The Ministry of Labor made many changes to articles in the Labor Health Protection Rules in order to do the following: better protect workers in larger companies; better prevent muscular, bone, and mental health occupational diseases; ensure prevention of diseases caused by exposure to chromic acid, dichromic acid, and other acids and salts; and provide clearer guidance on the distribution of medical and health professionals according to entity size. The new version of Rules also provides for health professional work safety training requirements within the entities.
On November 13, 2017, the Ministry of Finance for Thailand published, in the Official Gazette, Ministerial Regulations on the Storage and Handling of Dangerous Goods. The Regulations outline requirements for storing, loading and transporting dangerous goods that are in the customs territory and taken out of the customs territory. The Regulations specify that in the case of port or airport customs areas, there is no safe place to carry dangerous goods. In addition, the Regulations specify that the transport and storage of dangerous goods should be carried out in a safe place in accordance with the rules, procedures and conditions at the site.
The Government of South Korea has made minor amendments to over 100 pieces of legislation. Amendments have been made to the following environmental and safety legislation:
New legislation was unveiled on November 8, 2017, pursuant to An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), also referred to as Bill C-65. The amendment would merge existing separate labor standards for sexual harassment and violence to enact a comprehensive approach that takes the full spectrum of harassment and violence into consideration. If adopted, Bill C-65 will require employers in federally-regulated workplaces to develop improved policies and programs to help prevent workplace violence and harassment. It could take a year or more before the rules come into effect, as regulations would have to be crafted once the bill receives parliamentary approval.
The Department of the Environment and Energy for Australia has opened a public consultation period on the Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) for a national phase out of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and related chemicals, including its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF). The consultation period closes on Monday, February 26, 2018. Public information sessions were held in each state during November 2017.
The draft RIS proposes a national approach to managing PFOS in order to minimize future emissions and align with global standards established by the Stockholm Convention. The draft RIS proposes four options: two options consistent with the Convention requirements, one option for light touch regulation, and one option of no regulation. The Department is looking for comments from all stakeholders, including: state, territory and local governments, industry members, and the community. The Department is seeking comments on suggested options for government action, the data and assumptions supporting each option and the data gaps identified in the draft RIS. Responses received during the consultation period will be used to shape the final RIS for consideration by the Australian Government.
The Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection for Austria
published Ordinance No. 309/2017, which amends the Workplace Ordinance. Specifically, the amendment ensures that traffic routes be:
In addition, the amendment requires that there be a secure escape area and escape route in case of fire or another emergency. Emergency exits must be labeled and increased depending on the number of persons in a workplace. The Ordinance comes into effect December 1, 2017.
The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) for Colombia issued Resolution No. 2246 of 2017, by which article 10 of Resolution No. 1297 of 2010 is modified and other provisions are issued. The 2010 Resolution establishes the systems of selective collection and environmental management of waste batteries and/or accumulators, with the purpose of preventing and controlling the degradation of the environment.
After evaluating the progress that has been made since the implementation of the 2010 Resolution, MADS has concluded that significant progress has been made and, in order to continue to strengthen such systems, communication mechanisms with consumers must be improved to achieve greater efficiency in return and collection of waste.
On October 23, 2017, the Parliament of Queensland passed the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017. The amendment Act amends the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), Electrical Safety Act 2002 (ES Act) and the Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 (SRWA Act) to implement key recommendations of the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. The amendments introduce the offense of industrial manslaughter and provide the definition of, exceptions to and penalties for, the offense. In addition, other amendments update obligations to train health and safety representatives and appoint work health and safety officers, among many other things. The goal of these amendments is to improve the health and safety of employees in the workplace.
The Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs for the United Kingdom has opened a consultation period seeking views on proposed amendments to the 2013 Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations, including “Open Scope” requirements. The consultation opened on October 20, 2017 and closed on December 8, 2017 at 11:45pm.
The Department wants to know what interested parties and stakeholders think about plans to amend the UK’s 2013 regulations for WEEE. The proposed changes would include:
The Department also hopes to learn what interested parties and stakeholders think of the 2013 WEEE Regulations. Specifically, how have they improved the environment and whether the improvement is proportionate to the cost to businesses. The information obtained from the consultation will be used to inform the Post Implementation Review in 2018.
From September 15, 2017 to October 13, 2017, the European Commission held a consultation on the definition of nanomaterial. The purpose of the consultation was to revise the Commission’s recommendation on the definition of nanomaterials, which was defined in 2011 as substances with 50% of particles or more between 1nm-100nm. The original revision deadline was December 2014, but was pushed back while the Commission waited for a report from the Joint Research Centre. The report was published in July 2015 and included technical and scientific recommendations to be taken into account for the review.
Following the consultation, the draft changes to the recommendation will be subject to another consultation period that will last 12 weeks. During this second consultation period, major relevant stakeholder groups, including Competent Authorities Sub-Group on Nanomaterials (CASG-Nano) members, will participate.