Posted on: Sep 01, 2015

New law emphasises that everyone in the workplace is responsible for health and safety.

Michael Woodhouse, 27 August 2015

Today’s passing of the Health and Safety Reform Bill marks a major step in addressing New Zealand’s unacceptable workplace death and injury toll, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse.

“This is the first significant reform of New Zealand’s health and safety laws in more than 20 years. It delivers a system that strikes the right balance between safe workplaces for workers and unnecessary red tape on businesses,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Under the new law, the duty for all businesses, regardless of size and risk level, to have effective worker engagement and participation practices has been strengthened. However there will be some flexibility in how a business can choose to do this, to suit their size and need.”

The new law emphasises that everyone in the workplace is responsible for health and safety.

“It recognises the complexity of modern working arrangements, moving away from the narrow employer/employee focus, to ensure that everyone has an appropriate level of responsibility to make sure their health and safety, and that of others, is protected at work.

“Every worker deserves to come home safely each day and this new law will help reach our goal of a 25 per cent reduction in workplace deaths and injuries by 2020.

“But it will also require leadership and commitment from businesses and workers alike to change our culture and attitude towards health and safety in every day work practices.”

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