ASBESTOS RULES CHANGING

On 4 April 2016, a new set of regulations governing all work involving asbestos will come into force. With more than 170 New Zealander workers dying each year from asbestos-related diseases, our work practices need to improve.

The asbestos regulations form part of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and are still to be finalised by Cabinet.

This email is to let you know WorkSafe New Zealand will be providing advance information on new asbestos licensing requirements from the draft regulations. This is to give industry time to prepare for the new licensing scheme.

From 16 November, WorkSafe’s website will have information covering these points:

  • Most asbestos removal will require an asbestos removal licence from 4 April 2016.
  • This includes currently unlicensed asbestos removal (often carried out by builders, plumbers, roofers and other tradespeople).
  • Businesses should register through the WorkSafe website to help speed up their removal licence application next year. See the website for details.
  • The new licences will have training requirements of a higher standard than currently stipulated in existing regulations.
  • There are transition periods to enable businesses to apply for and gain a new licence.
  • The new licensing scheme will replace the current Certificate of Competence, but transition arrangements mean holders of this certificate can continue working after 4 April 2016 (criteria apply).

The draft regulations include a number of other requirements for those working with asbestos. All information will be fully explained and detailed in WorkSafe’s Approved Code of Practice, factsheets and other guidance material, expected for release shortly after the regulations are finalised.

Find more information: www.worksafe.govt.nz – see Asbestos on the left hand side of the homepage.

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