Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (Victoria) (OHS Regulations) took effect on 1 July 2014.
The main amendments to the OHS Regulations are as follows:
- Principal contractor duties will apply to projects if the cost of the project is $350,000 or more if the construction contract for the project was entered into on or after 1 July 2014. Health and safety coordination plans in accordance with the OHS Regulations will only be required of principal contractors where the cost of the project is $350,000 or more.
- Employers are not required to keep a record of details of any construction induction card for each person employed to perform construction work. However, note that under the OHS Regulations an employer must not allow an unregistered employee to perform construction work.
- Items of plant specified in Part 2 of Schedule 2 that were previously required to be registered eg, tower cranes, lifts, building maintenance units and concrete placing units, no longer need to be registered with the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA). However there is an amendments regarding records of inspections and maintenance of specified plant (Regulation 3.5.31).
- A person who performs high risk work with plant performed solely for the purpose of testing, installing, commissioning, maintain or preparing plant is not required to hold a high risk licence for that work.
High risk work licence
- VWA is required to notify the determination of high risk licence within 45 days of receipt of the application.
- Interstate high risk licence holders can apply to renew their licence that is due to expire within 120 days, previously it was within 60 days. Therefore licence holders have a longer period in which to apply to renew their licence.
- The requirement for an MSDS's currency to be checked if prepared more than 5 years before, has been removed to ensure that the dutyholder maintains current MSDSs for hazardous substances.
Carcinogenic substances and chemicals
- Scheduled carcinogenic substances are now listed in the OHS Regulations.
- Dutyholders can use the 3rd revised, 4th revised or 5th revised edition, of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals but not a combination of those editions.
- Where an employer removes a person from a lead risk job, a copy of the biological monitoring and medical examination report are to be forwarded to the VWA as soon as is reasonably possible after the employer receives it (before this amendment, the requirement was to forward the report within 48 hours).
- Employers are no longer required to notify the VWA in writing within 7 days of the registered medical practitioner engaged to undertake medical examinations.
Registered plant and design
- The design of new chairlifts (aerial powered ropeways that incorporate either open chairs or closed cabins (gondola-type) and new truck mounted concrete placing units with booms) must be registered with the VWA.
- The design of Hazard level E gas cylinders and hazard Level E fired heaters and boilers designed in accordance with the Australian Miniature Boiler Safety Committee Code Parts, will no longer be required to be registered with the VWA.
- Lifts for the purpose of registration of design with the VWA do not include platforms for lowering stage performers and associated equipment and plant designed to store vehicles in a designated parking facility.
- The operation of a tractor with fork arms or other load holding attachment does not require an associated forklift truck licence.
- There are some mine specific amendments regarding inquiries into a determination of a prescribed mine, timing of provision of a health surveillance report, operators of mine winders don't require a high risk work licence and cessation of notification to VWA regarding medical practitioners who conduct health surveillance.
This article contains a summary of the main amendments to the OHS Regulations and is general in nature. You should review the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Regulations 2014 (Victoria) and seek specific advice as required on the application of the amendments to your operations.