Health and Safety Reform Bill
In August this year we reported
on the Government's announcement of its intention to reform New Zealand's
workplace health and safety legislative framework, which has been described as
the most significant reform of New Zealand's health and safety system in 20
The reform will involve repealing the Health and Safety in Employment Act and
replacing it with a new Act. The timing in relation to the Health and Safety
Reform Bill has recently been revised, and the Bill is now scheduled to be
introduced into the House early next year. At this stage, it is anticipated that
the Bill will be passed into legislation in late 2014 and will come into force
by 1 April 2015.
In the meantime, on 29 October 2013 MBIE released a "Health and Safety
Reform Bill" exposure draft for public comment. The exposure draft gave
interested persons a first look at what key provisions of the new law are likely
to look like. The purpose of the exposure draft was to test some issues of
detail at an early stage. MBIE only gave a limited two-week timeframe for
feedback and will publish the content of all the feedback it received as part of
After the Bill has been introduced into Parliament next year, it will go to
the select committee. This will be the main opportunity for interested persons
to provide written and oral submissions on the Bill.
New mining and quarrying regulations approved
Last week Cabinet has approved new regulations for mining health and safety.
The Health and Safety in Employment (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations)
Regulations 2013 came into force yesterday, and replace the Health and Safety in
Employment (Mining Administration) Regulation 1996 and the Health and Safety in
Employment (Mining-Underground) Regulations 1999.
The new regulations cover improved mining hazard and risk management,
increased training, stronger worker participation systems and new emergency
The associated changes to the
Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (made through the Pike River
Implementation legislation) also came into force yesterday. These changes
include the commencement of operations of WorkSafe New Zealand.
WorkSafe is a new stand-alone Crown agency which has a single-minded,
dedicated focus on health and safety. WorkSafe has assumed the operational
functions of the Health and Safety Group of the Ministry of Business, Innovation
and Employment (previously the Department of Labour).
Professor Gregor Coster is the Board Chair of WorkSafe. WorkSafe recently
announced the appointment of Gordon MacDonald as Chief Executive, effective 17
March 2014. Mr MacDonald has had a 35-year career with the UK's Health and
Safety Executive (HSE) and will take over from Acting Chief Executive Geoffrey
Podger, who departs on 28 March 2014. More information is available at www.business.govt.nz/worksafe.
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.