There are more than 200,000 work related injuries each year in New Zealand that result in a claim to ACC. That’s significantly more per head of population than our nearest neighbours, Australia.
Under the new health and safety legislation, your business is considered to be in a high risk industry if there is increased risk of serious harm and death from the type of work you do. All companies operating in a high risk industry are required to elect a health and safety representative when requested by an employee. You also have to consider establishing a health and safety committee if requested by five or more workers or by a health and safety representative.
According to the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 2016, the high-risk industries include Aquaculture, Forestry and logging, Coal mining, Food product manufacturing, and a range of construction services among others.
Of these high risk industries, forestry is one of the deadliest. Between January 2010 and September 2015, 29 workers were killed in New Zealand forests. An Independent Forestry Safety Review found that underpinning forestry’s poor safety record was a lack of leadership, a weak safety culture, lack of regulatory oversight, and a lack of meaningful worker participation. The new health and safety regulations target these key issues which are considered to be common problems throughout the high risk sector.
The new regulations require businesses to support their Health and Safety Representatives with training such as those run by NZ’s largest health and safety provider, WorksafeReps. If you think your business might be in the high risk category, get in touch with WorksafeReps with any questions you may have about our courses and how we can help.