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Gas Information Sheet No. 52: Schedule 6 – applying for an exemption under the Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations 2008

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Section 72 of the Gas Safety Act requires work on a gas installation to comply with the prescribed Standards (AS/NZS 5601, Parts 1 & 2, and AS 3814). When compliance with the Standards cannot be achieved it is possible to apply to Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) for an exemption.

ESV is finding that a number of applications for exemption received in accordance with Schedule 6 of the Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations 2008 are not being correctly or fully completed, resulting in significant and unnecessary delays in finalising application processing.

This information sheet is a guide to correctly completing an application for exemption.

There are two ways to comply with AS/NZS 5601, Parts 1 and 2:

  • performance-based design (Section 2)
  • means to comply (Sections 3 to 6)

Only the means to comply option applies to AS 3814.

ESV has developed a new technical information sheet (Sheet 45, Performance-Based Complex Gas Installations) to assist gasfitters with understanding ESV’s requirements for performance-based design to AS/NZS 5601 parts 1 and 2.

Applying for an exemption

ESV may grant an exemption from all or part of a clause if it is satisfied that full compliance does not warrant the cost, and an acceptable degree of safety can be achieved via other means. Schedule 6 of the Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations 2008 lists the information required to be submitted when applying for an exemption.

Importantly, you can only apply for an exemption from one clause at a time. This means a separate application must be completed for each clause the exemption is being sought for, although an exemption may apply to multiple gas installations.

Caution: an installation requiring an exemption should always be identified prior to commencement; an application for exemption should never be used once an installation has been inspected by ESV and a non-compliance letter has been issued. Because there is no guarantee an exemption application will be accepted, compliance with the Standards should always be the first option.

The key parts of a Schedule 6 application for an exemption involve:

  • the applicant’s details
  • the clause involved
  • who the work is being completed for and where
  • who the work is being completed by
  • details about the work being undertaken
  • details about what will not comply in the proposed installation
  • the reasons why compliance is not warranted
  • applicant sign off.

The applicant’s details

This section involves information about the person applying for the exemption (not necessarily the plumber or gasfitter doing the work), including their full name and most reliable address and other contact details.

To: Energy Safe Victoria

Full name of applicant: Brendan Citizen

Address and contact details of applicant: Building 3, Brandon Office Park, 540 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley VIC 3150. (03) 9271 5400.

Email: bcitizen@energysafe.vic.gov.au

Ensuring this information is accurate and up-to-date means the applicant can be contacted as soon as possible for clarification, further questions, or to inform the outcome of the application processing.

The clause involved

This section tells ESV specifically which clause the applicant wants to be exempted from. The applicant can only apply for an exemption from one clause at a time. This means a separate application must be completed for each clause the exemption is being sought for, although an exemption may apply to multiple gas installations.

As a working example, if the issue involves piping flexibility, in this section the applicant should fill out the relevant clause from the Standards as follows:

I apply under section 72(3) of the Act for an exemption from compliance with the following standards and requirements:

AS/NZS 5601.1:2013

5.9.1 Hose assembly requirements

Hose assemblies shall not be joined together and shall be

  • of continuous length, as short as practicable, and subject to the specific appliance requirements, not exceed 3 m
  • of adequate diameter for the maximum gas consumption of the appliance ; and
  • in Australia, certified to AS/NZS 1869

Always ensure that the clause the exemption is being sought for is quoted accurately and in full.

Who the work is being completed for and where

This section requires the name of the person (or company) the work is being carried out for and where. Always ensure that the information provided here is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

For our working example, the applicant fills out the section as follows:

in respect of work to be performed—

 

For:     John Smith, 18 Parrot Road, Eltham, Ph: 0499 999 999

At:        4 Riverside Quay, Southbank VIC 3006. (03) 9203 9700

Who the work is being completed by

This section requires the name and address details of the gasfitting professional carrying out the work. This includes their full name, VBA License Number, and most reliable address and other relevant contact details. Once again, always provide the most accurate and up-to-date information to ensure an application is assessed as quickly as possible.

For our working example, the applicant fills out the section as follows:

Name and address of person carrying out gasfitting work:

 

Brendan Citizen, VBA 99999, Building 3, Brandon Office Park, 540 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley VIC 3150. (03) 9271 5400.

Details about the work being undertaken

This section tells ESV exactly what type of gasfitting work is being performed.

