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What’s New? Changes in Workplace Health & Safety Legislation in NZ

health and safety legislation

Think about the last time you had to deal with a health or safety issue in the workplace. Or, if you haven’t yet experienced an issue like this, consider a what-if scenario.

You know some of the health and safety legislation and protocols to follow but maybe weren’t completely sure about a few steps you had to take. Were you simply ill-informed, or was there a change in the policies for health and safety in the workplace? Did you feel like you were being taken care of or that you were safe in the situation at hand?

Safety isn’t expensive. It’s priceless.

The expenses saved by implementing health and safety standards in the workplace are immense. Companies don’t just put these standards in place for the sake of avoiding lawsuits – they do it to provide a safe workplace environment free of unnecessary health and safety hazards. In turn, they cultivate an atmosphere of productivity, comfort, and presence.

New Zealand workplace health and safety has always been top of mind — and the changes brought about with the 2015 Health and Safety Work Act show that there is always something new to learn.

Keeping up with the recent trends and changes in health and safety legislation will keep your evolving workplace healthy, safe, and functional.

Changes in Workplace Health and Safety Legislation in NZ

Health and Safety Legislation Trends

New Zealand passed the first Health and Safety Work Act in 1992. Decades have passed, and the need for reform was apparent across the board. Take a look at how the trends have changed:

Health & Safety Monitoring

The Health and Safety Work Act of 2015 (enacted in April 2016) brought about new codes, regulations, and standards for multiple industries. This act led to a required analysis of where companies stood with the health and safety regulations.

Are the systems in place fit for keeping people safe?

Constant monitoring is about being active in workplace health and safety, not passive. Companies must evaluate and re-evaluate their systems to meet industry standards and court guidelines.

Health & Safety Collaborating

Collaborating is a key factor in how any health and safety plan comes to fruition.

With the Health and Safety Work Act, the collaboration between employees and those with influence or control over the workplace or industry is a big component. These changes mean active worker involvement and feedback from leadership figures in creating a meaningful health and safety plan.

Changes in Workplace Health and Safety Legislation in NZ

Preparing for change and keeping up to date

Are there changes you need to make to existing health and safety systems in the workplace? Are there gaps where industry requirements and your systems meet?

Preparing for any potential health and safety changes in the workplace is crucial. Informed and critical thinking and efficiency in planning will help eliminate these gaps and set steps in place to implement new standards in the workplace.

Staying up to date with current health and safety legislation in NZ is imperative. Make sure you are following us on social media to find out the latest in changes to the health and safety at work act.

Changes to Health and Safety Legislation NZ

On average, between 50 and 60 people die each year from work-related injuries, and 600-900 people die from work-related illnesses, according to Stats NZ. With a poor history of workplace incidents, New Zealand reviewed health and safety policies in the workplace and we can expect further updates to the health and safety legislation in NZ in the years to come.

Taking an active approach in implementing health and safety regulations (versus simply monitoring and recording) is helping to prevent incidents from occurring. We are sure to see this trend continue whenever health and safety laws are updated.

Key Points in Health and Safety Law

  • New laws target any person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU).
  • PCBUs are the primary care point for all workers and can be held personally liable.
  • PCBUs are responsible for providing a safe work environment without risk to health, mental health, and safety.
  • PCBUs are responsible for monitoring conditions in the workplace for any potential health and safety hazards.
  • PCBUs are responsible for providing training and critical information to employees regarding health and safety.
  • Workers have the right to refuse work if they believe it will present a health or safety hazard.
  • PCBUs must ensure that employee views on health and safety in the workplace are heard. There must be an existing way for employees to share improvements or concerns.

Changes in Workplace Health and Safety Legislation in NZ

Need Help Filling in the Gaps?

Although the new health and safety act has been in existence for a few years, many companies still have gaps in health and safety that they may be unaware of.

HasTrak can assist: We are experienced health and safety consultants and advisors who specialise in running detailed audits and risk assessments, building COVID-19 health and safety management systems and manuals, and on-and-off-site workplace safety training and consultancy tailored to your workplace and team.

Too many businesses risk going bankrupt over fines following simple workplace accidents; fines that can easily be avoided by knowing what you’re working with, and having your paperwork up to date. We’ll help you do exactly that! Contact us today to receive a personalised quote!

Ready to get the help you need?

Get in touch to talk about health and safety management, consultancy or training for New Zealand business.

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