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WorkSafe New Zealand’s AS1940 Cabinets Update: Key Compliance Insights for Businesses



WorkSafe New Zealand has recently issued a crucial press release regarding AS1940 cabinets, which are essential for the safe storage of flammable and hazardous materials. This blog covers the key points of the press release, emphasising the importance of cabinets complying with AS1940 standards for businesses in New Zealand. Read on to understand the latest compliance standards, inspection requirements, and enforcement actions. Access the full technical bulletin here.

At Rifft, we have been collaborating with our suppliers to implement changes to ensure our AS1940 cabinets meet or exceed the standards outlined by WorkSafe. It is important to note that some suppliers incorrectly claim EPA approval for their cabinets. Our extensive research found no evidence of such approval from the EPA.

What Are AS1940 Cabinets?

AS1940 cabinets, also known as flammable storage cabinets, are designed to safely store flammable liquids and hazardous substances. These cabinets prevent the escape of flammable vapours and protect their contents from external fires, thereby minimising workplace accidents and enhancing overall safety.

Key Highlights from the Press Release

  1. Updated Compliance Standards WorkSafe NZ has underscored the importance of adhering to the updated AS1940 standards. These updates include enhanced construction requirements, improved ventilation, and stringent fire-resistance criteria. Businesses must ensure their storage cabinets meet these latest specifications to remain compliant.
  2. Inspection and Certification Requirements The press release emphasises the necessity for regular inspection and certification of AS1940 cabinets. WorkSafe NZ recommends annual inspections conducted by certified professionals to verify that the cabinets maintain their structural integrity and safety features over time. Compliance certifiers may reject an AS1940 cabinet if it does not comply with the required standard.
  3. Enforcement and Penalties WorkSafe NZ has made it clear that non-compliance with AS1940 standards will result in strict enforcement actions. Businesses found using substandard cabinets may face significant fines, legal action, and mandatory shutdowns until compliance is achieved. This stern approach aims to prioritise worker safety and mitigate risks associated with hazardous materials.

Why Compliance Matters

Compliance with AS1940 standards is not just a regulatory requirement but a critical component of workplace safety. Properly certified cabinets prevent accidental fires, contain hazardous spills, and reduce exposure to dangerous fumes, protecting employees, property, and the environment from potential disasters.

Steps to Ensure Compliance

  1. Review and Upgrade Existing Cabinets Businesses should immediately review their current storage solutions and upgrade any non-compliant cabinets. Partnering with reputable suppliers who provide AS1940-certified cabinets is essential.
  2. Regular Inspections Implement a routine inspection schedule to ensure cabinets remain in optimal condition. This includes checking for signs of wear and tear, ensuring proper ventilation, and verifying the functionality of safety features.
  3. Employee Training Invest in comprehensive training programmes for employees handling hazardous materials. Awareness of proper storage practices and emergency response procedures is crucial for maintaining a safe working environment.
  4. Documentation and Record-Keeping Maintain thorough records of all inspections, certifications, and maintenance activities. This documentation not only aids in compliance but also provides valuable information in the event of an incident.


WorkSafe NZ’s recent press release on AS1940 cabinets underscores the critical importance of adhering to updated safety standards for hazardous materials storage. By understanding and implementing these guidelines, businesses can enhance workplace safety, protect their employees, and avoid severe penalties. Staying informed and proactive in compliance efforts is key to fostering a safe and secure work environment.

For detailed information and resources, visit the official WorkSafe NZ website and participate in upcoming training programmes. Alternatively, give the team at Rifft a call on 0800 474 338 or email

You can browse our catalog of compliant AS1940 cabinets here