New Zealand's health and safety regulatory infrastructure was recently overhauled with the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. The new legislation, which came into force on 4 April 2016, brought an increased focus on health and safety, including on director and company officer liability, increased sanctions and requirements for worker engagement, all of which are intended to encourage the culture shift sought by the reforms.
Employers and company directors need to be aware of these changes to ensure compliance, and we can guide you through this.
Cases on harassment, bullying and stress continue to be prevalent, primarily in the specialist employment jurisdiction. These often date back many years and, if not managed well, can be time-consuming, costly and disruptive for employers.
Our health and safety team has worked with clients in the following areas of health and safety law and practice:
Advising businesses, including governance boards, directors and senior managers regarding the impact of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and associated regulations, codes of practice and other guidance
Defending prosecutions and other enforcement action by WorkSafe
Providing advice in relation to accidents and subsequent investigations, assisting clients in their communications with the regulator, and to avoid prosecutions
Drafting and revising workplace policies and strategies, including regarding specific areas such as harassment, bullying and stress, and drugs and alcohol
Providing training and easy to use guidelines to health and safety professionals, employers, senior managers and employees on their risks, obligations and best practice.
"Their strong client focus means they are always flexible and ready to meet our needs and timeframes."
Chambers and Partners
"The team at Buddle Findlay has ‘business acumen’, and provides ‘tactical advice when dealing with urgent situations’."
Assisting an industrial business
to respond to a fatal workplace accident including assisting with a comprehensive internal investigation, advising on possible liability and assisting the business with its response to WorkSafe's investigation, and communications with the media, family members, the Coroner and Police
Advising employers on their obligations in general terms
and with specific reference to certain activities, such as the operation of dams and airstrips, the engagement of contractors, and inherently dangerous activities such as electricity generation, construction, mountain guiding and professional sports
Acting for a manufacturing client
in WorkSafe's new Duty Holder Review process following a workplace accident
Providing detailed guidance
outlining how a tertiary institution's Council and Leadership teams could prepare for upcoming changes to health and safety legislation
Advising a Crown agent
of its duties under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 in relation to a complex workplace bullying investigation involving multiple employees and cross-complaints
Defending an aviation services supplier
against a claim of unjustified dismissal on the basis that the former employee had breached health and safety expectations