Employment / Workplace

New regulations to support the new Health and Safety at Work Act

Published in Inside Tourism, Issue 980, 3 June 2014

THE MBIE recently issued a lengthy discussion document detailing proposals for new health and safety regulations due to take effect from April 2015.

The discussion paper - Developing regulations to support the new Health and Safety at Work Act - is part of the government's Working Safer package of reforms.

The objective is to reduce New Zealand's workplace serious injury and fatality rate. The new Act is based on the Australian model. The proposed regulations will support the new Health and Safety at Work Act, which is expected to be passed towards the end of the year.

It is proposed the new Act will: expand the scope of persons responsible to manage risks and keep workers safe; increase focus on those in a governance role to ensure workplace safety; encourage greater worker participation, particularly in regards to health and safety issues; create increased penalties, enforcement tools, graduated offence and Court powers.

Importantly, the MBIE proposes to transfer the regulations under the Health and Safety in Employment Act relating to adventure tourism into the new regime.

MBIE has invited feedback on the regulations. Submissions can be made via www. mbie.govt.nz and are due by July 18.

The Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure and Activities) Regulations (2011) have established a new safety audit and registration process for adventure tourism operators.

By November 1, all adventure tourism operators must be registered with WorkSafe. The registration process requires an operator to obtain and pass a safety audit. Once passed, the audit may allow registration for up to three years before another audit is required.

It is likely the introduction of the new Health and Safety at Work Act will impose additional requirements for tourism as a whole. This could mean businesses may have to review their operations again. The new act seeks to make important changes to fundamental principles of individual responsibility and who is personally liable when things go wrong. It is therefore important all operators keep up with these latest developments. This might include making submissions where they consider it could be of advantage.

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The contents of this publication are general in nature and are not intended to serve as a substitute for legal advice on a specific matter. In the absence of such advice no responsibility is accepted by Brookfields for reliance on any of the information provided in this publication.


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