The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) is New Zealand’s workplace health and safety law that came into effect on 4 April 2016 and is part of a reform package aimed at reducing the number of serious work-related injuries and deaths by at least 25 percent by 2020. The new HSWA shifts the focus from monitoring and recording health and safety incidents to proactively identifying and managing risks so everyone is safe and healthy.
Health & Safety Wellbeing
In early 2021, Farmstrong in partnership with Hort NZ commissioned research to better understand the wellbeing needs of people working in horticulture and viticulture. The research also asked which wellbeing topics interested them most and the things they thought would improve their wellbeing. The survey results can be found here.
NZKGI & Zespri Health & Safety Guidance Material
In collaboration with Zespri, NZKGI has created guidance material to help growers understand their obligations as a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) on the orchard. The Health & Safety Wheel sets out the steps growers need to take to manage their health and safety obligations on the orchard and includes a decision tree for growers to confirm their role as a PCBU.
The Health & Safety guide sets out direction and guidance on helping you to form your Health & Safety Plan. Click here to see the Health & Safety guide.
Additional sheets from the guide which you can print out are available here:
Risk of Impairment from Drugs, Alcohol and Fatigue
Using drugs or alcohol or being fatigued can lead to employee impairment while at work. Poor concentration, carelessness, risk-taking behaviour and errors in judgement can occur. Under law, both employers and employees have a duty to ensure that the workplace is safe. An employer is responsible for providing employees with the highest level of protection from risks as is reasonably practicable. A risk includes dangerous behaviour resulting from drug or alcohol use or the risk from an employee being fatigued. Under the Health & Safety At Work Act, an employer must develop a Drugs and Alcohol Policy. More information on this can be found here. NZKGI has developed awareness guidance on the risk of impairment of an employee being fatigued or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The guidance is intended to fit at the back of your Health & Safety Plan.
Worksafe New Zealand (Worksafe) is the health and safety regulator that enforces compliance with the health and safety legislation. Worksafe has a comprehensive website with tools and resources that are available for growers to use and detailed information about the new HSWA. Click here to visit the website.
There is also a website with tools and resources dedicated to agriculture. Click here to visit the Safer Farms website. If you have any queries about the HSWA, contact NZKGI or a NZKGI Forum member in the External Relations portfolio.