CHANGES to Queensland’s petroleum and gas legislation with a view to improving safety and health issues for the industry are now in effect.
Improved safety on drilling rig sites is said to be part of a key part of legislative changes under the Mining and Other Legislation Amendment (MOLA) Act 2007, which amended parts of the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 and Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Regulation 2004.
The petroleum and gas safety-related changes under the MOLA Act came into effect on 1 January 2008. Operators of a drilling rig must now ensure rig workers have obtained particular safety-related, national competencies before working on a rig.
According to the Government, the requirements are set out in a competency standard for the petroleum and gas drilling industry which was developed after extensive consultation with industry following a fatality on a drill site in Queensland in 2003.
There will be a 12-month transitional period to allow time for existing rig workers to meet the competency requirements.
Other changes are said to make it safer for people to transport LPG cylinders of 9 kg or less in a vehicle, assisted owners of gas-fuelled vehicles and prevented unlicensed gas fitting work.
LPG cylinders of 9 kg or less are the type used in gas BBQs, portable refrigerators or caravans.
LPG suppliers must now fit screw plugs in cylinder outlets.
Suppliers have until 1 April 2008 to comply, to allow time for plugs to be sourced and made available.
Vehicle owners in areas where there are no authorised certifiers will now be able to apply for an exemption from obtaining a gas inspection certificate when a vehicle with a gas-fuelled engine is sold or registration transferred. In such cases, the person selling the vehicle will have to advise the new owner that no gas certificate has been issued.
The time allowed for immediate suspension of a gas work licence or authorisation has been extended from 40 days to whenever any non-compliance action has been finalised. This is said to prevent suspended gas fitters from resuming work while action is being taken to cancel their licence for previous dangerous work.
Mining Legislation Review
Queensland Department of Mines and Energy