Don't Get Stung

May 05, 2016 at 1:44 PM







® Business Information Newsletter

Setting the Benchmark for Business Performance ● Issue 118 - 2016


Deano’s Comment

Don’t Get Stung!

New Health and Safety at Work Act 4 April 2016 – Heavier Penalties

I attended a seminar last week about the new Health and Safety at Work Act presented by Angie Williams, Director of OSHbox. She delivered a powerful seminar on how to interpret the new act and as she spoke I wrote down the main points, bearing in mind what they might mean to my clients.

According to my notes, the new act is a proactive approach by the Government to health and safety in the workplace, making more individuals accountable and responsible for creating safe working environments.

It's important that you are familiar with the changes in case you are one of those individuals - because the new law also brings in far more severe penalties, including a possible five year jail term for those who don't comply, and up to a $600,000 fine for company directors. You can’t insure against this fine.

OSHbox say that there are six main steps to consider that you need to work on immediately;

  1. Have a working manual prepared – Induction, Hazard Recognition, Action.
  2. Have a method of recording injuries – cause and prevention. Must notify WorkSafe of a near-miss that could have resulted in hospitalization or if admitted to hospital. WorkSafe want to educate.
  3. Have a Hazard Register – eliminate/minimise hazards that you can reasonably control.
  4. People – induction/training, emergency phone number, what to do in an incident, report to site manager, hold regular toolbox meetings
  5. Emergency Procedures – must have effective communication with any person working in isolation, test cell phone reception, state check-in times.
  6. ACC discount for a working Health and Safety model – 10% for up to 10 staff, 10% - 15% for > 10 staff.

In a recent press release, WorkSafe New Zealand CEO, Gordon MacDonald, says “Compliance isn't just about fixing problems when they're pointed out - but proving that you have tried to prevent hazards in the first place. It's not WorkSafe's job to come around and spot risks so that people can respond to that and put things right - people should be taking proactive action. Identify your risks, identify who could be harmed, how badly, and then devise sensible measures to mitigate those risks," says MacDonald.

Who is responsible?

This is where the jargon comes in. Basically it's anyone who has a significant say in the day-to-day running of an organisation. I think that the main idea is to eliminate/minimise hazards that you can reasonably control.

The acronym used for these people is PCBU - a 'person conducting a business or undertaking'.

  • A self-employed person
  • Director of a company
  • School Principals
  • Property Managers / Landlords

PCBU's are not:

  • Volunteer associations
  • Home occupiers
  • People who are solely 'workers' in a company

Make sure that you contact your industry association for information. I have been working closely with a number of my clients helping them to develop and put in place their Health and Safety Material with the help of other qualified organisations. If you would like some help, contact me.

If you have any questions after reading this information, go to Contact Us on our website and type in your request.

By Dean Dalton DBA
Director, DaltonPlan® Business Action Planning Limited

Category: Latest News