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Hazardous chemicals in pipelines

Because of the potential dangers posed by pipelines, various aspects of pipeline activity are regulated.

Find out more about your responsibilities.

Pipelines may carry flammable, explosive, or toxic materials. They can pose a danger to people and property if a release occurs because of a pipeline failure. Because of the potential dangers posed by pipeline incidents, various aspects of pipeline activity are regulated.


The WHS Regulation includes duties in sections 389 to 391 relating to the building, operation and management of pipelines used for the transfer of hazardous chemicals. Under section 389 the owner of a pipeline must manage risks associated with the transfer. Section 390 describes a pipeline builder's duties where a pipeline is intended to be built that crosses into a public place and used to transfer a schedule 11 hazardous chemical. Section 391 requires that an operator of such a pipeline manages the risks to health and safety arising from the transfer of hazardous chemicals through the pipeline.


Both section 390 (pipeline builder's duties) and 391 (management of risks to health and safety by pipeline operator) require information to be provided to WHSQ as follows:

  • Pipeline builder to provide information including the name of the intended owner and operator, pipeline's specifications, intended procedures for the operation, maintenance, renewal and relaying of the pipelines, any public place that the pipeline will cross and the intended emergency response procedures.
  • Pipeline operator to notify Work Health and Safety Queensland of the supplier and receiver of the hazardous chemical and the correct classification of the hazardous chemical.

Why do I have to notify?

The intent of notification is to ensure that pipelines used to transfer hazardous chemicals into public places are made known to the regulator.

More information

Standards Australia publishes the AS2885 series of standards for gas and liquid petroleum pipelines addressing such topics as general requirements, design and construction, welding, operation and maintenance and field pressure testing.