Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


NZ’s first OSH prosecution for stress

NZ’s first OSH prosecution for stress could have been prevented

New Zealand’s first OSH prosecution for work-related stress could have been prevented, say Wellington-based stress experts Winsborough Limited.

Nelson engineering firm Nalder and Biddle was fined $8000 yesterday after pleading guilty in the Nelson District Court to failing to take all practicable steps to ensure a female employee was not exposed to work-related stress.

Rachael Stott, a Winsborough Limited expert on stress and coping, today pointed to the prosecution as a sign to employers of the need to provide managers with the skills to recognise overload in staff.

“The Nelson case is one in which it appears an ounce of prevention would have saved thousands in remedy,” says Ms Stott.

Previously head of the NZ Army Psychological Service, Ms Stott has worked with soldiers helping them ready themselves for combat, and is well qualified in the skills of prevention.

“Unfortunately, the fact that the Nelson case was prosecuted is a classic example of too little too late,” she says.

“Smart employers will do four things. First, managers will understand stress and what it looks like. Secondly, they will have systems in place to monitor and prevent hazards. Third, they will measure stress periodically, and, finally, they will equip staff with tools and skills that build strength and coping.”

Ms Stott is critical of many programmes in the market which are pitched at preventing or reducing stress.

“Such programmes are all after the fact. Employers need to be on the front foot, providing staff with the simple skills to make them stronger. As in combat situations, stress can’t be made to go away – but we can help people deal with it in positive, healthy way.”

The Nelson case is the first such prosecution under the Health and Safety in Employment Act which, two years ago, changed to include work-related stress as a health and safety issue.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Mycoplasma Bovis: More Properties Positive

One of the latest infected properties is in the Hastings district, the other three are within a farming enterprise in Winton. The suspect property is near Ashburton. More>>


Manawatū Gorge Alternative: More Work Needed To Choose Route

“We are currently working closely and in partnership with local councils and other stakeholders to make the right long-term decision. It’s vital we have strong support on the new route as it will represent a very significant long-term investment and it will need to serve the region and the country for decades to come.” More>>


RBNZ: Super Fund Chief To Be New Reserve Bank Governor

Adrian Orr has been appointed as Reserve Bank Governor effective from 27 March 2018, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. More>>


ScoopPro: Helping PR Professionals Get More Out Of Scoop has been a fixture of New Zealand’s news and Public Relations infrastructure for over 18 years. However, without the financial assistance of those using Scoop in a professional context in key sectors such as Public Relations and media, Scoop will not be able to continue this service... More>>

Insurance: 2017 Worst Year On Record For Weather-Related Losses

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) announced today that 2017 has been the most expensive year on record for weather-related losses, with a total insured-losses value of more than $242 million. More>>