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Major Workplace Health and Safety review and consultation

Written by Alison Maelzer on October 26th, 2012.

New Zealand has one of the highest workplace death rates in the OECD.  For the first time in twenty years, a significant review of New Zealand’s entire workplace health and safety system is underway.  An independent, specialist Taskforce has been set up to review the whole system of education, regulation, and enforcement, in an effort to address New Zealand’s comparatively poor health and safety record.  The rate of workplace fatalities and injuries in NZ is higher than that of the United Kingdom, Norway, Canada and Australia.  The Taskforce is to establish how to address this.  
 
To this end, and with the aim of meeting the Government’s target of a 25% reduction in number of deaths and injuries by 2020, the Taskforce is considering how to improve New Zealand’s health and safety system.  The Taskforce has now issued a consultation document, which sets out the key issues in health and safety management, and possible solutions.   In particular, the Taskforce is seeking feedback on the following issues:
 
  • Who gets hurt, killed or suffers from ill-health or disease as a result of work?
  • Regulatory framework
  • Regulators’ roles and responsibilities
  • New Zealand’s changing workforce and work arrangements
  • Worker participation and engagement
  • Leadership and governance
  • Capacity and capability of the workplace health and safety system
  • Incentives
  • Influencing health and safety outcomes beyond one’s own workplace
  • Major hazards
  • Health and hazardous substances
  • Small to medium-sized enterprises
  • Measurement and data
  • Our national culture and societal expectations
 The Taskforce has invited submissions from all interested parties – individuals, unions, and businesses.  It wants to make sure its recommendations to the Government (due in April next year) are workable, and encourages submitters to share their experiences and ideas.  The consultation document, and information about how to make a submission, is at
www.hstaskforce.govt.nz .  Submissions close 16 November 2012. 
 
If you have any questions regarding health and safety, or would like help on making a submission, email us on employmentnews@heskethhenry.co.nz or call us on (09) 375 8699.
 
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