Site Safe Submission to Health and Safety Reform Bill

On Friday 9 May 2014, Site Safe submitted its recommendations on the Health and Safety Reform Bill to the Parliamentary Select Committee.

Site Safe overall supports the need for some reform of the New Zealand health and safety framework: to enable and encourage businesses to proactively manage risks and hazards to avoid loss of life and injuries.

Much progress has been achieved so far in reducing New Zealand's health and safety injury toll since the Health and Safety in Employment Act commenced in 1992; however significant changes and improvements are still required if New Zealand want to compare favourably with similar countries.

To achieve improved health and safety capability and performance, the significant areas to be addressed are:

  • small/medium businesses;
  • leveraging positive health and safety influence through the contracting supply chain; and
  • improved procurement practices by Government and the private sector.

Site Safe's recommendations:

  • Legislative Framework: Work that requires specific safe work method statements be focussed on agreed high risk matters/processes and be specified in Regulations or approved Codes of Practice (Clause 229 of the Bill).
  • Enforcement of the legislation: Develop an easy-to-read compliance and enforcement document to enable effective implementation.
  • Promoting and supporting high levels of Health and Safety performance through procurement practices: Require all contracts over a specified size and value describe the health and safety practices into the tender price and apply across both public and private sectors.
  • Duties of PCBUs (Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking) and impact on small to medium businesses: Guidance documents such as Codes of Practice are developed in consultation with industry to ensure that requirements placed on small businesses and subcontractors are relevant to their workplace risks.

    WorkSafe New Zealand and industry work together to enable the use of suitable templates to assist small businesses meet their duties in a cost effective manner.
  • Engagement, worker participation, and representation - Part 3 of the Bill: Develop Codes of Practice or Guidance Notes for worker engagement, participation and representation that reflect the construction industry's work environment.
  • Clarification of duties for advisors and consultants to PCBUs: Health and safety advisors' and consultants' duties as PCBUs be clarified.
  • Site Safe would like to thank all who helped contribute to the submission - insights were invaluable and will help shape the new Health and Safety in Employment Act.

    Click here to read Site Safe's full submission and more details on the recommendations.

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