Hydrogen safety regulation in Queensland

Hydrogen is a versatile fuel gas that can be used to produce heat, light or power. Hydrogen is derived primarily by splitting water or reacting other fuels with steam or controlled amounts of oxygen. While hydrogen has served mostly as an input into a range of industrial processes, it has the potential to be used across a number of applications.

Emerging markets where hydrogen is used as a fuel gas

  • Transport—fuel cell electric vehicle and filling infrastructure
  • Heat—blending into the natural gas network or using in a network of 100% hydrogen
  • Electricity—generating electricity via fuel cell
  • Synthetic fuels—blending with fossil fuels in internal combustion engines
  • Export—export for use as a fuel
  • Hydrogen micro-grids—small scale production and storage of hydrogen and use in a fuel cell to generate electricity in a small off-grid network (e.g. to replace diesel generators).

Regulators and government departments

In Queensland, safety and health is regulated by government agencies including, the Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate of Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ), Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (Office of Industrial Relations) and the Electrical Safety Office (Office of Industrial Relations).

The Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation receive development applications and will notify all relevant departments of upcoming projects.

Regulation of hydrogen used as a fuel

The Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate works with industry and the public to regulate and improve safety and health in relation to fuel gases under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (the Act). This includes regulating hydrogen when used or intended to be used as a fuel gas.

Hydrogen safety code of practice

The Hydrogen safety code of practice 2023 (PDF, 2MB) (the Code) provides safety requirements for supply of unodourised fuel gas and a consolidated framework on how to comply with safety requirements for hydrogen fuel gas under the Act.

Topics addressed in the Code include:

  • hydrogen safety regulation frameworks in Queensland
  • approvals for hydrogen gas devices (including fuel cells in vehicles)
  • gas work licences and authorisations including training and competencies for hydrogen gas work
  • hydrogen suppliers and delivery networks
  • hydrogen fuel stations
  • odour requirements for fuel gas containing hydrogen
  • quality requirements for supply of hydrogen fuel
  • hydrogen in pipelines and gas distribution systems.

Hydrogen gas device approval – vehicles

All gas devices must be approved for use in Queensland. Fuel cells, including those used in vehicles, are gas devices.

The process for device approvals is outlined in the Code.

The Chief Inspector has approved mobile fuel cell gas systems for vehicles type approved to UN R 134 (PDF, 259KB). These devices are approved under section 731AA of the Act. Vehicles that have type approval to UN R 134 do not require further gas device approval for use in Queensland.

Vehicles that are not type approved to UN R 134 must be approved using the process outlined in the Code.

Contact us

For information on managing safety and health throughout the hydrogen life cycle or advice about proposed or current hydrogen projects, contact the Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate.

Email: hydrogensafety@rshq.qld.gov.au
Phone: (07) 3199 8027

More information

You can find more information on hydrogen from the following resources: