Health and Safety Reforms
Information and updates on proposed changes to NZ health and Safety
It is currently proposed that the Health and Safety Reform Bill will be passed into legislation in the second half of 2015 and then come into effect by the end of 2015. This will provide a reasonably short time frame for businesses to update their health and safety management systems to comply with the new legislation.
Click the following link for information on some of the key changes proposed in the Health and Safety Reform Bill.
What can businesses do to ensure they are ready for the new legislation?
It should be noted that many of the requirements for businesses under under the new legislation are all ready required under the current Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. Since the Pike River Mine Disater in 2010 and the establishment of WorkSafe NZ in 2013 the option of doing nothing has disappeared. WorkSafe NZ has the capability and is using this to enforce the current health and safety laws. They are sending a very clear message to all businesses.
If you can say yes to all of the following questions then the risks to your business and your employees under the current and new legislation will be minimised. It will also ensure that a business can speedily transfer to to the new system.
- Does your undertaking have in place a current and up-to-date health and safety system?
- A functioning hazard indentification and control process?
- Does you undertaking carry out regular hazard identification checks and take all practicable steps to Eliminate, Isolate or Minimise hazards?
- Are all Directors, Trustees, Managers, employees, contractors, suppliers aware of their Health and Safety responsibilities and duties?
- Is there a process in place for managing contractors and suppliers?
- Do all employees/contractors receive a health and safety Induction before commencing work for your undertaking?
- Is their an up-to-date Emergency Management plan in place?
- Do all employees/contractors/visitors understand emergency and evacuation procedures?
- Is Emergency information displayed in workplaces?
- Are the appropriate First Aid Kits and Fire Extinguishers located in designated vehicles, buildings and maintained to standard?
- Is there an Accident Management procedure in place?
- Do employees/contractors understand Accident Management procedures?
- Where required Safe Operating Procedures/Safe Work Methoods completed for Equipment, Machinery and Plant and high risk work activities?
- Employees Trained in safe use of Equipment, Machinery and plant where identified?
- Employees have the appropriate Licences for vehicles being used?
- Is your plant and machinery maintained to standard and documented?
- Are your Hazardous substances securely stored?
- Is the Hazardous Substance Register kept up-to-date with Safety Data Sheets in hazardous substances location?
- Are employees trained in the safe handling, use, storage of hazardous substances and the wearing of required PPE?
- Are appropriate treatment facilities and personal protective available for hazardous substances emergencies?
- If you cant answer yes to all of these questions then action should be taken to adress any gaps in your current health and safety management practice.
- If your not sure then contact us to discuss any of your issues or concerns?