3.05.2018

New Workplace Health and Safety Legislation

As you might be aware, the Government is in the process of introducing new workplace health and safety legislation. The Health and Safety Reform Bill is currently before Select Committee, and is expected to become law in April 2015.

While that process is playing out, the Government has released a discussion document outlining proposals for the first tranche of regulations to accompany the new Act: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/about-us/consultation/development-of-regulations-to-support-the-new-health-and-safety-at-work-act

The proposals cover five key areas (listed below, along with an example of something proposed in that area to give an indication of what the regulations will be about):

  • General risk and workplace management (example: whether the regulations should contain a prescribed risk management process that would be mandatory in specified high-risk situations)
  • Worker participation, engagement and representation (example: imposing obligations on persons conducting a business or undertaking (basically everyone) to spend more on sending health and safety representatives on training courses and paying for their fees in doing so)
  • Work involving asbestos (example: prohibiting all work activities involving asbestos unless those activities comply strictly with the regulations)
  • Work involving hazardous substances (example: requiring an inventory of all hazardous substances used, handled, or stored in the workplace be prepared and maintained/introducing requirements for establishing health monitoring (to be paid for by the business) and storage of monitoring results); and
  • Major hazard facilities (example: making it a mandatory requirement that operators notify WorkSafe NZ if hazardous substances are present or are likely to be present once a certain quantity/threshold is reached).

While it is the Act that will get all the attention, the regulations are key: they support and provide guidance on how best to comply with the Act.  As a major example, the regulations will set out what responsibilities duty holders (basically everyone who has the ability to make decisions in a business) have, how they can comply with these duties, and whether they have done enough to comply with them.  If something were to go wrong, this information will help WorkSafe NZ decide whether the Act has been breached and a prosecution commenced.

The areas listed above are likely to impact on your business. The regulations will have a significant impact on employers and this is a chance for you to have some input.

Submissions on the discussion document are due by Friday, 18 July 2014.  Now is the time for you to submit feedback that could influence how the regulations are formulated (and thus how the regulations and the Act impact upon their business). We recommend that you consider making a submission. We are more than happy to assist with form and process.

If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me,  Jim Roberts (09 3758723 jim.roberts@heskethhenry.co.nz ), or Alison Maelzer (09 375 7628 alison.maelzer@heskethhenry.co.nz).

Do you need expert legal advice?
Contact the expert team at Hesketh Henry.
Kerry_100x100 1
Media contact - Kerry Browne
Please contact Kerry with any media enquiries and with any questions related to marketing or sponsorships on +64 9 375 8747 or via email.

Related Articles / Insights & Opinion

Don’t Let Your Guard Down
The risks arising from the use of unguarded machinery are well-known to the point of being blindingly obvious.  The measures to ensure the safe operation of machinery are usually straightforward.  W...
19.02.2019 Posted in Health & Safety Law
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT REFORM: Ten Guidelines the Government could Adopt
“We need to lead by example and if there are things that we can do to take a leadership position with that industry then we should be.” Prime Minister Ardern[1] As 2018 draws to a close a...
21.12.2018 Posted in Construction Law
Nearly there! Only a few days of 2018 left!
Just a quick note from the Hesketh Henry Employment team about what’s on the horizon:
18.12.2018 Posted in Employment Law
When did you last have your Ts & Cs reviewed?
The Commerce Commission recently announced that, after its investigation of jeweller Michael Hill Limited, the company was fined $169K for breaching its obligations in relation to the extended warrant...
13.12.2018 Posted in Corporate & Commercial law
Time for Change (again!)
The winds of change are once again blowing through the employment law landscape.
10.12.2018 Posted in Employment Law
Summer Maritime Update
Welcome to our summer maritime update - November 2018
27.11.2018 Posted in Maritime Law
Employment Litigation Costs: In for a penny, in for a pound?
Vindication is frequently offered as a motivation for litigation.
Send us an enquiry
For expert legal advice, please complete the form below or call us on (09) 375 8700.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.