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

Continuing the regulatory reform under the Health and Safety at Work Act

With the Health and Safety at Work Act and the first set of regulations in place, the Ministry is working on continuing the regulatory reform.

The regulations carried over from old regimes are out of date, piecemeal, often prescriptive, and ad hoc. We need to reform these to make sure key risks are effectively managed.

The regulatory reforms are aimed at making sure the regulatory framework is effective at reducing harm, is targeted to the critical risks, provides clarity for duty holders, and is working as intended.

This is a multi-year work programme. The whole regulatory reform work programme includes:

  • Reforming regulations carried over from old regimes:
    • Plant and Structures
    • Hazardous Work
    • Hazardous Substances
  • Looking at cross-cutting issues:
    • Sector-specific issues (e.g. construction, agriculture, forestry, geothermal)
    • Risks for young people doing hazardous work
  • Doing post-implementation reviews of more recent regulations:
    • Mining and quarrying
    • Adventure activities
    • Petroleum

What we are currently working on

The Ministry has worked with WorkSafe NZ and key stakeholders to identify the initial priority areas in the wider work programme.

  • Plant and structures – this covers a wide range of topics:
    • working at heights and excavations
    • work machinery, equipment and tools
    • mobile plant such as tractors, quad bikes and elevated work platforms
    • existing regimes for boilers, cranes, and fairground rides etc
  • Risks for young people doing hazardous work
  • Mining and quarrying (post-implementation review)

As part of this work we’ll also look to identify cross-cutting and sector-specific regulatory areas, e.g. construction, agriculture and forestry.

How we want to work

We want the regulatory reform to be developed alongside our partners. We’ll be taking a considered approach to gathering evidence and identifying the problems in collaboration with our stakeholders, from the beginning of the policy process.

We want your experiences and insights to develop new perspectives and solutions. We want to make sure we have a strong and informed evidence base so that any regulatory proposals are practical, robust and take the needs of affected businesses and individuals into account.

How you can be involved

We’re currently working and engaging on the priority areas. We expect to publicly consult on plant and structures (including heights and excavations) and risks for youth, and targeted consultation on mining and quarrying this year.

As the range of topics in the work programme is broad and they differ widely in size, scope and complexity, we expect that each topic is likely to progress at its own pace. The work will be staggered depending on priority and as resource allows. Further regulatory topics may move onto our work programme as time and resource allows. As we scope up the different topic areas more information will go up on MBIE’s website about this work including timeframes and processes.

We’re endeavouring to coordinate work where possible to minimise time and effort required from stakeholders to input into the work. We’ll be contacting stakeholders as we start work on each of these policy priorities.

If you would like to share any relevant information with us about these topic areas, such as issues you’ve identified, please email indicating your area of interest in the subject line.

If you’d like to be involved or otherwise kept informed about the process, you can subscribe for updates on the Ministry’s website

The first set of regulations to support the Health and Safety at Work Act

The set of regulations to support the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 came into force on 4 April 2016, along with the Act.

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Current consultations

Consultation is now open on the discussion document ‘Ensuring effective regulation of health and safety risks associated with toxic or flammable refrigerant gases’.

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

The consultation on options for fees and/or levies to recover more directly from operators WorkSafe New Zealand’s costs of regulating major hazard facilities has now closed.

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Exposure drafts of phase one regulations

We are currently consulting on a number of standards proposed to be incorporated into the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations, to be made later this year.

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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.

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