For our working example, the applicant fills out the section as follows:

Details of proposed gasfitting work:

 

  • Commissioning Type b gas fired rotating and tilting rotomoulding machine.
  • The rotomoulding process incorporates a steel mould that rotates around a gas burner.

The mould and gas burner are fixed to a common carriage that tilts to enable the completed product to be removed from the mould. A 4 meter gas hose assembly from the appliance isolation valve and the burner safety shut off system is required for the production process.

Details about what will not comply in the proposed installation

This section requires the applicant to specify in what way the proposed installation will not comply with (or will deviate from) the relevant clause. Always remember to include the actual clause number when completing this section.

For our working example, the applicant fills out the section as follows:

I apply for exemption from the specified standards and requirements in the
following respects: [ Give a full statement of the nature of the exemption sought. ]The proposed work will not comply with the Standard in the following way:

  • AS 3814 2015 clause 2.9.1 requires compliance to AS/NAZ 5601.1 for valve trains pipe and pipe fittings, therefore exemption to AS5601.1 clause 5.9.1 part (a) is sought.
  • The rotomoulding process incorporates a steel mould that rotates around a gas burner.
  • The mould and gas burner are fixed to a common carriage that tilts to enable the completed product to be removed from the mould.
  • The design and construction of the appliance and the tilting arc require a hose assembly of 50mm diameter of 4 meters in length which exceeds the 3 metres the clause permits.

The reasons why compliance is not warranted

This section requires the applicant to detail all the reasons it is believed that the cost of compliance does not warrant compliance with the relevant clause and that an acceptable degree of safety can be achieved by the proposed alternative. The evidence ESV may require depends on the complexity of the installation.

The degree of safety is always the critical concern, and when establishing whether an acceptable degree of safety can be achieved, it is important to:

  • identify the intent of the clause the exemption is being sought for (and any possible risks from not adhering to the minimum safety standard it prescribes)
  • develop an alternative solution that reduces the risk to an acceptable level and meets the intent of the clause.

The types of documents that can substantiate a proposed alternative solution may include (but are not limited to):

  • NATA accredited test reports
  • expert judgment (or judgments)
  • any other evidence that will support the alternative solution
  • a risk assessment identifying hazards, consequences, and proposed controls.

For our working example, the applicant fills out the section as follows:

The reasons why it is believed that compliance is not warranted, considering
both safety and cost, are:(If space below is insufficient please attach a separate sheet.)

  • A 3 metre hose will not permit the appliance to tilt through the required arc to enable removal of the completed product without causing stresses on the hose that would be outside the hose design parameters, causing unacceptable wear and subsequent failure of the hose.
  • An articulating gas pipe fitting is not practical for this application as the appliance would require substantial and costly modification.
  • The hose will be encased in a tracking system that protects the hose, and ensures the hose operates within the design parameters, maintaining a minimum bending radius of 200mm, which is greater than the minimum stated by the manufacturer.
  • The hose is certified to AS/NZS 1869: Certifying body (Gas Certifiers Australia) certification number 1234.
  • AS/NZ 1869 for hoses greater than 20mm, the bending testing is to 1000 cycles.
  • The appliance maintenance procedure requires replacement of the hose after 700 cycles or 2 years.
  • The appliance operates at 7 KPa. The rated working pressure of the hose is 14kPa.

Applicant sign off

Always ensure completion of the correct date and that the full name of the applicant appearing here is the same as the name appearing in the first section of the application.

For our working example, the applicant fills out the section as follows:

Dated: 1 June 2016

 

Signature of applicant:

 

Full name of applicant: Brendan Citizen

What happens when ESV receives an application for exemption

ESV will acknowledge receipt of an exemption application in writing by email.

If the application is:

  • complete and includes all substantiating documentation about cost and safety, ESV will process the application and either accept or decline it.
  • incomplete, ESV will contact the applicant by phone to request more information.

This is followed up with a Request for Additional Information (RFI) (via email), a response to which must be received within 15 working days, otherwise ESV will complete the assessment based on the information already received (which is likely to result in the application being declined due to insufficient information).

An exemption application can be resubmitted once the applicant is in possession of all the information ESV requires to complete an assessment.

If ESV grants an exemption, it may set conditions of acceptance, which will form part of the exemption. If these conditions are not met, the exemption may be void, which will mean the installation is no longer accepted by ESV.

 

For more information, please contact ESV:

Phone:  1800 652 563 (the Gas Technical Helpline)

Email:   gastechnicalenquiry@energysafe.vic.gov.au