The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 will come into effect on 4 April 2016. A number of last minute changes were made to the Bill before it received Royal Assent.The key changes are:

  1. The Bill initially imposed a duty on an officer of a PCBU to exercise due diligence to ensure that the PCBU complies with its duties or obligations under the Act. The Act will now require an officer of a PCBU to exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonable officer would exercise in the same circumstances, taking into account the nature of the business, the position of the officer and the nature of the responsibilities of the officer.
  2. Under the Bill a general duty was imposed on persons to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable. Whereas, under the Act a person must now comply with this duty to the extent that the person has, or would reasonably be expected to have, the ability to influence and control the matter to which the risk relates. This somewhat dilutes the duty.
  3. The sentencing criteria that a court must consider when determining how to sentence or otherwise deal with an offender convicted of an offence was amended to include the requirement to have particular regard to whether death, serious injury, or serious illness occurred or could reasonably have been expected to have occurred.

Clubs New Zealand will continue to bring you updates on the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 in the lead up to its introduction, but if you have any questions please contact us on 0800 4 CLUBS.