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Health and Safety at Work Strategy 2018-2018

May 14, 2018


Partners John Rooney, Samantha Turner

Health and Safety at Work Act

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and WorkSafe have released a draft Health and Safety at Work Strategy (Strategy) for the next ten years.

The Strategy will form a key part of the Government’s wider efforts to improve health and safety, and the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Iain Lees-Galloway, describes it as creating “a firm platform for change”.

The Strategy sets out four Government priorities:

  1. Developing broader and more comprehensive targets for health and safety, including work-related health, to replace the current targets;
  2. Strengthening the regulatory framework and reviewing the effectiveness of Health and Safety legislation in 2020;
  3. Putting workers at the centre of the system and ensuring that the regulatory framework enables all workers to be represented; and
  4. Developing a sector-led approach to improving health and safety performance by strengthening the role played by industry and sector groups to lift health and safety outcomes.

The Strategy also sets out a number of more specific priorities, including:

  • Ensuring all businesses have proportionate and effective risk management
  • Supporting businesses with greater need (SMEs and high risk sectors)
  • Supporting workers with greater need (Māori and workers at greater risk)
  • Ensuring leaders prioritise health and safety
  • Enabling workers to engage, be represented and participate
  • Lifting specialist capacity
  • Improving decision making

Regional workshops

During May, MBIE and WorkSafe are holding a series of workshops on the Strategy around the country. You can see specific details and register for these workshops here.

Next steps

The Government is currently seeking submissions on the Strategy. Submissions are open until 8 June 2018. After consultation, the final Strategy is due to be released in September. Action plans to implement the Strategy are due to follow in 2018/2019.

The consultation information document can be found here, and the submission form here.

The Strategy is likely to play an important role in the Government’s reform of health and safety, including regulatory aspects. We encourage you to submit on the Strategy, and we would be happy to assist you with any aspect of the submissions.