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

 

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Catches Breath After "Goldilocks" Slump

The New Zealand dollar edged up following its dramatic slump yesterday after the Reserve Bank confirmed speculation it intervened in the currency market last month and PM John Key suggested a “Goldilocks” level far lower than at present. More>>

ALSO:

Biosecurity: Kiwifruit Claim To Hold Officials Accountable For Psa

Kiwifruit growers have joined forces to hold Biosecurity NZ accountable in the courts for its negligence in allowing 2010’s Psa outbreak that devastated New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and exports. Foundation claimants representing well ... More>>

ALSO:

Poison: Anglers Advised Not To Eat Trout In 1080 Areas

With the fishing season opening in just a few days (1 October 2014), anglers are being warned by the Department of Conservation(DOC) not to eat trout from pristine backcountry waters and their downstream catchments, where the department is conducting 1080 poisoning operations. More>>.

ALSO:

Quotas: MPI Swoop On Suspected Fraudulent Fishing Activity

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) compliance officers swooped on a Hawkes Bay fishing enterprise today to secure evidence in an investigation into suspected fraudulent activity... “The investigation involves activity throughout the commercial supply chain – catching, landing, processing and exporting.” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fonterra Slashes 2015 Milk Payout, Earnings Tumble 76%

Fonterra Cooperative Group cut its forecast 2015 milk price payout by about 12 percent, citing weaker global dairy prices and said there is a risk of further declines given strong global milk production. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news