Cabinet has approved new regulations covering health and safety in the mining and quarrying sectors.
The Health and Safety in Employment (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2013 replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Mining Administration) Regulations 1996 and the Health and Safety in Employment (Mining-Underground) Regulations 1999.
The regulations, developed in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy, come into force on Monday, December 16.
The associated changes to the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and the new industry regulator, WorkSafe New Zealand , come into force on the same day.
The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment has published a guide outlining the new requirements for mine operators.
Labour Minister Simon Bridges says the new rules will bring New Zealand’s mining industry into line with international best practice.
“The regulations cover improved mining hazard and risk management, increased training, stronger worker participation systems and new emergency measures,” Bridges says. “These changes represent the creation of a comprehensive framework that will shape better behaviour and outcomes in mining workplaces.”
While the new regulations broadly cover extractive industries more specific regulations impacting the quarry sector may not come into force until as late as 2017.