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It is three years since the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (‘HSWA‘) came into force, and work is underway to review the existing regulatory framework and improve requirements for the management of risks associated with plant, structures, and working at height.

What are the new regulations intended to address?

Work involving plant, structures, working at heights, and excavation are common across a variety of industry sectors and work types. There is a concern that some of the current regulations intended to help manage risks in these areas are confusing, ineffective, and out of date.  Accordingly, feedback is being sought on ways to improve health and safety for people involved in work associated with:

  • plant (including mobile plant)
  • design, manufacture, supply, importation, and installation of plant or structures
  • high-risk plant
  • working at heights and scaffolding
  • excavation work.

The intention is to make the rules clearer, improve risk assessment and management, make sure people have the right information to ensure health and safety at work, and improve the oversight and transparency of very high risk plant, machinery and working practices.

What is happening?

The development of the new regulations is being managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE‘), and is likely to follow a similar process to that used when the first tranche of regulations supporting the HSWA were introduced in 2016.

MBIE has now opened consultation on the better regulation of plant, structures, and working at heights. There is a formal consultation document, relevant Cabinet papers, and sector fact sheets addressing the key parts of the discussion paper that are relevant for different industry groups.  Information about the scope of the consultation and how you can participate is provided on MBIE’s website:

During September 2019 MBIE will run a series of workshops to facilitate engagement about the proposed changes. The consultation period will then close at 5pm on 4 October 2019.

Have your say

If you would like to have your say on any of the matters to be covered by the new regulations, you can make submissions using MBIE’s online form, or you can send your submission by email or post using the addresses provided on MBIE’s website.

If you would like assistance in preparing a submission, please contact our health and safety lawyers, Grant Nicholson and Olivia Welsh.

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