On 1 December 2017, the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations will come into force in New Zealand. Until then the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act remains in force in its current form.
The rules around hazardous substances management in New Zealand workplace will be transferred from Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) to the new regulation under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA). The regulations apply to all businesses that manufacture, use, handle or store hazardous substances, which will affect about one-third businesses in New Zealand.
The reforms will bring changes to the roles of Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and WorkSafe (who primarily administers HSWA). HSNO will still be implemented by the EPA, but with a focus on upstream activities such as approving and classifying hazardous substances, and assessing the risks. By contrast, Worksafe will focus on the downstream use, storage and handling of hazardous substances in workplaces as stipulated in the Regulations.
Click here to see a suite of guidance to help you understand your obligations under the new regulations.