The new health and safety law for NSW mining has been published and is now available online for the first time.
The Work Health and Safety (Mines) Regulation 2014, together with the Work Health and Safety (Mines) Act 2013 will commence on 1 February 2015.
The new laws will repeal and replace the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act 2002 and the Mine Health and Safety Act 2004 and there will no longer be separate mine safety legislation for coal mines or metalliferous and extractives mines.
Generous transitional arrangements have been put in place to assist duty holders understand and comply with their obligations. Information about the new mine safety laws, including transitional arrangements and frequently asked questions, are now available from the NSW Mines Safety Website
The new laws increase harmonisation between the different states and territories of Australia. They have been developed in consultation with other states, in particular the other major mining states of Western Australia and Queensland. The new mining-specific laws have also been developed to align with and build on the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulation. This will make it easier for businesses to use consistent approaches across mining and non-mining operations.
The draft Work Health and Safety (Mines) Regulation 2014 was issued for public comment in May 2014. Fifty-eight public submissions from industry representative bodies, mining companies, unions and individuals were received.
NSW Trade & Investment also held a round of face-to-face stakeholder consultation meetings at various regional locations throughout NSW and met the NSW members of the tri-state Legislative Working Group (NSW Minerals Council, Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia and CFMEU Mining and Energy Division) to review and discuss the public comment submissions.
The new regulation incorporates amendments to the draft regulation identified through the public consultation process. These amendments include retaining existing NSW legislative requirements that achieve consistent safety standards but do not increase regulatory cost.
The legislation is now available to view in the notification-gazette area on the NSW legislation website (look for the week beginning 8 December 2014).