New WHS Regulations

The NSW Government has, as part of its review and update of state WHS laws (see, introduced new regulations dovetailing into recent changes in the Work Health & Safety Act (NSW) 2011 that all business should consider and ensure that they are compliant with. The Work Health & Safety Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2020 commenced operation on Friday, 7 August 2020.

A key feature of the new regulations involves the conversion of monetary amounts in certain penalty provisions of the Work Health & Safety Regulation 2017 to penalty units to ensure consistency with other clauses.  For example, breaches carrying a previous maximum penalty of $30,000.00, have been increased by 11.5% to $34,500.00. 

Other key features of the regulation include, a prohibition on directing or allowing workers to cut manufactured stone containing crystalline silica with power tools unless stringent control measures are in place and rules requiring people who perform traffic control work to undergo training approved and regulated by SafeWork NSW. 

The amendments also clarify that regulated traffic control work includes directing traffic in accordance with a work zone traffic management plan and is not limited to stop/ go signs or boom gates.

Offences of failing to minimise risks associated with falling objects and failing to safely manage or control scaffolds are now penalty notice offences, which can attract on the spot fines of $3,600.00 for body corporates and $720.00 for individuals. 

Finally, the new regulations amend previous saving & transitional provisions to maintain a one year registration period for plant including certain boilers, cranes, lifts and building maintenance which applied under the previous regulation.

By Jeremy Kennedy,
Special Counsel