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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

Myths addressed

Myths addressed
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New Zealand

John Tulloch told delegates the new HSW Act is a tool to help lift New Zealand's health and safety performance and cited some comparative figures to clarify the scale of the task.

In New Zealand, he said, 23,000 workers are seriously harmed or killed at work each year. "We are twice as bad as Australia. Every day we lose to Australia. And we are three times as bad as the UK. We are way off the pace."

By June WorkSafe will have reached its target of having 200 inspectors, "but we are not going to inspect our way to health and safety excellence".

Various myths were circulating about the new legislation, he said, including that there would be an inspection blitz starting on 4 April. "Absolutely not. It's not the way we work."

Similarly, there would not be a rise in health and safety compliance paperwork. "You are not going to see lots of prescriptive paperwork. The Act doesn't create it."

Another myth was that compliance would be more expensive under the new legislation. "There are a lot of pop-up safety advisors out there," he cautioned, and WorkSafe appreciated that some employers might wish to seek technical advice - but there is no need to buy "expensive software". The basics remained the same: assess your risks, identify the gaps, and address them.

Final myth: that even paper cuts would have to be managed. Not so, he said, because the law emphasises proportionality. "Get your head around the critical risks. What is important, what do we need to manage?"

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John Tulloch
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From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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