In the second half of 2015 the Health and Safety Reform Bill will come into force as the Health and Safety at Work Act. The aim of this new legislation is to substantially reduce work-related harm in New Zealand. Leaders in organisations hold the duty to enforce the changes as prescribed under the Act.
There are three tiers to the penalty and fine regime under the new Act.
The new Act provides strong penalties for unfulfilled obligations, on a graduated basis, depending on who the duty holder is.
Under the new Act a person or business does not have to be reckless or intentionally vague about health and safety obligations in order to be considered unlawful. If the person or organisation fails to meet their obligations under the Act they can be liable for an offence. This puts the responsibility to uphold health and safety on all levels of a company, from the PCBU, the officers right through to the workers.