The Department of Labour’s promise to release the long awaited Amendment to the Occupational Health & Safety Act, which have been rumoured since 1998, are soon to become yet another empty statement, with less than 3 months remaining to release the OHS Bill before the end of 2017.
While we predict it to be released at the end of 2018, there is a great chance that the DOl may still use the 2017 December holiday to minimize public participation by releasing the Bill early in December followed by a month of absenteeism to reduce the 90 day comment period to just two months.
We have seen this with the Construction Regulations in 2013, which turned out to be more of a failure than a success, but sadly, it is done. One can only hope that the Public participation process would be more effective in limiting the cost implications to business in the proposed Bill.
And whilst the jury is still out on this one, we will not be publishing any OHS Act related advice until the Bill is published except insofar as the current regulations are concerned.