Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Health and Safety. Simply click each question to open or close the answer. If you don't see an answer to your question here, please contact us.

When does the Health And Safety at Work Act 2015 come into force?

The Health and Safety At Work Act 2015 was legislated by the NZ Government on 27th August 2015, coming into force on 4th April 2016. 

Under The Health And Safety at Work Act 2015, who will be responsible for workplace health and safety?

In short – everyone. the new legal concept will be a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU). A PCBU will usually be a business entity, such as a company, rather than an individual.

The business will have the primary duty under the new law to ensure the health and safety of workers and others affected by the work it carries out.
That’s why the business may also need to consult with other businesses where it shares a worksite or are part of a contracting or supply chain, to make sure all workers are safe and healthy.
Workers – must take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others, and to comply with the business’s reasonable instructions and policies.

Other people who come to the workplace, such as visitors or customers, contractors, suppliers, also have some health and safety duties. It’s all about taking responsibility for what you can control.

What are the other key changes?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) shifts the focus from monitoring and recording Health and Safety incidents to proactively identifying and managing risks so everyone is safe and healthy.

This might not necessarily mean major changes to your day-to-day operations, but it’s the business’s duty to think about who may be affected by its business. This includes workers, contractors, customers and visitors.
The business will also need to engage workers in health and safety matters and implement effective participation practices to allow workers to contribute to health and safety on an ongoing basis.

What is health and safety all about?

Properly identifying and controlling risks to people’s health and safety from work activities to prevent people from being harmed, or becoming ill, due to work activities. Health and safety in the workplace concerns all of us, and the impact of poor health and safety on businesses, families and the whole economy is far reaching.

There are moral, business, economic and legal reasons for ensuring health and safety is properly managed, as detailed below:
Moral - Each and every employee / worker have the right to return home from work safe and sound. People matter, and the people best placed to make workplaces safer from harm are the staff and managers who work in them. Leadership from business management  and the active participation and involvement of employees / contractors / suppliers are crucial.

Business - Having good Health and Safety Management Systems can lead to real benefits such as saving money, improving productivity, raising morale and helping create a happier, healthier workforce.

Economic - Accidents result in costs to the company, and not all of these costs are insured. Uninsured costs include lost time, sick pay, extra wages/overtime payments, and investigation costs.

Legal - The main responsibility for managing Health and Safety rests with employers, who have the Duty Of Care under Part 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Do I need to have a Health and Safety System?

Yes, every PCBU (Person Conducting Business or Undertaking) are required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to have an active Health and Safety Management System that proactively identifies and manages risks so everyone is safe and healthy
What If I do nothing ?

By taking no action of implementing Health and Safety for your business as PCBU, you are leaving your business with your employees and anyone on your business site terribly exposed to receiving penalties and / or fines from Worksafe NZ should an incident occur and dependent upon the level of seriousness.

Click on the Legislation tab to find out more.

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