Comments

David Thompson Posted:
So very, very true. It beggars belief that we consider ourselves to be a developed nation when so much of our economy is based on selling milk powder or logs. BTW, I own a Plinius amplifier (my second) that drives a set of Theophany speakers.
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David Thompson Posted:
A robust but sobering report. It concerns me that confidence is rising, yet sales and exports are down and "manufacturers and exporters are still lagging behind other sectors". Surely we should wait until we're earning more money before we start spending more?
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siemens Posted:
Yes true! The only thing that will never die in this world is the nature and its science behind it. Great post.
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Kieran Ormandy Posted:
Thanks for the question Steven, Germany has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2009, and Switzerland has had stable manufacturing employment between 2006 – 2011, even in the face of ongoing Euro-zone issues. Korea has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2008 and Israel experienced large increases since 1998, while being stable over the last 4 years. Singapore has had increases in manufacturing employment over the last two years. These countries all value their manufacturing sectors and work to protect them, this is reflected in the above numbers and their performance through the GFC. Note data around the above examples was sourced from OECD labour market stats.
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John Walley Posted:
Point one: you should have no doubt what our Association says publically represent the views of our members. Point two: we don’t knee jerk responses, if you trace back our comments around NZPower you will see them link all the way back to our research in 2004 and 2005. All that material is fully linked from our comments above. Point three: you will note our comments on major users, sadly the same advantage does not accrue to smaller industrial users. The perverse incentives of the LRMC approach in all this are well known. Point four: the NZMEA is not like any other Association in New Zealand we admit only manufacturers and exporters into membership, and our public expressions are the views of that restricted membership.
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5/5/15

Health and Safety Reform Bill


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Health and safety is a vital concern for all manufacturers, regardless of what you make, or how you make it. We all want our employees to go home safe at the end of the day, and under the new Health and Safety Reform Bill, the consequences of not doing so and mismanaging risks are increasing.

The Bill, based on the Australian model (Work Health and Safety Law), is currently going through Parliament. This Bill is currently expected to be passed at the end of May, likely coming into force around the third quarter this year. Final submissions are still being heard and details of the Bill are being confirmed. For manufacturers, it is best to start considering and preparing for these changes now, to ensure you comply and correctly manage risks.

The Bill adjusts the definition of a duty holder, which is changing to the wider definition ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU) – this would include a manufacturing business, and would generally be the owner or the person with whom the ‘buck stops’ within the business.

A positive due diligence duty is imposed on those running and governing a business, requiring active management of work place health and safety – along with personal consequences for failing to do so. This means owners and governance need to be proactive in ensuring company management is correctly monitoring and addressing health and safety risks, and make sure the company has the resources and processes needed to eliminate and minimise health and safety risks in the business.

The definition of Directors and Officers has been widened, to include any other person who makes decisions that affect the whole or substantial part of the business, with decision making a key consideration for determining responsibility/liability.

The definition of a worker is also expanded to include any person who carries out work in any capacity for the business and includes employees, contractors, sub-contractors, employees of contractors or sub-contractors, outworkers, labour hire workers, volunteers, trainees and those on work experience. This means manufacturers will have health and safety responsibility for all who conduct work within your business, even if they are not a direct employee.

Worker engagement has more focus in the new Bill, requiring a general duty to involve and engage with workers on health and safety matters, with participation practices appropriate to your workplace. Engagement extends further than just reporting of health and safety risks and incidents, to include engagement on the development of health and safety and giving workers reasonable opportunity to express views, raise issues and contribute to the decision making process. Getting workers on board with health and safety processes can go a long way in ensuring processes are ultimately followed and understood – leading to a safer workplace.

The new Bill proposes increases to penalties, the maximum of which could be individual fines up to $600,000 and potential imprisonment for up to five years.

There are some concerns and questions remaining around the new legislation, particularly that it may place too much risk on employers to prevent potentially unavoidable incidences. For many manufacturers, health and safely risk can never be completely eliminated – best practice and expert advice can be followed to greatly reduce risks, but in the heat of the moment, sometimes accidents can still happen despite proper health and safety practices, particularly if a worker chooses not to follow direct instruction and practices. This risk may become clearer as the Bill is finalised.

Once the Bill is passed, WorkSafe New Zealand will start publishing a comprehensive guide to the Act which will cover what people need to know about general workplace health and safety. They will also be publishing an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) to detail the Acts requirements for worker engagement, representation and participation, a Good Practice Guide (GPG) to discuss workplace risk management and regulatory requirements, and guidance on hazard facilities and changes to the hazardous substances regime.

Given the Bill is based on the Australian model, Australian resources and experiences can be useful for complying with new regulations. Making use of experts with experience under this legislation can help you comply with best practises, perform your due diligence and have better health and safety outcomes. In addition, good advice can help you understand what measures are necessary and what are in excess, potentially saving costs in the long term by doing it right first time.

This article only includes a brief summary of some of the changes in this Bill; you can read more and keep up with the full details of the Health and Safety Reform Bill on the WorkSafe New Zealand website.

The NZMEA and WorkSafe New Zealand recently organised a trade breakfast to discuss health and safety. You can watch the following videos for information:

Marcus Nalter of WorkSafe NZ – discussing what WorkSafe inspectors are looking for

Paul Dryden of B&D Doors – discussing how they improved health and safety awareness within their business

Donna Burt of WorkSafe NZ – discussing health issues in manufacturing

 

 

 



tags: worksafe, health and safety, manufacturing, reform, diligence, exports, engagement, h&s

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