01 Nov Hazardous Substances
In April 2015, New Zealand businesses witnessed a major overhaul of health and safety legislation with the introduction of the Australian based model of the Health and Safety at Work Act. (HSWA).
On the 1st of November this year the new Hazardous Substance Regulations will come into force and from our experience, there is little understanding or even known about this new legislation. It will be challenging for some businesses, especially those in the horticulture and agriculture industry sectors.
The key reason for these changes is to align the 1996 HSNO Act with the 2015 HSWA legislation, and to make it easier for businesses to manage this more effectively.
While this may appear to be over regulation and bureaucracy gone mad, it is not and its overdue. The reason this is happening is due to the statistics relating to the number of deaths in New Zealand due to accidents and illnesses. We are not winning the battle – especially with illnesses, long term health related issues and deaths, directly related to workplace chemical and other exposures. It has been estimated that 650-800 New Zealand families lose a family member every year due to this workplace issue – do you have a family member or associate in this situation? What is too often forgotten is that the HSWA legislation also includes health as a specific part of the legislation and this now must be seriously considered and managed.
The legislation will require that all businesses using chemicals of any kind will have to apply 14 key elements from purchase, storage, training, application, to the disposal of their hazardous substances more effectively. Help is now at hand.
For a simple and easy to use guide about this new legislation and these 14 key points, including helpful ideas and tips of how to manage this, please contact us.