New Health and Safety at Work Act

New Health and Safety at Work Act

21st March 2016

As you may be aware, the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is set to come into force on 4 April 2016.
The Health and Safety at Work Act replaces the existing Health and Safety in Employment Act and represents a significant change to New Zealand’s health and safety regime.

Key changes include:
-  Framing duties around a new, broader primary duty holder: “a person conducting a business or undertaking”;
- The imposition of a positive due diligence duty on directors and those in senior management;
- A presumption in favour of the highest level of protection of workers from harm;
- A new duty to take “reasonably practicable steps”; and
- Substantially heightened penalties for non-compliance and a three-tiered hierarchy of offences.
 
Now is the best time for businesses of all shapes and sizes to review their health and safety practices and behaviours before the new Act comes into force, and ensure that they:
(1)   Understand their health and safety obligations; and
(2)  Comply with those obligations and manage critical risks that could cause illness, injury or death.
 
In order to become familiar with the new health and safety obligations, we have included a link to the Act: see http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0013/latest/DLM6727530.html
This link may also be helpful: http://www.clendons.co.nz/resources/articles-and-publications/employment-law/health-safety-reform-2014/
 
Should you have any questions about the obligations under the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 or require further information or assistance, please let us know.

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