Certification is the responsibility of the employer and is mandatory. Certification helps your workers to better prepare themselves to work safely around hazardous substances.

Certification has several important elements:

  • providing full information on properties of hazardous materials used or stored
  • recognising and identifying hazardous materials
  • personal protective equipment
  • emergency scene command and control
  • incident control tactics and strategies
  • decontamination.

Types of certification

Approved Handlers Must be able to demonstrate that they are competent to handle specific substances. Council Hazardous Substances Officers can help you to identify whether you require an approved handlers certificate for your substances.
Approved Fillers Certification is similar to approved handlers, but is issued to people who fill LPG bottles and other gas bottles.
Location Test Certificates Is issued for premises where quantities of hazardous substances are stored.
Stationary Container Certificates Is issued for tanks containing hazardous substances. This certificate is issued once the tank complies with the regulations. One of the most common situations for this certification is diesel tanks.

There are other issues which can affect certification, i.e. signage, emergency response, and location certificates. Contact a Test Certifier to determine if a test certificate is required.

Getting certified

The EPA website has a register of test certifiers(external link) available that you can search for by region or type, e.g. approved handlers,
stationary container systems, etc.

A list of local test certifiers is also available in the Yellow Pages.

Test certifiers (the people who certify hazardous substances locations) are privately employed and charge a variety of fees.


Non-compliance could lead to issues being raised by insurance companies if you are seeking compensation for incidents, as well as criminal prosecution.

It is an offence against the HSNO Act to fail to comply with the requirement to obtain a test certificate as specified in any of the HSNO regulations. Under this Act there are penalties of up to three months imprisonment or a fine not exceeding $500,000 per offence and further ongoing penalties of $50,000 per day the offence is continued.