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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

Employer snapshot

Employer snapshot
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New Zealand

Nearly a quarter of 1528 businesses reported they had no mechanisms for involving employees in health and safety, according to MBIE's National Survey of Employers for 2015/16.

The NSE survey is conducted annually and contains several questions on health and safety. This most recent survey was conducted after the passage of the HSW Act but before it came into force in April 2016.

One question asked if the employer had a formal system for employees to participate in managing H&S. The question did not suggest what a formal system might look like. Just over half (51%) of all respondents said they did have a formal system in place, with that proportion rising to 78% for employers with 20 or more staff.

A variety of mechanisms for staff involvement were put forward - H&S as a regular meeting item, regular H&S communications, and elected or informal H&S reps - but 22% of respondents reported they used none of these.

Overall, 31% of employers reported having elected H&S reps, but only 15% of employers in agriculture, forestry and fishing had them. The same sectors were significantly less likely to have a H&S committee: only 9% had one, compared to 18% of all employers.

On the bright side, construction sector employers (65%) were much more likely than all employers (45%) to have regular H&S communications, while manufacturing employers (28%) were tops in having a H&S committee.

Another question asked who provided the business with H&S expertise and leadership. The most common reported source was management or the owner(s) of the business (79%), with other sources being H&S reps or a H&S committee (16%), a H&S specialist within the business (10%), a contracted external H&S specialist (10%), an HR department (7%), the employer's head office (6%), or an industry group or association (5%).

These figures varied according to the size of the employer. The two largest employer groups (those with 20 to 49 employees, or with 50 or more) reported 44% and 56% that H&S reps or committees provided H&S expertise/leadership, or used an internal H&S specialist (27% and 45%).

By sector, healthcare and social assistance made most use of H&S reps/committees (29%), while agriculture/forestry/fishing, at 8%, made least use of these resources.

Another question asked if the employer had made significant changes to H&S over the previous year. A significantly higher proportion (34%) reported they had done so, compared to the previous year's survey (24%). Construction employers (52%) were most likely to have made changes.



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From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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