The government's comprehensive re-haul of New Zealand's
health and safety regime is progressing rapidly. On 11 March 2014,
the Health and Safety Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament.
One of the most striking features of the bill is the new due
diligence duty imposed on directors and officers.
"Officer" is defined widely and is likely to capture
CEO's and other senior employees if they make decisions that
affect a substantial part of the organisation's business. To
satisfy the new duty, these individuals will need to take active
steps, including understanding the hazards and risks of the
organisation's operations and ensuring appropriate resources
and processes are in place. Directors and officers cannot delegate
these obligations. Failures will be punishable against the
individual personally, up to a maximum of $600,000 and/or five
years imprisonment in the worst cases.
The bill will now be considered at Select Committee level, and
the Select Committee will consider public submissions as part of
that. Alongside the bill, two phases of regulations will be
released for public consultation - the first in early April
It is expected that the bill will be passed towards the end of
2014. The supporting regulations will then be finalised. The new
Health and Safety at Work Act is likely to then become law from 1
Duncan Cotterill has presented widely around the country on the
new changes and how organisations can use the time available to
prepare for them. If you would further information, please contact
one of our health and safety team members below.
Agriculture industry - health and safety guidelines
Worksafe New Zealand is fully up and running, with regular
updates on its website. It is currently seeking public feedback on
draft health and safety guidelines for the agriculture industry.
The deadline for submissions is 28 March 2014.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This WHS decision clarified the interpretation of s 19 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).
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