WorkSafe’s New Focus – How Work is Done
Employment Law, Health and Safety, Agreements, General / 24 January 2023
WorkSafe has recently announced a change in focus from acute fatalities to the bigger picture: ‘how work is done’. WorkSafe says that as workers have little control over how they complete work, it is now giving more attention to senior staff and management.
New Focus Areas:
WorkSafe’s new approach will focus on the following three key areas:
- Safe Work – keeping people safe in the workplace.
- Healthy Work – including mental health, which may not present itself as ill-health until much later.
- Equitable Actions – ensuring that vulnerable groups (including Maori, Pasifika, older and younger workers and workers who do not speak English as their first language) have equitable health and safety protections. For example, Maori Kaimahi are 55% more likely to suffer a serious injury than non-Maori.
WorkSafe has also identified four organisational priorities which it calls “gamechangers”:
- Carcinogens and airborne risks.
- Worker Engagement, Participation and Representation.
- Working close to the source.
How this change in focus will practically play out will be interesting and we will keep you updated with any further guidance.
Message for Employers
WorkSafe’s shift in focus highlights the importance of ensuring senior staff and management are aware of the organisation’s health and safety obligations. It is also a great time to ensure that your Safety Management Plans (HSMP) are at a high standard, practical and being adhered to by workers. If your senior staff need further training or you are concerned about your HSMP or would like it reviewed, our team is happy to help.