Health and Safety Law Reform

The lessons learned from the Pike River Mine tragedy and the Royal Commissions’ Report paved the way for an overhaul of New Zealand’s health and safety legislation.  In September 2015, the new legislation passed its third reading in Parliament and became law.  It comes into effect from 4th April 2016

So what are the key changes involved and what does it mean for you?  From our perspective, the change will mean that Officers of Person Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU) (or Directors) will have an increased accountability if health and safety is not a strong point in the organisation.  If they are unable to prove that they have done due diligence in promoting the health and safety of the worker (in all it’s modern guises), fines, training orders or even jail terms are likely.  It will no longer be enough to simply say that someone was given safety critical information during their induction process – if that same information has not been refreshed or revised for five years the PCBU may be found to be lacking.

Ergo OT has been proactive in taking care of our own health and safety for a number of years and we understand what it takes to manage the training and wellbeing for your staff.  We can help with this process by ensuring that there is early reporting of discomfort issues in the workplace, resolving those issues and training your staff.  If you would like assistance with this please give us a call – we have a comprehensive set of documents readily available for an approved supplier process or contractor management system and will behave as responsible contractors when engaged with your company.

The main points which will differ from our previous legislation are detailed on the WorkSafe Website. 

If you would like to see more about the regulations which are being developed to support the new Health and Safety at Work Law the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment Website is a useful link to keep an eye on. 

For full details of the legislation see the Parliamentary Council Office Website.

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