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Major Hazard Facilities - additional duties
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Major Hazard Facilities - additional duties

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA), all businesses and undertakings must involve their workers in workplace health and safety.  

For operators of major hazard facilities, the Major Hazard Facilities Regulations 2016 place additional specific requirements to engage with workers. A safe and healthy workplace is more easily achieved when everyone involved in the work communicates with each other to identify hazards and risks, talks about any health and safety concerns and works together to find solutions.


Duties under HSWA

HSWA places twin duties on all businesses and undertakings, regardless of their size or risk profile, to:

  • engage with their workers, so as far as is reasonably practicable, on health and safety matters that may affect them; and
  • have practices that give their workers reasonable opportunities to participate effectively in improving health and safety in the business on an ongoing basis (known as worker participation practices).


These duties only extend to workers who carry out work for the business or undertaking.

Together with your workers, you can determine the best way to meet these two related duties. What’s reasonable and effective will depend on:

  • workers’ views and needs,
  • the size of your business, and
  • the nature of its risks.


Addition duties under the Major Hazard Facilities Regulations

The Major Hazard Facilities Regulations 2016 (MHF regulations) create additional specific requirements on operators of Major Hazard Facilities (MHF) to engage with workers.

Operators must ensure there is engagement with, and participation of workers, in the following key processes:

  • developing and revising the emergency plan;
  • designing and implementing the safety management system;
  • preparing and revising a major accident prevention policy for a lower tier MHF;
  • conducting a safety assessment for an upper tier MHF; and
  • preparing or revising a safety case for an upper tier MHF.


Workers who must be involved in the key processes include workers and their representatives who are:

  • identifiable at the time the key processes are being developed, prepared or revised; and
  • working, or likely to be working, at the MHF.


These are stronger requirements than the twin duties placed on businesses or undertakings under HSWA.

Under HSWA a business or undertaking is required to engage with workers, so far as is reasonably practicable, and to provide reasonable opportunities for workers to participate, whereas the MHF Regulations require operators to ensure that there is worker engagement and participation.

In addition, under the MHF regulations, the workers that the duties apply to are different.

Under HSWA, the twin duties apply only to workers who carry out work for the business or undertaking.

Under the MHF Regulations, the duties apply to any identifiable worker who is working , or likely to be working, at the MHF. This is potentially a wider group of workers than under HSWA.

Last updated 29 April 2016