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

 

Maritime: Navigation Safety Review Raises Big Issues For The Govt

Shipping Federation: "The reports makes it clear that the ratification of the Maritime Labour convention (MLC) is long overdue. Only when the MLC is ratified will Maritime NZ be able to inspect and enforce the labour conditions on international ships visiting our ports." More>>

ALSO:

100 Years After Einstein Prediction: Gravitational Waves Found

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos. More>>

ALSO:

Farming: Alliance Plans To Start Docking Farmer Payments

Alliance Group, New Zealand's second-largest meat cooperative, plans to start withholding some stock payments to its farmers from next week to bolster its balance sheet and force suppliers to meet their share requirements. More>>

ALSO:

Gambling: SkyCity First Half Profit Rises 30%, Helped By High Rollers

SkyCity anticipates the Auckland business will benefit from government gaming concessions which were triggered on Nov. 11 in recognition of SkyCity’s $470 million Convention Centre development. Morrison said the concessions would allow the Auckland business to lift its activity during peak period, noting it had a record revenue week over the Christmas and New Year period. More>>

ALSO:

Money For Light: Kiwi Scientists Secure Preferential Access To Synchrotron

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced a three-year investment of $2.8 million in the Australian Synchrotron, the largest piece of scientific infrastructure in the Southern Hemisphere, to secure preferential access for Kiwi scientists. More>>

Telco Industry Report: Investment Hits $1.7 Bln A Year

Investment in the telecommunications sector is $1.7 billion a year, proportionately one of the highest levels in the OECD, according to a report released today on the status of the New Zealand sector. More>>

ALSO:

PGPs: New Programme Sets Sights On Strong Wool

A new collaboration between The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), announced today, aims to deliver premiums for New Zealand's strong wool sector... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news