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

 


NZOG's Griffiths backs director liability on health, safety

NZOG chair Griffiths backs director liability over health and safety failures

By Paul McBeth

May 21 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand Oil & Gas chairman Peter Griffiths has thrown his support behind legislative moves to make directors liable if the companies they govern fail to meet health and safety obligations.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Institute of Directors yesterday released health and safety governance guidelines for directors outlining best practice and advice for company boards.

NZOG’s Griffiths, a veteran employee, manager and director in the high risk energy sector, told a business audience in Wellington yesterday that company boards shouldn’t wait until a health and safety failure before making changes and needed to take workplace safety seriously at a governance level.

“That’s an enormous price to pay for a bit of learning,” he said.

Griffiths said he supports “legislative change that brings criminal liability to people who don’t follow safety guidelines.”

Health and safety issues came to the fore after several explosions at the Pike River Coal mine on the West Coast in late 2010 killed 29 men. In April, the company was convicted of nine charges for breaching the Health and Safety Employment Act, with sentencing set down for early July in the Greymouth District Court.

NZOG held a 29.4 percent stake in Pike River Coal, and had provided it with funding in the lead-up to the explosions. Griffiths has been a director of NZOG since December 2009, and appointed chair last year.

Labour Minister Simon Bridges told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report today he is “seriously considering” an extension to include companies in corporate manslaughter as part of the government’s response to the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety report.

Bridges said the report indicated that holding individual directors culpable for murder or manslaughter charges was more problematic and international evidence showed it was difficult to get successful prosecutions.

The taskforce report recommended directors and senior executives hold a due diligence duty equivalent to their fiduciary duties to shareholders. Corporate liability rules need to change to allow an extension of manslaughter to corporations, it said.

The MoBIE/IoD guidelines provides advice on how directors can influence health and safety performance, gives a framework for boards to play a role in health and safety, aid them in identifying risks and maintaining good monitoring of health and safety, and encourages directors to have open communication on the issue.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Keep Digging: Seabed Ironsands Miner TransTasman Tries Again

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. More>>

Wool Pulled: Duvets Sold As ‘Premium Alpaca’ Mostly Sheep’s Wool

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets. More>>

Reserve Bank: Labour Calls For Monetary Policy To Expand Goals

Labour's comments follow a speech today by RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler in which Wheeler sought to answer critics who variously say he should stop lowering interest rates, lower them faster, or that inflation-targeting should no longer be the primary goal of the central bank's activities. More>>

ALSO:

BSA Extension And Sunday Morning Ads: Digital Convergence Bill Captures Online Content

Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams has today announced the Government’s plans to update the Broadcasting Act to better reflect today’s converged market... The Government considered four areas as part of its review into content regulation: classification requirements, advertising restrictions, election programming and contestable funding. More>>

ALSO:

March 2017: Commerce Commission Delays Decision On Fairfax-NZME

The Commerce Commission has delayed its decision on the proposed merger between NZME and Fairfax Media's New Zealand assets, saying the deal is complex and it needs more time to assess the impact on both news content and the advertising market. More>>

ALSO:

Plan Plan: Permanent Independent Hearings Panel Proposed For Planning

The Productivity Commission recommends creating a permanent independent hearings panel like the one that cut through local politics to settle Auckland’s Unitary Plan, for the whole country. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: NZ Jobless Rate Falls To 5.1% Under New Methodology

New Zealand's unemployment rate fell more than expected in the second quarter as Statistics New Zealand adopted a new way of measuring the labour market to bring the country in line with international practices, and while a growing economy continued to support jobs growth. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news