• robyn moses
    62
    Can someone please clarify if because we are a food manufacture under the regs. we are a high risk businesses and as such must have a health and safety committee to show compliance with sec.58 and 61 HSWA, when no worker is asking for such and I have more robust evidence showing we meet this process with records of tool box meetings, area meetings when making changing to process/equipment, reviewing SOP/Hazard, wellness activities. We do have HSRs who mostly do very little in the way of HS
  • KeithH
    171
    @robyn moses
    Talk with Brent Armitage (Auckland) or Sherry Peck (Christchurch) from WorkSafe. Either are good for practical advice.
  • robyn moses
    62
    I wanted to edit my post but couldn't find edit button.
    The question was is HSRs mandatory in high risk industries or the process for HSRs is initiated upon workers request.
    I failed an internal audit by non qualified HS persons for not having HSR's in what they deemed to be a high risk industry as per the WEPR regs specifically C 11 Food Manufactures.
    Worksafe NZ guidelines for the regs were the most informative. I reached out to two people registered with HASANZ, both thought the regs. were unclear, couldn't really answer the question and one directed me to WorkSafe for an answer.
    However one suggested I look at how the business had determined it fell into the high risk industry. That really clarified things, who knew that food manufactures take a product and turn it into something else e.g milk to milk power, chicken fat to ice cream, yeast to beer, our business are primary processes not food manufactures, so are outside the scope of high risk industries.
    WorkSafe NZ then nailed it by telling me that irrespective of the level of risk of any business, HSRs are only initiated at workers request, unless PCBU initiates themselves.
    It was an interesting exercise.
  • Don Ramsay
    147
    I find it interesting that it was a fail in the audit considering the person had no formal training, they probably should have made it an opportunity for improvement. But given the regulations, I would not consider you a high-risk company. Maybe a better way forward is to get the person doing the audit qualified so that they are better placed to make statements in relation to your industry in relation to H&S.

    Just my 2 cents
  • Candis Hawkins
    8
    Hi Robyn,

    Here is Schedule 2 WEPR Below (if it helps... ). When I was in the fishing industry we had Union negotiated HSR ratios (numbers were less than HSWA required number), people just didn't want to be Reps.

    Also, I held elections, attempted to form committees and had Union delegates and team members sign docx. saying they were happy with arrangements and didn't want an HSR in there areas or wanted to participate in Committee (we did have a committee though, but not all departments represented). Annual we would ask again and periodically go around reminding teams that they were welcome to form a committee or add HSRs if / when they wanted to.

    I don't know if that kind of docx. signing had any weight, but like you we were also able to give loads of participation information. The company I worked for is ACC AEP Tertiary with no issues around auditing the participation and engagement piece.

    I recall there was an amendment around HSRs and Committees recently, I missed it though, maybe your auditor is right on top of those changes and knows more about the latest (?)

    Schedule 2
    High-risk sectors or industries
    r 5

    ANZSIC classification code High-risk sectors or industries
    A02 Aquaculture
    A03 Forestry and logging
    A04 Fishing, hunting, and trapping
    B06 Coal mining
    C11 Food product manufacturing
    D28 Water supply, sewerage, and drainage services
    D29 Waste collection, treatment, and disposal services
    E30 Building construction
    E31 Heavy and civil engineering construction
    E32 Construction services
  • Jane
    92

    Hi Robyn,
    Have you been able to find any paperwork, rules and regs to back up that (some?) primary processors aren't considered high risk under the legislation even though they fit into the food manufacturing classification? Or is it a self-classification thing depending on the actual risks/history at the workplace?
    Schedule 2 (https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0016/latest/DLM6567803.html) is very broad brush, and I thought the ANZSIC code matches up with ACC levy classifications too? Eg. https://www.shapeyouracc.co.nz/home/levy-risk-groups/

    I would be interested in knowing more too :)
  • robyn moses
    62
    The ANZSIC classification code for our industry is C 12 my thinking is it is out side scope of WEPR regs. Hmm yes have a niggle of suspicion i have seen C 11 class on our ACC docs so will have to follow that up. I am sole practioner, implementing my take on a HSMS, past 7 years on our only Sth Island work site of 200, 20% of my work is in RMP compliance.. our license to operate, we are certified auditors and subject to a number of audits incl. unannounced annually from MPI, Ecan, Customers, as well as worksafe, building compliance, machine guarding, ergonomics ect..we have never failed one so i have to put some credence in my direct rept here, the compliance manager who pulled out the high risk industry regs., previously my direct repts were national HS managers until they were scraped when ACC audits stopped.
    We have a new CEO HS focused hence mad scramble for a gab analysis of the work i do to show site HS compliance upstream. Nailed it but for this question. No small fete its a big portfolio to handle solo as you all well no, i was worried that my focus on investigating and mitigating critical risks over putting effort into general everyday hazards that are managed well enough through SOP and dept. daily checks wouldnt go down so well, the only procedure i dropped was contractor management which for us is supplier rather than contractors as such, which falls under a senior manager.
    We are the same struggle get HSC off ground (think all were happy during covid to flag it) never mind HSR, i approached our union rep this week see if keen do HSR traing, got a flat no, left school 30 yrs ago after form 2. We have other means of engagement that works, tool box, sop/haz review particularly after an event and a big notice board in cafe where i post data ect with invite to a regular open forumn, for anyone wanting to continue HS chat.
    Non HS practioners just dont get that first and foremost we are answerable to our profession. I doubt the idea of HSR will be dropped, it looks good on paper i guess.
    Appreciate the feed back and any other thoughts
  • Tony Walton
    129
    Looks like you are doing the right thing Robyn. If your staff have voted to appoint health & safety representatives for each workplace then you are simply required to work with them on the practicability of effective solutions designed for each scenario.
  • MattD2
    338
    interested in how many workers you have - as the whole "high-risk workplace" needs to be consider with the other part of the relevant sections in the Act which is (paraphrasing) "and is carried out by less than 20 workers" - so if you have 20 workers or more, whether you are a "high-risk workplace" is a moot point anyway.

    And just clarify you still require robust worker participation practices (which you have already mentioned you do have in place) as this only relates to the facts that if you have less than 20 workers and are not a high-risk workplace you can:
    • S62.4 / S62.5 - refuse (with no other reason) a worker's request for HSR elections to take place (as long as you notify them as such), and
    • S66.3 / S62.4 - ignore a request to establish a H&S Committee (as long as you tell them you are ignoring the request).
    However irrespective of the above, regarding the H&S Committee all that is required under S66 is that the request is considered by the business and an answer be provided (which if the request is refused the answer must include why, and specifically details on how the business is are already meeting the requirements for worker participation required under S61).
    And nothing in these sections removes the general duty to ensure workers are engaged and allowed to participate in the risk management decisions related to their work.
  • Steve Schroder
    18
    Bear in mind this https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/increased-health-and-safety-representation-workers is on the cards as well, which may change your stance on things. was slated to be in already but the legislative plate is full atm but they would like to have this access the line before the election
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