In December this year, the new, stand-alone Crown agency WorkSafe New Zealand will assume oversight of the workplace health and safety system. It is a significant step towards better health and safety outcomes for this country.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employments Health and Safety Group has begun laying the groundwork for the new agency. Group Deputy Chief Executive Lesley Haines says changes need to be made throughout the system to achieve the vision of safer and healthier workplaces in New Zealand. Our workplaces are currently not safe enough, and it is not only the regulator but also every business, every employer, every worker who must step up their focus on health and safety.
The biggest change were making is to put more focus on proactively identifying potential harm-causing practices before people get hurt rather than just reacting to events. Our inspectors will be spending more time out and about in workplaces the implementation of our proactive identification approach will mean inspectors will undertake significantly more workplace assessments. Over time the number of inspectors will increase, so that will amplify the effect.
Inspectors will focus on the sectors where we know the most deaths and other serious harm is happening the areas where we know our intervention can make a significant impact and where required, businesses should expect a firmer regulatory stance from our inspectors. At least 80 percent of our workplace assessments will be targeted to industries outlined in the Health and Safety National Action Agenda 2010-2013. For 2013/14, we will concentrate on safer forestry harvesting, safe use of machinery in manufacturing, preventing falls from height in construction, quad bike safety and the Canterbury rebuild.
New Zealands workplace health and safety record has to be turned around and it will take all of us pulling in the same direction to do that.
Posted: Sept 24 2013
Author: Netting Solutions
Category: Health & Safety Regulations