By Hayes Knight – 18 March 2016

Are you prepared for the new Health & Safety Changes?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 comes into force on 4 April.  Here’s what you need to know to prepare your business for the new Act.

The major changes will affect all businesses regardless of your industry, impacting business owners, directors and senior managers.  The Act is far reaching and will also affect landlords of rental properties, volunteer organisations and incorporated societies.

  • Take appropriate steps now to ensure you and your place of work is ready once the Act comes into force (on 4 April).
  • If your company is in a high risk industry or has more than 20 workers, you will be required to establish work groups and facilitate the election of health and safety representatives if requested by workers.
  • Ask workers about any health and safety risks and hazards they are aware of. Get their advice on how to minimise or eliminate them.
  • Involve and consult with workers on health and safety matters.  Consider their views and provide reasonable opportunities for workers to participate in improving health and safety in the workplace.
  • As a director and business owner you need to be proactive in understanding risks and hazards in your place of work. Risks and hazards identified could include ensuring working hours are safe, considering worker fatigue for shift and night works and also risks associated with workers not following instructions.
  • Consider and invest in resources to meet your obligations for training of officers and workers, gaining expert and/or specialist information on risks and keeping updated on health and safety requirements.
  • Add health and safety as an agenda item to all management and board meetings.
  • Ensure your Health & Safety policies address all risks and hazards identified.  These policies need to be sound and regularly reviewed to ensure ongoing compliance. Training should also be provided in relation to the policies.
  • If required, take advice from Health and Safety specialists. A number of industry organisations and groups have experts who can help.

For more information on the Health and Safety changes please either visit the Worksafe website or contact your Hayes Knight Advisor.