The new Workplace Health & Safety Legislation is now law

New Zealand’s new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into effect on April 4th 2016, along with the majority of the first phase of regulations to support the new Health and Safety at Work legislation. If you are unsure what this means for your business, or would like support to comply with the new law, the Safety First team are here to help.

What is a hazard?

“Anything that can cause harm.”

Where a person’s behaviour has the potential to cause death, injury, or illness to a person, that behaviour can also be a hazard, regardless of why they are acting that way.

Support from Worksafe New Zealand

We regularly update our OSH information to support your business – if you have internal staff who would like these alerts also, they can sign up for updates here.

To help you and your staff understand HSWA and start managing workplace health and safety, Workplace NZ has created an online toolkit including presentations, quizzes, case studies and fact sheets.

You can watch the video of WorkSafe CE Gordon MacDonald explaining the basic facts you need to know about the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) below, and share it with your teams – or download a PDF file of the Health and Safety at Work Act Presentation here.

Take the quizzes here to find out how much you understand each of the core HSWA concepts.

You may find these fact sheets on the new legislation useful, and this selection of case studies shows different ways that Kiwi businesses are successfully managing workplace health and safety.

What Health and Safety policy has changed?

The regulations are intended to support businesses to understand what they need to do, and you can view the detailed Health and Safety at Work regulations on the Legislation website, or view the relevant regulations at a glance:

What's still to come?

  • Regulations specifying infringement offences and fees
  • Regulations for work involving hazardous substances will be finalised later this year
  • Regulations to support the power in the new Act for the regulator to grant exemptions from regulatory requirements (clause 228A) will also be developed this year.
  • Phase two regulations will be developed over the next two years.

If you would like to know more about how Safety First can ensure your people and workplace are safe, and that you are compliant with the new Workplace Health and Safety policy, get in touch today.