What we consulted on
We want to make sure the regulatory health and safety framework effectively supports businesses to manage risks without disproportionate costs or hurdles, and protects workers from harm.
We looked at plant, structures, working at heights and excavation work first because:
- They are everywhere and affect everyone – they are used in lots of different sectors and types of work, from agriculture and construction to education and health. They affect workers, businesses and other people interacting with that work
- Business and workers need a better way to manage risks well – the regulations are weak, ad hoc, out of date, full of gaps and hard to understand
- They kill and severely injure lots of people every day – plant and structures are involved in 76% of work-related deaths
Some of the problems include:
- Some of the rules aren’t clear or there is confusion – so there is over compliance and increased costs, e.g. for work at heights, scaffolding and excavation work
- Most of these risks have been around forever and they’re still not being done well, or we need to ensure that they keep being done well, e.g. badly guarded machines, good design of structures and machines, high-risk plant
- We need to keep up with changes in practice and emerging technology to ensure benefits are realised and any risks managed
Some of our ideas to make the framework better include:
- Making the rules clear, while retaining flexibility to do what’s best in each case
- Improving risk assessment and management
- Making sure people have the right information to ensure health and safety at work
- Improving oversight and transparency of very high risk things.
You’ll be interested in this discussion paper if you work in or run a business that involves plant, structures, heights or excavations. Local bodies, members of Māori, Pasifika and ethnic communities and health and safety specialists will also be interested.
Different people will have different interests in the discussion paper depending on what sector they are in and what kind of work they do.
The Cabinet Paper and Minute for the discussion paper are available below: