14 Oct What health and safety documents do I need?
We are often asked “what health and safety documents do I need to be compliant with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015?”
In short, there is no hard and fast solution for any business in any industry.
However, we know the importance of documentation. Whether it’s online or on paper.
It’s often best to consider what documentation you might need in an accident investigation (either run internally, or by WorkSafe NZ) to prove your due diligence to meet the requirements of the Act.
Note – in any audit, intention is not proof of compliance. WorkSafe do not want to hear that you intended to set up training, or documentation, or risk assessments, etc – they want to see proof that you have actually done these things.
What records do you currently have that you could produce quickly?
What information do you not have recorded?
Here’s a list of what documentation we think is important, and why.
- Personnel Records
- Basic information about each employee in your business, including employment agreements, information about any health issues, contact details, drivers licence information (as appropriate), etc.
- Induction Records
- Proof of a documented induction process.
- Records of proof that all employees have gone through the induction.
- Training and competency records
- Proof of which employees have done what training, to what competency, when its due to expire, etc.
- Training procedures or safe operating procedures
- Documentation that is used in training employees in the safe use of equipment, machinery, chemicals, and tasks.
- PPE records
- Proof of what PPE has been provided to which employees, when, what type, and when this needs to be reviewed.
- Proof that the employee understands when and how the PPE should be used.
- Asset registers
- An asset register of what the business owns.
- Repairs and maintenance records for all assets.
- Compliance records for assets as appropriate, e.g. WOF records for all vehicles, registration records for all vehicles, regular equipment checks, test and tag information for electrical equipment, etc
- Anything that can prove that your assets are fit for purpose, and well maintained.
- Hazard registers and records
- Proof to show that you and your employees have worked together to identify all hazards/risks in your business, and assessed the level of risk.
- Records to show the method used to assess the level of risk, e.g. a risk matrix or similar method.
- Hazard review records
- Proof that you continue to review all hazards/risks in your business, and that you are working on ways to continue to minimise the risk involved, e.g. pre and post testing of the effectiveness of the hazard controls.
- Corrective and preventative action records
- Proof that you have implemented changes to reduce risk of hazards reoccuring, and that you are reviewing incidents and accidents in your business as well.
- Incident and accident records
- A documented process that sets out for all personnel the method for reporting any incidents.
- The induction record to show that your employees are aware of the reporting process.
- Documentation for all incidents/accidents within your business, whether big or small.
(There is no requirement under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to investigate accidents or incidents, but it is recommended that a business have a procedure and supporting documentation to do this. This will show any accident investigator that you are committed to the continuous improvement of your health and safety systems.)
- Near miss/hit records
- As above.
- Notifiable accident register and records
- Proof that the business has a method for the reporting of any notifiable events and that this responsibility is delegated to a senior manager or the PCBU.
- Health and safety meeting records
- Although these are not required by law, it would be foolhardy to not keep good records. They are a good way of proving that employees have been notified about any workplace or task related hazards, incidents, etc, and involved in the discussion.
- Contractor management records
- With contractor pre-qualification in place in New Zealand, it is advised to have effective contractor management processes in place, and to maintain all records of your communication and interaction with these people.
- Chemical management records
- All businesses must have a spreadsheet/inventory about what chemicals are used in their business, how much is stored within their business, etc. For more information, please click here.
- Employee involvement records
- This is a key part of the Act, and as a PCBU, you are required to involve your employees in all aspects of your health and safety plans and management. This engagement will form part of your health and safety meeting records.
- Senior management records
- PCBU and officers meeting records
For an online hub to save your health and safety documentation and information, please click here to sign up to our free 30-day trial of the Hasmate program.