Regulations to Support the New Health and Safety at Work Act

WorkSafe NZ had advised there would be two phases of regulations to support the new H&S at Work Act 2015.  The majority of the first phase of regulations will come into force on 4 April 2016; the same day as the new Act.  They are available on www.legislation.govt.nz.

The intention of the regulations and other guidance and information from WorkSafe NZ is to help businesses understand what they need to do to comply with the Act.  The regulations do also outline some additional duties not specifically detailed in the Act e.g. duties on PCBUs related to managing risks. 

The New Regulations

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

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.

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.

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 revoke and replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2011 and deal with the provision of adventure activities.

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

These regulations revoke and replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2013 and 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.

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

These regulations revoke and replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 2013 and deal with matters relating to the health and safety of people involved in the operation of installations for petroleum exploration and extraction.

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

These regulations revoke and replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Rates of Funding Levy) Regulations 1994 and 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.

Still to Come

WorkSafe NZ has advised that:

  • Regulations specifying infringement offences and fees will be finalised shortly.
  • The regulations for work involving hazardous substances are currently being consulted on and will be finalised later in 2016.
  • Regulations to support the power in the new Act for the regulator (WorkSafe NZ) to grant exemptions from regulatory requirements (clause 228A) will be developed this year (2016).
  • Phase two regulations will be developed over the next two years.