New health and safety (H&S) law is expected to be passed later this year and come into effect several months after that. While not all the changes are yet confirmed, enough is known for you to check what – if any – action your business may need to take.
If you have good H&S policies and practices already in place, you’re in a good position to stay compliant when the law changes. If not, there’s plenty of time to rectify this to make sure you are up to speed with the new regime.
In short, everyone in a business:
The new legislation shifts the focus from monitoring and recording health and safety incidents to proactively identifying and managing risks so everyone is safe.
This might not necessarily mean a major change to your day-to-day operations, but it’s the PCBU’s duty to think about who may be affected by its business. This includes staff, contractors, customers and visitors.
The PCBU will also need to engage its workers in health and safety matters through toolbox talks, H&S representatives, or other ways that suit that particular business.
If your business already has a strong commitment to H&S, you might not have to do anything new (check the list below).
If not, you’ll need to think about what could go wrong in your business and how to manage your health and safety risks. Make sure all staff understand it, and use these tips to get on the right track:
Taking these steps is good for your staff and workplace, helps productivity and it may help reduce your ACC levies. For tips on how to pay less, see Workplace Safety Discounts on the ACC website (external link) .
New Zealand has a poor record of workplace H&S. Its workers are twice as likely to be killed or suffer serious harm compared to Australia, and six times as likely as those in the UK.
WorkSafe New Zealand figures show that on average each year, across all New Zealand workplaces:
The Government’s Working Safer reform package aims to bring down the workplace injury and death toll by at least 25% by 2020. The Health and Safety Reform Bill is to play a large part in this. By meeting your H&S obligations, you will too.