Keep Calm and Keep Safe - 4th Apr 2016

Calm down - that's the message from WorkSafe Chief Executive Gordon MacDonald as the new Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) comes into effect April 4, 2016

'In recent media coverage there has been ill-informed comment about the impact of this legislation which has been a mixture of over-reaction, misinformation and scare-mongering'.  MacDonald says there have been clear health and safety workplace duties for over 20 years, many of which are being carried over to the new legislation. HSWA does not mean a whole new list of risks has to be managed – risk management has always been part of workplace health and safety.
The new aspects in HSWA clarify duties, and are designed to better protect workers in New Zealand's workplaces.

Some people do not understand the law, are being given very dodgy advice or are being wilfully ignorant of its requirements,” MacDonald says.

MacDonald says rather than the new law focusing on petty issues, it tackles significant areas where there is a need for improvement to help keep Kiwi workers health and safe.  Everyone has a role to play from a director to a worker. HSWA recognises that businesses and their directors have more influence and control than workers.  Companies are required to involve their workers in health and safety matters - that's making sure that the frontline, where the dangers lie, is fully represented in business decision-making
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