The latest Health and Safety Reform Bill has passed, and the new law will come in to force in April 2016. Now is an opportune time to take proactive steps to ensure that your business will be compliant with these updated requirements.
The new Act is part of the plan to reform the health and safety system in New Zealand; aiming to reduce the number of workplace deaths and injuries by 25 percent by the year 2020. The law requires actions from the government, businesses, and workers with an emphasis on collective workplace responsibility.
Once the new law comes into force, business owners must do everything they can to protect their employees against harm. The new Health and Safety Laws reinforces proportionality, which will effect what action the business is required undertake.
The new Health and Safety Laws shifts the focus from hazard spotting to controlling critical risks. It mandates business owners to reduce workplace harm, meaning that businesses have to ensure their workers are safe and secure in the workplace. There are several ways in which business owners can do so.
For one, they could have a security patrol to check on employees who are working at night. More often than not, unscrupulous people do their activities at night. By having a security patrol making rounds, it can prevent intrusions, thefts and other criminal activity from happening in the workplace. The security patrol can also escort staff from the workplace to their vehicles once the shift has ended late at night, reassuring staff and providing for their safety.
In business where staff members work alone or in remote areas of the property, the business owner should install portable panic alarms. That way security guards are alerted if there is any trouble in those areas, and can respond right away.
It is important to have a security officer patrolling the workplace as they are equipped to respond to alarms or situations where it is not appropriate for workers to do. If ever there is an alarm, it is best practice for workers not to investigate it alone. Such a system ensures that safety of staff member from potentially violent encounters with intruders.
It is also important for employees to do regular welfare checks over the phone with a security company. This ensures that employees are accounted for at all times and provides the company with a way to monitor this.
A camera and alarm system would also provide extra security in the workplace. CCTV systems improve safety in the work, protecting staff and deterring criminal activity. It is important that CCTV systems be monitored at all times to enable security guards to respond to any identified issues.
Prudent business owners should engage a security company to conduct a security review of the workplace. This ensures a thorough and documented review of the premises, enabling the company to identify any potential risks. The security company can then provide suggestions on how to improve the security and mitigate these risks so as to comply with the new health and safety laws.
The implications of the changes to the health and safety laws in New Zealand can seem somewhat daunting to many business owners and employers. It is here that a security company can assist with navigating the changes and ensuring that a business is doing its utmost to keep its workers safe. It is important for business owners and employers to familiarise themselves with the key ideas of the legislation and to be proactive in identifying risks within the workplace. A proactive approach to health and safety is not only positive for productivity, but it empowers companies to take steps to protect their employees from harm.