On 18 June 2017, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (OHS) 2017 and the Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations 2017, came into operation replacing the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007

This will have minimal change to most businesses.  WorkSafe has said that for most duty holders, the finalised Regulations are largely the same as the expiring ones, however:

‘if you are in a workplace where asbestos is present; are a manufacturer or an importing supplier of hazardous substances or agricultural and veterinary chemicals; work in construction; or operate a mine or major hazard facility, you need to become aware of the changes’

 The majority of changes affect workplaces are listed below:

  • in the construction industry
  • where asbestos is present
  • that manufacture or import and supply hazardous substances or agricultural and veterinary chemicals
  • that are mines or a major hazard facility

Some of the key changes include:

  • Asbestos: the Regulations now include asbestos contaminated soil or dust in addition to fixed and installed asbestos, and must inform others of asbestos removal work;
  • Hazardous substances must be classified and labelled according to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Manufacturers, importers and suppliers of hazardous substances must comply by 18 June 2017;
  • Changes to definitions of ‘Hazardous Manual Handling’;
  • Plant: Emergency stop devices must now be ‘latch in’ type. Various changes to duties of designers and manufacturers with regard to record keeping;
  • Noise: Audiological examinations required in additional circumstances;
  • Lead: Changes to the blood lead level definition;
  • Construction: ‘Self-employed person’ now included with duties; Employer must develop emergency procedures if a person is at risk of engulfment by soil or other material. – Workers are still required to do Construction Induction Training and hold a construction induction card;
  • Falls: Risk of falls below two metres are now recognised;
  • Confined spaces: Changes to permit retention times unless a Notifiable Incident occurs;
  • High risk work: Changes to licence categories for: dogging, bridge and gantry crane, slewing mobile crane and order-picking forklift truck, plus there is a new licence class for using Reach Stackers;
  • Mines: Must provide an ‘effective’ means of communication for employees working alone and provide Emergency Planning information to local councils;
  • Major hazard facilities: Changes to numerous requirements;
  • Licences: Some administrative changes have occurred.

Any questions or quires, please feel free to contact us at Group 1 Staffing or visit the Worksafe website –  https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/