Businesses all across New Zealand are figuring out what their next move is before the Health and Safety at Work Act goes into effect on 4 April 2016.
The act will affect a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), officers, and workers. Liability now includes the officers of the company, and employers must ensure their workers’ health and safety, including the health and safety of other persons who may be affected by the work being done. The PCBU has an overall obligation to the safety of its workers, and officers must do due diligence to ensure the PCBU is carrying out this obligation. WorkSafe inspectors also have more options available to them, some of which do not require an incident to have taken place, only serious risk of health and safety to be present. This broader scope of liability is cause for concern and action.
Many businesses are taking action by moving from paper-based tools to online safety management systems to meet the hazard management requirement and manage their business’ overall safety needs. Some businesses have been making the change prior to passage of the bill, anticipating the change, looking for an easier way to manage health and safety compliance. These businesses have realized the inefficiency of paper-based systems and the savings of both time and money in switching early.
For the latest in safety news and a free trial of our safety management software, visit myosh.com.
By Stacey Wagner