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Company assists Board Directors with health responsibilities

New Company launches to assist Board Directors with their new health and safety responsibilities

New Health and Safety at Work Act on its way during 2014
• Increased directors' duties
• WorkSafe NZ already tackling high hazard industries
• “Home safe tonight and every night”

Three experienced Directors and management consultants have today launched Board Safe Limited from their operational base in Wellington. Don Baskerville, Rob Sewell and Robin Gunston have combined their expertise and experience to provide a health and safety assurance service in the vanguard of major changes to NZ's health and safety legislation, which has followed the Pike River Royal Commission of Inquiry's recommendations to make directors and officers far more accountable for health and safety in their organisations' workplaces.

Board Safe director Don Baskerville says, "In May 2013 I attended the Institute of Directors launch of their Code of Practice for Directors which they had assembled conjointly with Worksafe NZ. I became aware, as a Company Director myself, of the need to be assured that the organisations I am involved with are indeed following the core health and safety practices that Worksafe NZ wishes to see implemented throughout New Zealand." He continued, "I could not find anyone offering such a service, thus Board Safe was conceived."

The Institute of Directors CEO, Dr William Whittaker, has commented "The new law will be a step change from its 1992 predecessor requiring paid Company Directors and Trustees to take on more personal risk and also to shoulder much more responsibility as a group for ensuring that their entity is actually doing what is in their health and safety policies."

"We have wrestled as a new Company with how demand for our service will be met", says Rob Sewell, who worked recently with the Department of Labour to help establish their health and safety change programme. "Our focus in the start up phase of Board Safe has been to provide a high level of consistency without being bogged down by finding and employing the right staff. As a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) I was aware that the accredited members of IMCNZ (the Institute of Management Consultants) could provide the high quality we require and give us an instant workforce for this crucial phase."

Mr Phil Guerin, President of IMC New Zealand explained: "Board Safe matches experienced consultants with an excellent new product, giving directors assurance. We have been impressed by the processes and systems that this new service will offer as well as providing an essential service to NZ organisations. We will be working alongside the Board Safe team to ensure that a quality service is delivered. Board Safe will be available from CMCs - experienced management consultants with binding professional standards and part of a global network of Consultants in over 50 countries."

(What is a CMC? http://www.imcnz.org/what_does_cmc_mean.asp )

Robin Gunston, who brings considerable health and safety and risk management expertise to Board Safe, explained their approach to services as follows: "We are initially launching the BoardSafe assurance service nationwide. Once a report has been quality assured by one of our Directors and then received by the organisation the board can then opt to join the SafeCall service which will be a hotline for employees' health and safety concerns to be independently aired and routed through to Directors. Depending on the follow up changes recommended in the report we will seek further interaction with the directors at either six monthly or annual intervals through our follow up service StaySafe. Statistics will be anonymously gathered from all assessments to provide the NZHSI, the NZ Health & Safety Index. Over time this approach will lead to a recognised standard similar to that of Site Safe, Outdoors Mark etc. for those Companies reaching the required standard of health and safety governance."

It is the vision of the Directors of Board Safe Limited that their initiative makes a substantial difference to New Zealand's record in health and safety over the forthcoming years, turning this country into a leader in this field.

More details of the Company and its services can be found at www.boardsafe.co.nz

ENDS

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