Poutama recently met up with Bob Collier from Health & Safety1 NZ Ltd. He returned home to live permanently in Aotearoa, November 2014. Bob had spent the last 9 years of fly in – fly out work from Whakatane into large construction projects for the oil, gas and mining sectors in Australia.
The projects were typically $500 million construction jobs where Bob was in charge of Health & Safety onsite for between 650-1100 people and normally ran for up to 2-3 years.
Bob was encouraged to return home to begin helping small-medium sized businesses to adopt and implement the new health and safety laws coming into effect.
What has been particularly pleasing for Bob since moving back on a more permanent basis is his growing involvement with Maori businesses from asset holding entities to small-medium enterprises.
Bob’s company carries out the following services;
- Auditing to ACC WSMP standards/ASNZS 4801 Health & Safety Management Systems
- Health & Safety training and upskilling of staff in the new legislation
- Consultancy & Advisory services
- Working with Maori organisations
Although the business is Whakatane based it covers the whole of the North Island and is happy to assist businesses of all sizes and activities.
Bob sees their role as translating all of the legislative requirements into easy to understand systems and processes that people can follow to achieve compliance and to lead the way in health and safety performance.
Bob says that on average in New Zealand each year:
- 52 people die on the job
- Hundreds more are seriously injured, and
- 600-900 people die from work-related diseases
On the 4th April 2016, the new Health & Safety At Work Act, (HSWA) will come into effect.
The Act is based on the WHS Act of Australia and focuses more on managing and assessing risk as opposed to hazard management.
There are a number of terms of the H&S Act to understand, some of which include;
A PCBU is a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’. While a PCBU may be an individual person or an organisation, in most cases the PCBU will be an organisation (for example, a company). There are certain duties placed on PCBU’s and various examples are available on the Worksafe NZ website.
Officer of a PCBU
The Officer of a PCBU is a person who holds a senior leadership position and has the ability to significantly influence the management of a business or undertaking. A business or undertaking can have more than one officer.
Some examples are:
- company directors (even if they do not have ‘director’ in the title)
- any partner in a partnership (other than a limited partnership)
- any general partner in a limited partnership
- any person who holds a position comparable to a director in a body corporate or an unincorporated body
- any person who exercises significant influence over the management of the business or undertaking (e.g. CEO)
So what does the new H&S Act mean for your business?
Companies, Sole Traders, Trusts and Incorporations under HSWA will need to ensure they identify the health and safety risks in their businesses that could seriously harm workers and others. You will then need to consider implementing the practices, systems, processes and training needed to eliminate, and where they can’t be eliminated, minimise those risks.
This needs to be done together with everyone in the business and with the other businesses you work with. Everyone has a role in managing health and safety.
The majority of the first phase of regulations to support the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) have now been finalized and will come into force 4 April 2016, along with the Act. They are available to view at HSWA Regulations.
Thanks to Bob Collier for providing this information. If you would like to know more about HSWA or use Bob’s H&S services then please contact him on 0800 272 3389 or firstname.lastname@example.org.