OHS Regulations Reform

The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (OHS Regulations) will expire in June 2017. WorkSafe is required to review and remake the regulations by this date. This work will be undertaken in line with the requirements of the Subordinate Legislation Act 1994, which requires legislation to be reviewed every 10 years.

The OHS Regulations cover general duties under the OHS Act, various physical hazards, hazardous substances and materials and hazardous industries.

The review aims to:

  • evaluate the effectiveness of the existing regulations;
  • improve health and safety outcomes for workers;
  • identify and deliver savings to business without reducing safety standards;
  • ensure the regulations align with areas of greatest risk;
  • ensure the regulations deliver a proportionate regulatory response; and
  • streamline and modernise the regulations whilst maintaining best practice.

Work practices have changed considerably over the last 10 years, so there is a significant opportunity for modernisation of the regulations.

A comprehensive review of the OHS Regulations is well underway, including work on consolidating the proposed regulations, making sure all of the topics work together as a complete package, just as they currently do.

As part of this project, it is also a requirement that independent consultants develop a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS).

Deloitte Access Economics have been engaged to develop the required RIS and it's expected they'll be starting to talk to representative bodies, individual businesses and workers to determine the impact of the proposed regulations.

The draft regulations and Regulatory Impact Statement are expected to go out for public comment for a three month period in mid-2016.

New OHS Regulations will be made before the current regulations sunset in June 2017 and will support Victoria's position as having the safest workplaces in Australia at the lowest average cost to business.

All people with an interest in the regulations will have the opportunity to have input during the public comment process in 2016. 

However, any views about the operation of the OHS Regulations, any challenges and/or benefits to your industry or workplace and any suggestions to improve them are welcome at any time for consideration. Comments can be sent to ohsregsreform@worksafe.vic.gov.au.