On 27 August 2015, Parliament passed the health and safety reform legislation. Introduced on 10 March 2014, the Health and Safety Reform Bill reforms New Zealand’s workplace health and safety system. Its main purpose is to provide for a balanced framework to secure the health and safety system that has already resulted in the establishment of WorkSafe New Zealand. The new health and safety at work regime replaces the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and the Machinery Act 1950.

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Last week, Labour Minister Simon Bridges launched guidelines for company directors on leading and managing health and safety in their workplaces.  These guidelines say directors should make workplace health and safety a business priority. We thought this would be a timely reminder to our clients about their health and safety obligations, especially with regards to the hiring of contractors, and where the corresponding health and safety liability falls, which is often misunderstood.

Workplace Health Safety System Launched

Workplace health and safety in New Zealand is changing considerably to dramatically reduce serious harm and fatalities.

Paul Diver Associates Health Safety Education

On 24 November, Leah, Fiona, Phil and Robyn presented the first test/pilot seminar on Health and Safety, designed specifically for the Inter Church Bureau by Paul Diver Associates.  All going well, next year our Associates will tour around the country facilitating numerous training sessions from Whangarei to Invercargill, spreading the word on health and safety.  The seminars will focus on critical points for health and safety around the Church and the different options they provide for their communities.

Health Safety Work Act

The new health and safety law comes into effect on 4 April 2016.   A final version of the Bill can be seen here.  In the meantime here are five things you can do now:

Health Safety Legislation Delayed

The Bill reforming health and safety law has been further delayed, with the Committee report back date rescheduled to 24 July 2015.

Incentive Small Businesses Improve Safety Save Money

ACC has expanded its ‘Workplace Safety Discount Programme’, which offers levy discounts to businesses with demonstrated workplace health and safety experience and practices.  The programme is now open to all small to medium-sized businesses and self-employed people. Previously, it was aimed at those working in identified, high-risk industries.

Bullying Anti Bullying Policy Lets Talk

The new Health and Safety at Work (HSAW) Act 2015 makes it clear that employers’ are obligated to prevent bullying and harrasment in the workplace. WorkSafe NZ has also made new guidelines available online which highlights employers’ duty of care under the HSWA, and as such there is now a better understanding of bullying in the workplace and the costs associated with it.

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