Mango advises on the new laws governing workplace health and safety

Posted by Shelley Grell on February 16th, 2016.

From 4 April, 2016 new laws governing workplace health and safety will come into effect in New Zealand.  Glenn Baker, Editor of NZ Business, interviewed our client Mango on what business owners must do to be safe and compliant. Below is an excerpt from NZ Business’s March 2016 article “New Lines of Responsibility“:

NZ Business Mar16Another company in a good position to help business owners comply with the new legislation is Christchurch-based Mango, which markets a proven cloud-based Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental (QHSE) Management solution.

Mango’s chief marketing officer Craig Thornton agrees that business owners will no longer be able to gamble with employee’s safety as the regulators have more powers to apply a financial penalty to the employee, management and owners. He says the Mango solution provides an overview of what’s going on and delivers all due diligence information on one system.

His advice for business owners right now is to first engage with staff on health and safety. “With their staff they should be doing a gap analysis on their systems with the new legislation. Gaps should be looked at closely and action plans put in place to fill those gaps.”

Business owners should also attend briefing sessions with industry associations, Institute of Directors or Chambers of Commerce, he adds. And if they need technical advice, they should engage a suitable consultant.

“The first agenda items on board or management meetings should be on health and safety performance,” he says. “Business owners need to be visible and repeat the same H&S message to their staff; they need to show employees this is important. Don’t look at H&S as a problem or an overhead/compliance cost. Accept it and see how you can get value from it.”

Thornton believes business owners must take authority and responsibility for H&S and not outsource to a consultant ‘because that’s easier’. Going forward, the biggest challenge will be the engagement and participation with staff and building a safety culture, he says.

“Having a safety culture is key to having a workable, sustainable and manageable health and safety system. Constantly talking about health and safety with staff will, over time, help make H&S just business as usual. It’ll become ‘this is what we do around here’ and standards will be set that everyone will comply to.”

Read the full article here.

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