Health and Safety Reform Bill Passed

As many of you will be aware Parliament has recently passed a Health and Safety Reform Bill that will come into effect on the 4 April 2016, you can view the new Act here.

What happens next?

The new law will be called the Health and Safety at Work Act.

A series of regulations are being developed to support the new Act. These include:

  • General risk and workplace management
  • Major Hazard Facilities
  • Asbestos
  • Engagement, worker participation and representation (available shortly for public consultation)

Once the regulations are finalised, WorkSafe will issue formal guidance to support the Act and regulations. This formal guidance will start to become available in 2016. In the meantime WorkSafe will develop general information on the new legislation to help people prepare. This general information will help explain your responsibilities under the new Act, and will provide examples and case studies to assist you. However, this guidance does not provide specific guidance for every business activity in New Zealand.

Things you can do now.

The new law comes into effect on 4 April 2016. Between now and then WorkSafe will provide supporting information to help you get ready. In the meantime here are five things you can do now:

  • Familiarise yourself with the key concepts of the legislation
  • Review your health and safety practices
  • Identify health and safety risks in your business and take steps to prevent these from causing harm
  • Lead by example
  • Make health and safety part of your workplace culture

Until the new Act comes into effect in April 2016, the current Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 remains in force.

Further information on the new Act can be found here … NZPI encourages you to sign up to regular updates from Worksafe here …