WHO SHOULD READ THIS

  • Mining and petroleum operators in NSW.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • How the Act will amend the current legislation and how this will affect onshore operations.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

  • Understand how the changes will affect your operations.

On 21 October, the NSW Parliament passed the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum) Legislation Amendment (Harmonisation) Bill 2015 (NSW) (Bill).  By Proclamation made on 27 January 2016, it was confirmed that the amendments made by the Bill commenced in force as an Act from 1 February 2016.

Most significantly, the onshore petroleum industry in NSW is now subject to NSW’s harmonised WHS laws.

Among other changes, the Work Health and Safety (Mines) Act 2013 (NSW) (WHSM Act) has been renamed as the ‘Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum) Act’.

Provisions for risk controls specifically aimed at the petroleum industry are also included and, as observed in the Second Reading of the Bill by NSW’s Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, by expanding WHSM Act coverage to onshore petroleum industries, the Bill (now passed into law) ‘establishes a single work health and safety regulatory framework for all onshore resources’.

From an incident response perspective, there will now only be a single regulator with responsibility for investigating incidents, which means that technical challenges based on the identity of the regulator may now be a thing of the past.

To read the Act in full, click here.