MBIE is using representative groups (including technical experts and industry representatives) established by WorkSafe New Zealand (‘WorkSafe’) to check the content of the Regulations in detail.
The purpose of the exposure drafts is to encourage wider consultation, ensuring they are fit for purpose and technically accurate before they are finalised. MBIE is also seeking feedback on the scale it is proposing to use under the offence provisions of the Regulations.
Interested parties are able to provide feedback and comment on the exposure draft regulations by 15 May 2015.
Three of the exposure drafts released relate to new sets of Regulations which will support the HSW Act. These are the:
Three other sets of exposure draft Regulations are also open for consultation, but propose to make only minor amendments to existing Regulations relating to mining, adventure activities, and petroleum. These exposure drafts seek to ensure that the redrafting process of the HSW Act does not create any unintended consequences.
We briefly summarise the new Regulations below, in order to assist those intending to provide feedback on them.
General Risk and Workplace Management Regulations
The General Risk and Workplace Management Regulations will impose general health and safety obligations on any Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (‘PCBU’). It is intended to support the primary duty imposed on PCBUs by the HSW Act, by prescribing a risk management process that will apply in particular circumstances as well as more general requirements that will be common across all workplaces. The exposure draft covers matters including:
Major Hazard Facilities Regulations
The Major Hazard Facilities Regulations will aim to prevent and mitigate the effects of major accidents that could result in significant harm to the environment, people and the wider community. The draft Regulations impose specific obligations on operators of ‘major hazard facilities’ (commercial operations that store and/or process very large quantities of hazardous substances), including requirements to:
The exposure draft also sets out the basis on which WorkSafe can label a particular work site as a major hazard facility, and outlines the requirements operators of those facilities will need to comply with.
The Asbestos Regulations will address work involving asbestos, based on Australian Regulations that aim to decrease the long-term burden on asbestos-related disease by strengthening existing duties, processes and standards. The exposure draft is based on two key principles:
The Regulations will require PCBUs to:
More exposure drafts to come
More exposure draft Regulations are expected to be released later this year. These will include:
What should you do now?
Please contact one of our experts if you or your business would like help in understanding the likely impact of the proposed Regulations or you wish to provide feedback on the exposure drafts to MBIE.