Health and Safety at Work Regulations 2016 now available

Friday 19 February 2016

Authors: Tim Clarke and Grace Stacey-Jacobs

​​​​​The majority of the regulations which will support the Health and Safety at Work Act​ 2015 have now been finalised by WorkSafe New Zealand. They will come into force on 4 April ​​2016, together with the new Act.

The regulations contain more detailed and specific obligations, which will assist duty holders to comply with their health and safety duties under the new Act.

Some of the regulations apply to all businesses, while others are industry-specific. The regulations which have been released include:

  • General Risk and Workplace Management: These regulations apply to all workplaces and include detailed guidance on risk management processes, workplace facilities and emergency plans, and also prescribe health monitoring requirements.

  • Worker Engagement, Participation, and Representation: These regulations prescribe processes for determining work groups, electing health and safety representatives, and establishing health and safety committees, and also detail health and safety representative training requirements.  

  • Asbestos: These regulations apply to all work involving asbestos, and include provisions relating to its management and removal. The regulations also prescribe a licensing regime for all asbestos removal bu​​sinesses.

  • Major Hazard Facilities: These regulations apply to facilities where hazardous substances are present or likely to be present, and impose management duties on major hazard facility operators.

  • Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations: These regulations outline the specific duties owed by mining and quarry operators, and include health and safety management obligations, competency regimes, and principal hazard and control plans.

  • Petroleum Exploration and Extraction: These regulations specify a number of duties relating to the extraction, transportation, and treatment of petroleum, and the construction, maintenance and operation of any structures or land improvements connected with petroleum operations. They also regulate well drilling installations.

  • Adventure Activities: These regulations replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2011, and prescribe a registration and audit regime in the sector. 

  • Rates of Levy Funding: These regulations prescribe the levy payable by employers and self-employed people under the Act, which remains the same as under the current regime (8 cents per $100 paid to employees).

More regulation to come

WorkSafe has indicated that regulations relating to infringement offences and fees will be finalised shortly. Regulations for work involving hazardous substances will be finalised later this year, and regulations which allow WorkSafe to exempt duty holders from regulatory requirements will be developed.

This will complete phase one regulations under the Act. Phase two regulations, which will target a range of other types of work and industries, will be developed over the next two years.

Presenting on health and safety

Our team regu​larly presents on heal​th and safety at industry-related conferences and seminars. We have also provided training on the changing landscape of health and safety legislation to numerous corporate clients and their boards. Please contact your usual Bell Gully contact for more information.


This publication is necessarily brief and general in nature. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.

For more information
  • Tim Clarke

    Partner Auckland
  • Rachael Brown

    Partner Wellington
Related areas of expertise
  • Health and safety
  • Employment and workplace safety