Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

Health and Safety

CHANGES TO NZ HEALTH AND SAFETY LEGISLATION

NZ Health and Safety – the biggest shake up in 20 years.

Following the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy in 2012 and the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety in 2013, the government established a new Crown Agency for regulating Health and Safety called ‘WorkSafe NZ’.

In 2013, the Government also released the ‘Working Safer’ reform package which is aimed at lowering the workplace injury and death toll by 25% by 2020 by making every workplace and everyone in that workplace responsible for their own safety and the safety of others.

To do this, the Health and Safety Reform Bill was created. This Reform Bill passed in Parliament and became the Health and Safety at Work (HSAW) Act as of the 4th of April 2016. This new law beefs up penalties for non-compliance; shares the responsibility across people at all levels of business and focuses on improved worker participation.

What do we need to know?

Levels of Responsibility

No longer does the responsibility for Safety in the workplace, just fall on the ‘Employer’. The HSAW Act shares various duties on Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), Officers, Workers, and Others (including Contractors and Volunteers).

In essence, this means no one can ‘opt out’ of Health and Safety, put their hands in the air and say “it’s not my problem”. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Health and Safety definitions.

Levels of Fines & Penalties

One of the changes to the Legislation that has had quite a bit of time in the press is the increase in fines and penalties for non-compliance. Because these fines have increased significantly, and because there is now personal liability on Officers, these scary newsworthy headlines are making people sit up and take notice.

Here is what you need to know…

What do we need to do?

Safety can be simple, your Health and Safety system doesn’t need to be time consuming and complicated. The most important thing is that it works for you and that it assists in keeping you, your customers and everyone you work with and around safe.

We suggest reviewing your system by starting to look at what we call the ‘High Five’ – five areas you can start working on now, to make sure you are on the right track.

To read what the "High Five"areas are click here.

These five areas are the basis of a simple and easy to manage safety system. Of course some businesses will require more or less than this, but these are great areas of your business to start looking at first.

SNZ would encourage all clubs to have a H&S Club System. Pleae contact Andy@swimming.org.nz who can pass this information onto you.