MBIE has advised that the next phase of consultation on changes to health and safety law is about to get under way.
The Health and Safety Reform Bill is due to be reported back to Parliament by the end of May this year. Meantime, Cabinet has approved the preparation and release of exposure drafts of the major regulations that will accompany the Bill once it becomes law. These will be made available on the MBIE website.
The purpose of exposure drafts is to give interested parties an opportunity to see how the new regulations will look and get stakeholder feedback on whether the decisions taken by Cabinet are adequately covered in the proposed regulations. Input from this process will enable the legal drafting of the regulations themselves to be much better informed. Expert industry input will assist in ensuring that technical aspects of the regulations are fit for purpose. MBIE will also use the exposure draft process to consult further on specific elements of the regulations that Cabinet has not yet made final decisions about.
At this stage, MBIE expects the following draft regulations to be ready for release in early April:
- general risk and workplace management
- major hazard facilities
- redrafted regulations recently made under the HSE Act: petroleum exploration and extraction; mining; and, adventure activities.
Later in April an exposure draft of administrative regulations will be released that details infringement offences and fees in phase one regulations, and prescribes a standard infringement notice.
An exposure draft of the worker participation, engagement and representation regulations will be released after the Bill has been reported back to Parliament.
An exposure draft of the regulations for work involving hazardous substances is expected to be ready for release around November this year.
You can read the Cabinet papers on the MBIE website. Some of the content of the papers has been withheld in order to protect the confidentiality of the Select Committee process for the Health and Safety Reform Bill.