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

 


Devil in detail for new world of workplace safety

Media statement Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Devil in detail for new world of workplace safety

After reading the 233 pages of the new Health and Safety Reform Bill just introduced to Parliament, the Employers and Manufacturers Association's Paul Jarvie can verify a new world order is indeed about to arrive for workplace health and safety.

"The Bill represents a paradigm shift from the existing Health and Safety in Employment Act," said Mr Jarvie, EMA's Manager of OH&S.

"In general we support the general thrust of the proposed new law but like all new legislation the devils in the detail," he said.

"A strong theme running through the new law is for consultation; for employers to consult with workers to ensure they are engaged, and for them to be active in all aspects of safety in their workgroups in their workplaces.

"This is good, except the extent of the prescription in the Bill goes too far.

"For example Health and Safety representatives have been around for over 10 years with little to show for the huge effort that went into that system. More of the same is unlikely to help.

"Missing from the discussion are ways to move a company culture so that health and safety practice becomes more inclusive of all employees including middle and senior managers. To concentrate only on Health and Safety reps in our view is misguided. We made this point to the Taskforce last year.

"The Bill introduces a new concept - the 'PCBU' or Person in Control of a Business Unit which includes everyone in charge of a workplace. It means a company's officers and directors will need to step up their individual and corporate activities to ensure the safety of workers and others in all workplaces.

"There is also a requirement for the Minister to publish an injury prevention strategy and for Worksafe NZ and ACC to publish action plans which must be measurable and objective.

"New Zealand doesn't want 'business as usual' from Worksafe NZ. We want Worksafe NZ, including its inspectorate, to change to become a modern, mentoring regulator that is well equipped, skilled and pragmatic, and understands business and with good communication skills. This works well in Victoria, Australia.

"The Bill's prescription contains many fish hooks for employers, and a tome like this to read and comply with may be a lurch too far, and with more Regulations and Codes of Practice to come. In Australia the Regulations ran over 700 pages.

"We look forward to working with MBIE, Worksafe NZ and the other stakeholders to ensure New Zealand achieves the objective of the new Bill which is to reduce the workplace death toll by 25 per cent by 2020, a huge challenge that will require many changes.

"In particular we agree with the requirements for Worksafe New Zealand and ACC to consult widely on injury prevention initiatives and look forward to assisting with this.

"Good enough is no longer good enough - workplace health and safety practice will now have to be 100 per cent correct."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news