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Help on workplace safety for small businesses

Hon Trevor Mallard

Minister of Labour

26 August 2008 Media Statement

Help on workplace safety for small businesses

An online tool to help small business improve workplace safety and save on ACC costs was launched by Labour Minister Trevor Mallard today.

"Any small business anywhere in New Zealand can now access the Department of Labour’s Hazard Handler to build a customised hazard register, but the handler also has other benefits," Trevor Mallard said.

"Small businesses are the backbone of the New Zealand economy and evidence suggests safer workplaces mean happier staff and improved productivity."

The Hazard Handler provides practical information on how to identify and manage both general and industry-specific health and safety issues.

"The Hazard Handler is targeted at small businesses that don’t have a hazard management system," Trevor Mallard said.

"It can show them what they need to do – it is there to provide the first steps towards identifying hazards and risks for all their employees so they can install systems to improve workplace Health and Safety."

A complete online self-assessment of hazards in the workplace takes one to two hours to complete and each question has hints and tips for managing dangerous equipment and materials.

When the questions are finished, the user downloads a personalised Hazard Register which details the responses given and records all the useful information provided during the assessment.

"Eligible businesses can also use the Hazard Handler to apply for the ACC Workplace Safety Discounts programme," Trevor Mallard said.

This discount is currently available to small businesses within the forestry, residential construction, agriculture, motor trade and road transport industries.

For small businesses that don’t qualify, the Hazard Handler contains a General Small Business category that addresses common, non-industry specific hazards, including noise, forklifts, machinery and the office environment.

The Hazard Handler is available at


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