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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

The Taskforce's challenge

The Taskforce's challenge
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New Zealand

Scrap the HSE Act and replace it with the new Australian statute. Urgently create up to date guidance material by cutting and pasting from that which already exists across the Tasman and further afield. Change from a hazard-based approach to one revolving around risk. Get very serious about the health side of the equation - and about genuine worker participation. Ensure the Government's own state agencies become shining exemplars of best practice in OHS. Create a dedicated OHS agency to actively coordinate everything, including ACC's workplace injury prevention budget. Oh, and fundamentally shift New Zealand's cultural acceptance of risk.

The much anticipated report from the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety is nothing if not ambitious. Taskforce members could have adopted a play-it-safe approach, advocating changes here and there but not challenging the overall system of how health and safety works - or, more pointedly, doesn't work - in this country.

Instead they have chosen a root-and-branch deconstruction of the system in order to propose rebuilding it from the ground up. Almost the only thing which survives their assault intact is the concept of performance-based non-prescriptive legislation based on the Robens report of 1972.

The taskforce says there is no silver bullet to fix New Zealand's poor level of OHS performance, and that only if each one of its recommendations is acted upon will there be any chance of achieving the Government's stated goal of reducing fatalities by 25% by 2020.

But the Taskforce is more ambitious than that. Its vision is that ten years by now - by 2023 - our OHS performance will be recognised as among the best in the world.

Labour minister Simon Bridges has noted the Government is already well along the path of creating a stand-alone dedicated OHS agency, and that the Government will respond to the rest of the Taskforce's recommendations by July.

People Mentioned:
Simon Bridges
Organisations Mentioned:
Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety
Reference No:

From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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