WorkSafe NZ is the government’s regulator of workplace health and safety. Where some agencies may take on some of the work of WorkSafe NZ, such as Maritime New Zealand for safety on ships and the Civil Aviation Authority for aircraft safety, it falls to WorkSafe NZ to ensure all workplaces in New Zealand are safe and risks are minimised or eliminated.
Besides the underlying statement of ensuring safety in New Zealand workplaces, WorkSafe NZ has some more specific functions:
• monitoring compliance and enforcement of work health and safety legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
• provision of advice and guidance on work health and safety to employers, managers, and employees
• collecting and publishing statistics related to work health and safety
• engaging with those responsible for safety in their workplace
• educating you and your employees on work health and safety and responsibilities of each party
• in times of breaches or when issues arise, WorkSafe NZ is responsible for enforcing the law in each case
The legislation giving WorkSafe NZ its powers and responsibilities is the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (the Act). The introduction of this Act saw a change in how workplace safety is managed in the workplace, a key part of which is the interaction of WorkSafe in your workplace and with your employees.
The Act encourages workplace safety from you and your employees as the most ideal way of improving safety in New Zealand. A full list of the functions and objectives of the Act is available here, but ultimately WorkSafe NZ is the body responsible for enforcing the legislation.
WorkSafe NZ is the agency responsible for administering seven Acts across workplaces in New Zealand covering a number of industries. The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is the primary piece of legislation being enforced by WorkSafe but some industries have their own safety based legislation, such as the Mine Rescue Act 2013 or the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 which are promoted and enforced by WorkSafe.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is supported in its application by Regulations which make it easier for you and your employees to understand what is required in managing safety in the workplace. There are nine Regulations that cover specific fields:
• Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016
• Health and Safety at Work (Worker Engagement, Participation and Representation) Regulations 2016
• Health and Safety at Work (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2016
• Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016
• Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016
• Health and Safety at Work (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2016
• Health and Safety at Work (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 2016
• Health and Safety at Work (Rates of Funding Levy) Regulations 2016
• Health and Safety at Work (Infringement Offences and Fees) Regulations 2016
For advice on WorkSafe New Zealand and how it can impact your business call Employsure on 0800 675 700.