. 

Until this revision is complete, the HSNO Guide to Gas Cylinders may still provide useful guidance in how to meet your duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations. 

Guide to gas cylinders (PDF 502 KB)

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.