Development of regulations to support the new Health and Safety at Work Act

The majority of the first phase of regulations to support the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 have been finalised and came into force on 4 April 2016, along with the Act.

The regulations, along with guidance and information from WorkSafe New Zealand, are intended to support businesses (particularly small businesses) to understand what they need to do to comply with the general duties of the Act.

Before the regulations were finalised, a public consultation process took place in 2014-2015. For background on the development of phase one regulations see copies of the Cabinet papers provided below.

The new regulations are now available on the Legislation website.

New regulations

Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) have duties to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace is without risks to the health and safety of any person.

These regulations outline additional duties on PCBUs related to managing risks, monitoring in the workplace, and specific duties related to young persons in the workplace and obtaining a police vet for workers at limited child-care centres.

Health and Safety at Work (Worker Engagement, Participation and Representation) Regulations 2016

These regulations prescribe matters relating to work groups, health and safety representatives, and health and safety committees to support more effective worker participation. This includes information on who can be a health and safety representative or on a health and safety committee and health and safety representative training.

The regulations also include matters that an inspector may decide if the parties are unable to reach an agreement themselves, and specify the sectors that are high risk for the purposes of worker participation requirements.

Health and Safety at Work (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2016

These regulations deal with matters relating to the health and safety of people involved in the operation of, and local communities located near, major hazard facilities.

The regulations provide threshold quantities of specified hazardous substances and ways to determine whether a facility is a lower tier or an upper tier major hazard facility and the duties of operators.

Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016

These regulations impose additional duties on PCBUs in relation to work involving asbestos. This includes managing asbestos risks, removal of asbestos and licensing of asbestos removalists.

Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016

These regulations deal with the provision of adventure activities. They set out the process for becoming registered as an adventure activity operator and make it an offence for unregistered operators to offer adventure activities to participants.

These regulations revoke and replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2011. Only minimal changes were made to align terminology and concepts with the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and to add a new offence of offering adventure activities while unregistered.

Health and Safety at Work (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2016

The regulations prescribe matters concerning health and safety in mining operations, including competency requirements in relation to safety-critical roles in mining operations, quarrying operations, and alluvial mining operations.

These regulations revoke and replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2013. Only minimal changes were made to align terminology and concepts with the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and fix some drafting and minor implementation errors in the 2013 regulations.

Health and Safety at Work (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 2016

These regulations deal with matters relating to the health and safety of people involved in the operation of installations for petroleum exploration and extraction.

They revoke and replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 2013. Only minimal changes were made to align terminology and concepts with the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, to use clearer terminology for duty holders, and to improve the emergency response duty in relation to onshore non-production installations.

Health and Safety at Work (Rates of Funding Levy) Regulations 2016

These regulations prescribe the levy required to be paid by employers and self-employed persons under section 201 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

They also revoke and replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Rates of Funding Levy) Regulations 1994. Only minimal changes were made to align terminology and concepts with the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. No change to levy rates were made.

What's coming up

  • Regulations specifying infringement offences and fees will be finalised shortly.
  • The regulations for work involving hazardous substances have recently been consulted on and will be finalised later this year.
  • Regulations to support the power in the new Act for the regulator to grant exemptions from regulatory requirements (clause 228A) will be developed this year.
  • Phase two regulations will be developed over the next two years.

Cabinet papers

 

Fee and levy options for WorkSafe New Zealand’s oversight of regulations for major hazard facilities

We are now seeking feedback on options for fees and/or levies to recover more directly from operators WorkSafe New Zealand’s costs of regulating major hazard facilities.

Read more…

Exposure drafts of phase one regulations

This exposure draft process is taking place before the phase one Health and Safety at Work regulations are finalised, to ensure they are fit for purpose and technically accurate.

Read more…

Previous related consultations

Consultation has closed on the following regulations. The majority of the first phase of regulations to support the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 have been finalised and came into force 4 April 2016.

Read more…

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