• Steve H
    220
    The Government has announced changes to a range of outdated,complex and incomplete
    health and safety requirements.
    New health and safety regulations will provide more clarity and certainty for
    businesses and better safety and health for workers.

    From 2008 to 2019, on average 54 people a year died at work from injuries involving plant
    (e.g. machines, vehicles and equipment) and structures (e.g. scaffolding and excavations).
    That’s three-quarters of all work-related injury deaths. New Zealand’s work-related acute
    fatalities are high by international standards, approximately twice that of Australia and four
    times the rate of the United Kingdom.

    During the public consultation, many stakeholders supported changing the regulations that
    apply to plant and structures and wanted greater clarity and certainty. The changes have
    been designed to ensure the rules are clear, effective, fexible, durable and proportionate,
    making it easier for businesses to manage risks, and better ensure people come home from
    work safe and healthy.

    The changes will create better regulations and release business from the burden of not being
    clear of what’s required of them.

    The Government will release a draft of the new plant and structures regulations in early 2022.
    People will have the chance to comment on how the changes are best implemented during
    that process. Support and guidance will be provided to businesses to give them time to prepare.
    The final regulations are expected to be in place by late 2022.
    MBIE

    This will affect many New Zealand businesses, have a read and be ready to provide some input
    into shaping the final changes. Heath & Safety At Work Reform (PDF)
  • SafetylawyerNZ
    84
    I encourage everyone to read the consultation documents and submit on this. Reform is important and will likely be with us for a long time, so it's important the Government gets it right.
  • Garth Forsberg
    21
    It says on the website in the links that submissions closed 04 October 2019. Will there be more consultation?
  • Steve H
    220
    Yeah Garth, they are going to open the draft legislation for comment before chiseling into stone

    The Government will release a draft of the new plant and structures regulations in early 2022.
    People will have the chance to comment on how the changes are best implemented during that
    process. Support and guidance will be provided to businesses to give them time to prepare.
    The final regulations are expected to be in place by late 2022.
    — MBIE
  • Sheri Greenwell
    290
    Remember that "silence implies consent", and "we get exactly the government we deserve, according to our degree of active participation".

    We should all be commenting on every consultation and aiming not just to complain about what is currently NOT working, but also to offer constructive suggestions about what would work better.

    "The worst they can do is say no, but they can't say yes if you don't ask them." Sometimes we need to keep repeating the message until the time is right and the information gets through.

    I strongly recommend that people consider working with a collaborative group to review and comment. I have done this ever since ISO9001:2000 was introduced and the committee of NZOQ decided we would work collaboratively to leverage our combined knowledge, skills and experience to teach ourselves, rather than relying on consultants or courses. It was very effective, and we found the group discussions particularly helpful for gaining an overall better understanding of the framework and its implications.

    When the HSNO Act came into law, I approached a colleague from that NZOQ committee and suggested we could do the same with HSNO. From there, our HSNO Working Group was formed, with 4 people at its core. We worked through the initial wave of classifications and controls by working together as a group to review and comment. We sent our collected comments to NZCIC (now Responsible Care NZ), which sent them on to ERMA (now EPA). One of our members was invited to sit on the Technical Liaison Committee, which effectively gave us a seat at the table and a recognised presence for all matters in that domain.

    In our case, along with our core of 4 very committed participants, having a well-formed charter from the outset allowed us to align our efforts with agreements about the purpose and scope of our work, as well as how we would work together. Later, as the HSNO framework 'matured', we were able to re-visit, review and update our charter to remain current with our purpose.

    When the H&S Reform Bill came along and the MBIE Discussion Document came out, I approached the group to ask if anyone wanted to review the document in similar fashion. One member had retired, but the other two were keen, so we met one evening per week at my dining table to work through the chapters. We discussed and clarified the content, the questions, and our feedback, which allowed us to make a submission on behalf of the group as well as our individual feedback. It was equally important that we all engaged much more deeply with the content and implications, and each person in the group added insights and nuances that the others would have missed if we had tried to do this in isolation.

