Hazardous Substances AS1940 Flammable Liquids Cabinets – what has changed?

Apr 18, 2024

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Technical guidance published by WorkSafe in March 2024 (Clarification on construction requirements of flammable liquid cabinets designed to comply with AS 1940) has placed additional emphasis on evaluating the compliance of flammable liquids cabinets.


Our hazardous substances consultant Alex Marquand-Gray has written this short piece on the changes outlined in the technical bulletin issued by WorkSafe relating to flammable liquids cabinets.


  • Regulations 11.11 and 11.29 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 permit the use of cabinets the comply with either AS1940:2017 or BS EN 14470-1:2004 (for fire rated cabinets).  The vast majority of cabinets in use in NZ are AS1940 cabinets.


  • There have been concerns raised that cabinets may either not fully comply with the standard, or that over time they are not being maintained to the correct level.  WorkSafe’s Technical bulletin details the areas of concern so the PCBUs can evaluate their cabinets, and for compliance certifiers to use when verifying for Location Compliance Certification.



What do I need to do?

As a PCBU it is your duty to ensure that your flammable liquids are held in a compliant store or cabinet.  Check your flammable liquids cabinets, and if there are gaps these need to be remedied.  Talk to your supplier or certifier if you are unsure how to proceed.

The WorkSafe bulletin details checks for each of these items.

  • Secondary containment
  • Construction Materials
  • Doors
  • Shelving
  • Maintenance

Your cabinet should also have markings (label) of the name and address of the NZ manufacturer or distributor.

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Chemsafety is aware that suppliers and industry are in ongoing dialog with WorkSafe over some elements of their interpretation of the standard.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our hazardous substances team.