You may be having trouble understanding your obligations under the new HSWAct 2015, that just came into effect on 4th April 2016.
To simplify matters, here is an exerpt from the WorkSafe NZ guidance that may be very helpful, based on the principle that ‘two heads are (generally) better than one!’
The Act confirms that everyone has a role to play – and the following requirements may well lead you to the best outcomes!
“Businesses have two related duties:
- to engage with workers who carry out work for them on health and safety matters that may directly affect them
- to have practices that give their workers reasonable opportunities to participate effectively in improving health and safety in the business or undertaking on an ongoing basis (these are known as worker participation practices).
These duties only extend to workers who carry out work for the business or undertaking.”
You are required to consult and work with your employee or employer, to come up with the best options, to both assess and manage risks in your organisation.
Here are some effective ways to begin to facilitate this process:
- All meetings in your organisation will have health and safety on the agenda, so that you can:
- Continuously review and assess the systems and processes you have in place;
- Review any incidents that have occurred;
- Identify timely updates when necessary.
Once this becomes a routine part of your business culture, many things will inevitably begin to improve, leading to greater productivity.
- Risk assessment:
- Starting out, develop standard operating procedures (SOPs). Develop one SOP for each high risk activity, every week, based on the work your people are doing, using their input. ( i.e. Listing the hazards, noting each task step, completing a risk assessment, review and approve, until you have a complete set that can be used for consistency of practice, training and refresher information.
- Each of these will be signed off by the business owner or manager.
- Review all SOPs at tool-box or inhouse meetings incrementally throughout the year and update where required, to save having a backlog of tasks at years’ end.
- The key to improvement is taking small chunks of the information and developing your understanding and practice over time.
- Sign up for the updates on the WorkSafe NZ web site http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/hswa/working-smarter/understanding-hswa and find out in measured doses.