    The remaining members of the group continue to connect and collaborate any time there are significant changes or calls for feedback.

    It was very pleasing a few years ago to see WorkSafe and MBIE running World Café style workshops to engage, catalyze discussions and gather a much more comprehensive range of feedback.
  • Andy Bunyan
    8
    This is a good if overdue move. When pinching WHS from across the ditch we took the lite version only and left many regulations behind. This step serves to address some of those gaps through greater prescription. The opportunity to feedback and contribute to their shaping is a good thing indeed although we shall doubtless see it become to a degree political in a similar way that HSWA did six or so years ago.
  • Rowly Brown
    48
    The major reform we need is to finish the job we started back in 1989, which was to construct one Act and one Authority to administer it. It started with the reform of the Dept of Labour, the creation of OSH as the Authority, the transfer of personnel from MoT (engineer- surveyors), ACC Injury Prevention Consultants- Workforce, Health Dept Occ Health Nurses into OSH between 1990 & 1993, and the introduction of the HSE Act. The Mines Inspectors from Min Commerce were also supposed to transfer. Public Service Admin procrastination, and some other practical issues, including needed legislative changes, delayed the Mines Inspectors' transfer. In fact only 3 of 13 mines inspectors transferred across in 1997, the rest went back into the industry. Within 2 years 2 inspectors had retired, leaving 1. Previous Regulations made under old legislation were not promulgated under the HSE Act. Further reform of OSH resulted in a loss of knowledgeable people in both Policy and Technical Support from OSH and the initial One/Act-One Authority model lost it's way. The responsibility for that lies with Treasury, State Services Commission, and other senior public servants. Reform of other Govt Depts and a business model performance ideology for the public service initiated by Treasury was a major factor in OSH not performing. I was involved from 1994-95 in the facilitation and planning of the Mines inspectors' transfer to OSH. When the project got thrown in the bin by new policy personnel in OSH, I resigned. They didn't understand what they had thrown away! Pike River brought the shambles into focus.

    So we got a re-invention of the original concept following the Pike River Enquiry. What should have happened, but didn't, because again it was guided by inexperienced / unknowledgeable policy wonks, was the creation of the whole stand-alone Agency.

    There should be an Executive Division of Worksafe sitting above the Operational Division. The Executive cover Policy and Structure, legislation etc. The model is the HSE in the UK. H&S policy and oversight needs to come out of MBIE and into Worksafe. There needs to be pathways for individuals to develop their professional and technical specialities, with career progression in the organisation. So long as we have policy advisors transferring between Govt agencies and in and out of Worksafe there's not much chance for stability and the building of a sound body of knowledge within the organisation.

    The need for Regulations can be better assessed when the rationale for them is well understood. At present the model of "cut & paste" from other jurisdictions as a knee jerk reaction to issues not well understood will continue to produce less than optimal results.
  • MattD2
    237
    The need for Regulations can be better assessed when the rationale for them is well understood. At present the model of "cut & paste" from other jurisdictions as a knee jerk reaction to issues not well understood will continue to produce less than optimal results.Rowly Brown

    Yes! We don't need more regulations, we need regulations that work.
  • Steve H
    220
    we need regulations that work.MattD2

    Coupled to a Regulator that works, which requires the oversight that Rowly has identified is missing from the current model. .
  • Steve H
    220
    No doubt you have been checking MBIE's page on the H&S reforms being considered by the Government and have signed up to get a copy of the draft regulations when they are released early next year- no, now's good :razz:

    Next steps
    An early draft of the proposed regulations will be released in early 2022 for further feedback, and to test the detail.

    You can join our mailing list to register your interest in receiving a draft of the regulations in early 2022.

    Subscribe to our mailing list
    MBIE- Heath & Safety At Work Act Better Regulation
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