Update to the Quarry Operations Regulations
Employment Law, Health and Safety, General / 23 September 2022
The Health and Safety at Work (Mining Operations and Quarry Operations) Regulations 2022 have been amended with new changes being rolled out in July 2022, 2023, and 2024.
These changes commonly impact farms with small quarrying operations in the same way as large corporate quarry operations, with WorkSafe commenting that the new regulations could test ‘mum and dad’ type operations and that it will be a challenge for smaller operations to meet what is required.
In summary, changes which have come into effect already include:
New notifiable events: The current mining ‘notifiable events’ are being extended to quarries.
Quarterly reports required to WorkSafe: Quarterly reporting to WorkSafe online is now a requirement. Information required to be recorded includes:
- Description of the operation
- Material extracted
- Number of workers
- Number of hours worked
- Number of notifiable events
- Number of lost time incidents
Health monitoring: Employers must now offer medical examinations to all workers, excluding casual employees, at the following times:
- Before the worker starts at the quarry
- Before the worker ceases working if they have not been examined within 12 months before that date
- Periodically but no less than once every five years
- At a worker’s request.
- Weekly inspections: Examination of operations now extends beyond mines to include quarrying operations. It requires a competent person to examine every area of the operation where a worker is or will be present before the start of each working shift and at suitable times during each working shift. Every accessible area including underground, areas containing barriers and vehicles must be examined weekly.
Principal hazard: The definition of “Principal hazard” has changed to any hazard arising at the operation that could create a risk of multiple fatalities in a single accident, or that could create a risk of multiple people being exposed to potentially fatal health risks in relation to any of the following:
- Ground or strata instability
- Roads and other vehicle operating areas
Message for Employers
If you have a small or large quarrying operation, we can help ensure that you are compliant with these changes – contact our team with any queries.
Disclaimer: We remind you that while this article provides commentary on employment law, health and safety and immigration topics, it should not be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice for specific situations. Please seek legal advice from your lawyer for any questions specific to your workplace.