About OHS Regulations Reform

The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) and Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations 2017 (EPS Regulations) commenced on 18 June 2017.

Resources are available to assist you in understanding the new regulations and what the changes mean for you. This includes summaries of the changes and comprehensive guides comparing the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 and OHS Regulations 2017, which are available on the WorkSafe website.

The new OHS Regulations and EPS Regulations are also available online.

What has changed?

The OHS Regulations 2017 are mainly the same as the OHS Regulations 2007. However, you need to be aware of the changes and make sure you are compliant.

If you are affected by the changes, the detailed information and guides available on the WorkSafe website will help you identify how to stay compliant.

For further information you can contact the WorkSafe Victoria Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 or email ohsregsreform@worksafe.vic.gov.au.

Your submissions and feedback

Your feedback and engagement has played a vital part in making sure the OHS Regulations and EPS Regulations are streamlined and modernised to better reflect current Victorian work practices.

The draft OHS Regulations 2017, EPS Regulations 2017, and Regulatory Impact Statement were made available for public comment from 18 July to 9 September 2016.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit feedback. WorkSafe’s response to the submissions is available here.

Comments were mainly focused on specific issues, including:

  • the proposal to allow duty holders to assume that asbestos is not present in buildings, structures, ships or plant built or made after 31 December 2003. As a result, this proposal was removed from the final regulations.
  • the requirement for prescription-only veterinary medicines to include Globally Harmonised System of Chemical Labelling (GHS) and GHS hazard and precautionary statements. As a result, an exemption was included in the final regulations.
  • recommendations to extend the Prevention of Falls Part to apply to risks of falls from two metres or less. As a result, the note to reference an employer’s obligation to apply a hierarchy of controls when addressing risks of falls from two metres or less was strengthened.
  • the proposal to require emergency procedures where there is a risk of ground collapse or the site becoming engulfed with soil. The requirement to establish emergency procedures has been retained in the final regulations.

Stakeholder engagement

In addition to the public comment period, WorkSafe undertook a significant amount of stakeholder engagement throughout the review, with more than 236 hours of face-to-face engagement with stakeholders taking place. This included:

  • Establishing 10 topic-specific stakeholder reference groups (SRG) who attended 65 topic-specific meetings to provide feedback on proposed policy changes.
  • Contacting 73 stakeholder organisations to make them aware of the review and offer the opportunity to comment on their experience with the current regulations and how they could be improved.

For further information on the submissions and our response, contact the WorkSafe Victoria Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 or email us at ohsregsreform@worksafe.vic.gov.au.

Submissions Received

OHS001 - Australian Association of Miniature Railways and Model Engineers

OHS002 - Name withheld

OHS003 - Name withheld

OHS004 - Confidential

OHS005 - Peter Moylan

OHS006 - Peter Ferguson

OHS007 - AITAC Pty Ltd

OHS008 - Vaughan Duggan

OHS009 - Paul Baggeridge

OHS010 - Name withheld

OHS011 - Name withheld

OHS012 - Confidential

OHS013 - Qenos

OHS014 - Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (Construction and General Division) Victorian and Tasmanian Branch

OHS015 - Rawlings Safety Group

OHS016 - Wendy Macdonald

OHS017 - Australian Nursing and Midwifery Association Victorian Branch

OHS018 - Confidential

OHS019 - Lisa Stevens

OHS020 - Master Electricians Australia

OHS021 - Name withheld

OHS022 - Minerals Council of Australia

OHS023 - RG Chemical Safety

OHS024 - Haztech Environmental

OHS025 - Asbestos Council of Victoria/GARDS Inc.

OHS026 - ACCI /  Attachment A

OHS026 - ACCI / Attachment A

OHS027 - CropLife Australia

OHS028 - Australian Industrial Truck Association / Attachment A

OHS029 - David Bartlett

OHS030 - Vasalia Govender

OHS031 - Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce 

OHS032 - Name withheld

OHS033 - Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (Construction and General Division) Victorian and Tasmanian Branch – Additional submission

OHS034 - Civil Contractors Federation

OHS035 - Name withheld

OHS036 - CEPU (Plumbing Division)

OHS037 - Name withheld

OHS038 - Housing Industry Australia

OHS039 - Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union Education and Training Unit

OHS040 - Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union Education and Training Unit - Additional submission

OHS041 - Accensi Pty Ltd

OHS042 - Fire Protection Association Australia

OHS043 - Safety Institute of Australia

OHS044 - Bayer

OHS045 - Solutions in Engineering

OHS046 - Name withheld

OHS047 - Victorian Farmers Federation

OHS048 - Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association

OHS049 - Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

OHS050 - Toll Group

OHS051 - The Australian Workers' Union

OHS052 - Victorian Trades Hall Council

OHS053 - Master Builders Association of Victoria

OHS054 - Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union

OHS055 - AgNova Technologies

OHS056 - Greencap

OHS057 - Herbert Smith Freehills

OHS058 - Australian Industry Group

OHS059 - Construction Material Processors Association Inc

OHS060 - Crane Industry Council of Australia

OHS061 - Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Disclaimer: To the full extent permitted by law, WorkSafe Victoria does not accept liability for any loss or damage suffered or for any claims whatsoever arising in any way from any party making a submission or any third party included, identified or named in a submission in any way or form.