In 2013 the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety reported that New Zealand’s work health and safety system was failing.
As a result, New Zealand’s work health and safety system underwent its most significant reforms for 20 years resulting in the establishment of WorkSafe New Zealand and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) – New Zealand’s workplace health and safety law which came into effect on 4 April 2016.
NZ’s New Stance on Health & Safety
- Increased funding for health and safety by the Government
- Increased number of Worksafe inspector
- Goal to reduce workplace fatalities by 25% by 2020
The new legislation requires all Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)* to ensure the health and safety of workers and others so far as reasonably practicable. This places a duty on directors and officers to ensure their organisation is taking all the proper steps to comply with their duties. When the duties of two or more businesses overlap, they must consult, co-operate, and co-ordinate activities to meet their health and safety responsibilities to workers and others and to fulfil their duties of care.
PCBU’s include persons who do not directly engage workers, including management in control of a workplace – such as building owners and building managers. Additionally, designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers, installers and constructors are held accountable.
What does this mean?
- Under the new Act, obligations are placed on persons/entities who would not normally be considered “employers”.
- Expected increased fines being imposed in the high risk industries that have had a history of workplace accidents.
- Likely to see higher reparations (money awarded to victims) under the Act.
PCBUs and individuals who breach the provisions of the HSWA will be liable for fines of up to the following limits:
Now is the time to advise your clients to review their Health and Safety practices and ensuring they have the right behaviours, systems, processes and capabilities in place to manage the Health and Safety risks in their own unique workplace
Opportunity to Sell
Insurance Protection Available:
Under The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, Statutory Liability cover does not indemnify the Insured for the actual fine (it would be illegal for an insurer to do so), but most Statutory Liability policies do provide indemnity for any reparations ordered as the result of a prosecution including Defence Costs up to the Sum Insured.
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