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 ten years.

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

As a first step, the OHS Regulations will be reviewed to identify opportunities to improve workability, for streamlining and to reduce delays without reducing safety standards.  This will ensure that Victoria’s OHS Regulations remain best practice, will assist compliance and drive safety improvements.  It is expected that the OHS Regulations will initially be amended to deliver these benefits by mid-2014.  WorkSafe will work closely with stakeholders to ensure their views are considered throughout the process.

A comprehensive review of the regulations will carried out in the lead up to replacement of the OHS Regulations.  The review will aim 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.

New OHS Regulations will be in place before June 2017 and will support Victoria’s position as having the safest workplaces in Australia at the lowest average cost to business.

WorkSafe is interested in any initial comments you may have about the operation of the OHS Regulations. Comments can be sent to: ohsregsreform@worksafe.vic.gov.au. Your views about the operation of the OHS Regulations, any challenges and / or benefits to your industry or workplace and any suggestions to improve them would be welcome.

You can always get more information on anything to do with OHS Regulations Reform by checking our website for updates or for further information.

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007

Together with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (the OHS Act), the streamlined Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 improve health and safety in Victoria by making it easier for employers and workers to understand their safety obligations, while at the same time cutting red tape and compliance costs.

The Regulations are available here.

Click here for a summary of the public comments received by WorkSafe Victoria in 2007 on the regulatory package, and WorkSafe Victoria's responses.

The table below outlines the consolidated regulations. Click on the regulation parts for a detailed explanation of all duties (new and existing) relating to that topic:

Regulation Parts

Comment

Preliminary General Duties Consultation

New regulation to advise how employers are to involve health and safety representatives in consultation with employees on OHS issues.

Issue resolution

Translation of existing laws.  Clarification of the procedure for temporary measures to be put in place while an OHS issue is being discussed.

Manual handling

Translation of existing laws.  No new obligations.

Noise

Translation of existing laws.  Reducing red tape regarding noise exposure in excess of the standard. Mechanism to apply for an exemption from the noise part.

Prevention of falls

Translation of existing laws.  Redefinition of 'emergency services employees' to clarify the position of employees and volunteers.

Confined spaces

Translation of existing laws.  No new obligations.

Plant

Minor changes relating to maintenance of lifts and duties of auctioneers. Registration required every 5 (not 3) years.

High Risk Work  (Licensing and registrations)

Adopting a National Standard licensing system  through the regulation, including photo identification and introducing 5-year renewal periods to strengthen protection against fraud.

Hazardous substances

Further alignment with the National Model Regulations and standardisation of licensing requirements for use of scheduled carcinogenic substances.

Asbestos

Maintaining current regime which provides the best protection for workers and community of all the states. There is no change to what licensed and unlicensed removalists can do.  Reducing the administrative burden in relation to notification of asbestos removal and making requirements for unlicensed removalists clearer. 

Lead

Translation of existing laws and continued alignment with the National Standard.

Construction

Combining disparate parts of the National Standard to develop a streamlined single regulation which is consistent with the Commonwealth-led National Standard.  Incorporates nationally recognised model for safety induction training, coordination plans and safe work method statements.

Major hazard facilities

Continued alignment with National Standards and clarification of point of review for a Safety Management System.

Mines

Translation of existing laws.  Maintaining licensing requirements for winder operators.

 

The two existing Equipment Public Safety regulations have been consolidated and incorporated into a single streamlined regulation.

Click here to view a copy of this regulation.