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29 : 02 : 16

Health and Safety legislation changes

Posted by:
Melissa Withers
New Health and Safety legislation comes into effect on the 4th April 2016. Here's what you need to know!

Here at Hamer we are proud to offer a range of products that improve the safety of New Zealand’s electrical contractors and the industry. Health and safety is a priority for every business in New Zealand and the new law says you need to do what’s “reasonably practicable” to manage health and safety risks at work.


The Act is part of “Working Safer: a blueprint for health and safety at work” and reforms New Zealand’s health and safety system following the recommendations of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety. Working Safer is aimed at reducing New Zealand’s workplace injury and death toll by 25 per cent by 2020. The Act’s key emphasis is on everyone in the workplace taking responsibility for what they can control.


We hope the following information from Work Safe New Zealand helps:


The Act works to focus effort on what matters, based on business risk, control and size:

  • It reinforces proportionality – what a business needs to do depends on its level of risk and what it can control
  • It shifts from hazard spotting to managing critical risks – actions that reduce workplace harm rather than trivial hazards
  • It introduces the “reasonably practicable” concept – focusing attention on what’s reasonable for a business to do
  • It changes the focus from the physical workplace to the conduct of work – what the business actually does and so what it can control
  • It supports more effective worker engagement and participation – promoting flexibility to suit business size and need.


The Health and Safety at Work Act will replace the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. The new law will be supported by regulations and Work-Safe New Zealand will provide information to businesses and workers of the changes before the law comes into force.


What can you do to prepare for the change?

The new law comes into effect on 4th April 2016. In the meantime, here are 5 things you can do now:

  1. Familiarise yourself with the key concepts of the legislation. Attending any employer based workshop or briefing will assist with informing you about the Act and giving guidance on implementing a "Best Practice" Health & Safety system
  2. Review your health and safety practice. How often are you reviewing your hazard register, training matrix, HSNO systems etc.?
  3. Identify health and safety risks in your business, and take steps to prevent these from causing harm
  4. Lead by example, by communicating the company’s health and safety policy and procedures, then ensuring you reinforce these by personally following them
  5. Make health and safety part of your workplace culture



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