Tradies take note: overhaul of workplace health & safety

Date: 9th August 2013

The construction industry is to be one of the targets of new workplace health and safety legislation.  In the wake of the 2010 Pike River mining disaster a Workplace Health and Safety task force was put together and in April came up with a number of recommendations.  This week, Labour Minister Simon Bridges announced an overhaul of labour law aiming to improve workplace safety culture with the following specific changes:

  • A new agency WorkSafe New Zealand will take over in December.  It aims to strengthen enforcement and education and implement the changes
  • A focus on high risk areas including the construction industry
  • A stronger focus on occupational harm and hazardous substances
  • Better coordination between government agencies
  • A tri-partisan approach between government, employers and workers
  • Stronger penalties, enforcement tools and court powers including fines of up to $600,000 and up to five years in prison.

Keep your eye on the Health & Safety Task Force  and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment websites for further updates.

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