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

 

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news