Health and Safety Reform Bill Passed

Health and Safety Reform Bill Passed

Health and Safety Reform Bill comes into effect on 4 April, 2016!

After a lengthy debate in Parliament yesterday, the Health and Safety Reform Bill passed in Parliament last night (27th August 2015). There has been much debate and controversy surrounding the Bill and its effectiveness. However, what is clear is the this new Legislation will impact every business in New Zealand when it comes into effect on 4 April, 2016.

The new law will be called the Health and Safety at Work Act.  You can view a copy of the Bill and it will be made available on the New  Zealand Legislation Website soon.

Health and Safety reform in New Zealand has been designed to reduce Workplace Injuries by 25% by 2020.

WorkSafe will provide a lot of ongoing information about the progress of the Act and the regulations that are to be developed around the act.  You can subscribe to these updates through the WorkSafe here

Regulations will be Developed?

These regulations will support the new Heath and Safety at Work Act .  These are:

  • Major Hazard Facilities
  • Engagement, worker participation and representation 
  • General risk and workplace management
  • Asbestos

These will be made available for public consultation, this will start shortly.  More information regarding the consultation will be available on the MBIE website. Progress will also be updated by WorkSafe and will issue the formal guidance for the regulations once completed. AMS Group will update any relevant links and information during the draft phase of the Regulation development.

How Will This Affect Qualifications and Training

AMS Group has been advised by Government Policy advisors at MOBI (Ministry of Business and Innovation) that when the new Health and Safety at Work Act comes into force on 4 April 2016, training courses previously approved under the HSE Act will have no effect in law.  For Health and Safety Representatives to be considered 'trained,' the existing unit standards will have to change to accommodate the changes to the new law.  AMS Group will keep you updated with developments and information in this area as it is published.

The regulations as listed above and managed by WorkSafe are expected to specify the required training.  

The Skills Organisation has started a targeted review of qualifications for the Workplace Health and Safety sector.

This process includes working with key stakeholders and qualification owners to review the current Workplace Health and Safety qualifications available in New Zealand, AMS Group will provide you with regular updates and information as it comes to hand via Email.  Sign up now.

Prepare Now!

You may already be preparing for the changes in legislation and understand how this affects your current health and safety policies and procedures, culture and training.  However, if you have not made these preparations yet, there are a number of areas that you can concentrate on in your business to help you prepare.  

  • Make sure that you are familiar with the key concepts of the Heath and Safety at Work Act .
  • With the key concepts in mind, review health and Safety practices, identify risks and areas that need development.
  • Ensure Health and Safety policies become a part of your Organisation's  safety culture.
  • Safety should be lead from the top.  Ensure that  steps are in place and Management are involved in planning and implementation.

Tools that Can Help

There are plenty of tools that are able to help you with ensuring you are prepared for the new Legislation. 

Please note that the current Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 will remain in place until the Heath and Safety at Work Act comes into effect.