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

 

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Prices Up, Volume Down: March NZ House Sales Drop 10% As Loan Curbs Bite

New Zealand house sales dropped 10 percent in March from a year earlier as the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on low-equity mortgages continue to weigh on sales of cheaper property. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Chorus To Appeal Copper Pricing Judgment

Chorus will appeal a High Court ruling upholding the Commerce Commission’s determination setting the regulated prices on the telecommunications network operator’s copper lines. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Cars: Precautionary Recalls Announced For Toyota Vehicles

Toyota advises that a number of its New Zealand vehicles are affected by a series of precautionary global recalls. Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services Spencer Morris stressed that the recalls are precautionary. More>>

ALSO:

'Gardening Club': Air Freight Cartel Nets Almost $12 Million In Penalties

The High Court in Auckland has today ordered Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel International AG to pay a penalty of $3.1 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act. Kuehne + Nagel’s penalty brings the total penalties ordered in this case to $11.95 million ... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Revenue Below Projections

Core Crown tax revenue has increased by $1.9 billion (or 5.0%) compared to the same time last year. However this was $1.1 billion less than expected and is reflected across most tax types, continuing the pattern of recent months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news