The Cabinet of New Zealand has approved new regulations on mining health and safety, which will come into force on 16 December with transitional arrangements.
This new development comes as part of the government's response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Pike River coal mine tragedy.
Labour Minister Simon Bridges said the new regulations will see significant changes to the health and safety regime of New Zealand's mining industry.
Bridges said: "The regulations have been developed in consultation with independent New Zealand and Australian mining experts, as well as the New Zealand mining industry, and will bring New Zealand's approach to mining health and safety into line with international best practice."
"The regulations cover improved mining hazard and risk management, increased training, stronger worker participation systems and new emergency measures," Bridges added.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), a government agency within New Zealand's Government, noted that the proposed changes will benefit the industry by bringing health and safety in the country's mining industry in line with international best practice and help create a viable mining sector in New Zealand that the public has confidence in.
The Health and Safety in Employment (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2013 will replace the Health and Safety in Employment (Mining Administration) Regulation 1996 and the Health and Safety in Employment (Mining-Underground) Regulations 1999.
"These changes represent the creation of a comprehensive framework that will shape better behaviour and outcomes in mining workplaces," Bridges concluded.
Image: New Zealand approved new regulations on mining health and safety. Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/wandee007.