In New South Wales (NSW), amendments to the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014 were made on 18 December 2019, under the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013. The Amendment Regulation will commence on 1 February 2020, and will address work health and safety (WHS) issues, reduce regulatory burden and ensure the policy intent of the legislation is achieved.
The Amendment Regulation addresses the introduction of a high risk activity notification for the establishment, operation, alteration or decommissioning of a tailings storage facility at a metalliferous mine (excluding opal mines), with appropriate transition provisions. The Amendment also imposes a workplace exposure standard of 0.1 mg/m3 of air for diesel particulate matter, with a 12-month transition period provided.
The Amendment also addresses fires on mobile plants and spontaneous combustion occurring at the surface of a coalmine as high potential incidents that need to be notified to the NSW Resources Regulator. Moreover, the Amendment Regulation strives to reduce the requirements for annual WHS reporting and eliminate the one-month lead time for notification of certain reportable events. The Amendment also aims to extend the period of plant item registrations from one to five years, and expand the offences for which penalty notices can be issued.
The Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Amendment Regulation 2019 is made under the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013, which regulates WHS at mines and petroleum sites in NSW. Consultations on the amendments took place in October 2019, with key stakeholder groups representing the mining and petroleum industries.
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Aunging