Changes to laws have been passed that introduce new licensing requirements for working on medical gas systems in medical, health and veterinary facilities.
The laws include a transition period to ensure work and services can continue.
People undertaking medical gasfitting work or medical gas technician work in medical, health or veterinary facilities will be required to hold a licence from 1 May 2021.
New licensing requirements
- The laws introduce a robust licensing framework and will ensure public safety where medical gases are used, including in private and public hospitals, aged care facilities and veterinary practices.
- A licence will be required for working on a medical gas installation, which is the pipes, hoses or lines used to convey or control the supply or removal of medical gases in medical, health and veterinary facilities.
- The new law also sets out obligations of relevant persons to provide notice of any defective medical gas installations to the occupier of the land where the medical gas installation is.
- Where there is a serious medical gas incident, there are requirements for notification to the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service within 24 hours.
- A licence for medical gasfitting work will be required for the work done to install the pipes. This includes the construction, installation, replacement, repair, alteration, maintenance, testing or commissioning of a medical gas installation and includes incidental design work.
- A licence for medical gas technician work will also be required for the commissioning, testing, verification or certification of a medical gas installation.
- A licence for mechanical services and medical gas work will be required for the construction, and maintenance of a mechanical heating, cooling or ventilation system associated with a building including incidental design work. Noting those who are already licensed under the Home Building Act 1989 for refrigeration work, air-conditioning and roof plumbing, under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011 for plumbing and drainage work, and specialist work under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020, or choose to become licensed under these existing categories, won't be required to also hold a mechanical services or medical gas licence.
- Licence holders will be required to follow the relevant Australian Standards, International Standards and any standards or requirements set out by the Secretary of the NSW Ministry of Health Secretary, as published on the Ministry of Health website. Significant penalties will apply for non-compliance.
When do these changes start?
- From 1 May 2021, a licence, under the Home Building Act, will be required to carry out medical gasfitting work and medical gas technician work.
- From 1 May 2022, a licence, under the Home Building Act, will be required to carry out mechanical services and medical gas work.
- On 6 August 2020, the NSW Parliament passed the Gas Legislation Amendment (Medical Gas Systems) Bill 2020 that amended the Gas & Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2017 and the Home Building Act.
- The supporting regulations are being developed. If you would like to be involved in the consultation, keep an eye out on the consultation page of the Fair Trading website.