Health and Safety

In 2015 The Health and Safety at Work Act replaced the Health and Safety in Employment Act (1992). The Act shifted the focus from monitoring and recording health and safety incidents to pro-actively identifying and managing risks so that everyone is safe and healthy. It applies to nearly all work in New Zealand, the only exception being some matters involving the Armed Forces.

The new Act emphasises that whoever creates the risk manages the risk. The Act requires health and safety work risks to be managed. This means the potential for work-related health conditions needs to be considered, as well as the injuries that could occur. Health conditions include both physical and psychological, acute and long-term illnesses.

The Health and Safety at Work Act introduced the concept of the PCBU (person conducting a business or undertaking) and places a primary duty of care on them to ensure they are taking all practical steps to ensure the health and safety of their employees.

 
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The new Act emphasises that whoever creates the risk manages the risk. The Act requires health and safety work risks to be managed.

Responsibility has also been placed on officers, who are people holding positions within the organisation that gives them authority to make a significant difference to the health and safety of others. Employees also have the responsibility to be proactive in their own Health and Safety. 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:

Identify H&S hazards and risks and take steps to prevent these from happening. Make sure your H&S policies are led by management, understood by all staff and reviewed regularly.

  • Hold regular training on H&S matters.

  • Engage workers in H&S matters that affect them.

  • Support all officers to get up to date with H&S issues and key risk factors.

  • Report and monitor H&S goals.

  • Regularly review any incidents.

  • Carry out frequent H&S audits.