Small business – the backbone of a community.

We want to help you create a safer, healthier small business that can stand the test of time and not just survive, but thrive in the face of emergencies!

Our Workplace Health & Safety Course will get you up to speed fast!

Health and Safety:

Over the last few years expectations around Health and Safety have changed and now all businesses regardless of their size and risk profile have to manage Health and Safety in the same sorts of ways. We aim to help smaller businesses to quickly and easily establish effective H&S plans so that they can remain competitive with their larger counterparts.

Emergency and disaster:

The first step in getting your business ready for emergencies and disasters is to establish your H&S plans! Once that’s done, you can focus on how to survive disaster events. Up to 35% of businesses never re-open after a disaster event.

On site training

Haz-ed delivers custom in-house training to suit the exact needs of your organisation. Currently only available in New Zealand. Past clients include: Westland District Council, Rural Education Activities Program, Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, Fox and Franz HeliServices

Workplace Safety NZ training by Kev England

Kev is a Registered Health and Safety Practitioner (HASANZ) with over 20 years of experience in a range of industries including oil-well drilling, earthquake recovery, opencast mining, safety equipment design, white-water rafting and adult education. He prides himself in providing practical, focussed and immediately relevant learning, so that people can quickly and cheaply reduce their exposure to hazards. Kev is able to communicate the structured methods of Health and Safety risk management in a way that is easy to grasp and leaves people with a feeling of confidence to make positive changes in their workplaces. He holds a Masters Degree in Hazard and Disaster Management from the University of Canterbury and is a Graduate Member of the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management.

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Your Workplace Health & Safety journey starts here!

Health and Safety compliance. What you need to know.

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Most small businesses take health and safety onboard mainly to satisfy the law. Wherever you live, the law will require for you to use “best practice methods” to manage health and safety at the workplace, but that doesn’t need to be an overly complicated thing to do. For most businesses establishing health and safety systems is actually pretty straightforward. It starts with identifying who is the top management of the business and then accepting that they are ultimately responsible for the health and safety of all the other people at the workplace. For small businesses it’s usually obvious who the top management is. They are the people who have a significant influence on the way that things are done - for small businesses that’s the business owner. It’s worth noting that all members of a board of directors, are also responsible, even if they rarely even visit the work site. Top management should know and understand the risks and also be involved in the day to day management of those risks. They need to lead by example and provide the foundation for a positive safety culture.

So how do you actually do that? Well, the simplest way to ensure that you are in compliance with the law is to start by talking to your staff about health and safety. Then, make sure that together, you’ve identified, assessed and minimised the risks. This process of risk identification and minimisation needs to involve everybody and will form the basis of successful health and safety management. But, it’s not something you can do once and then forget about. It’s important to realise that health and safety is an ongoing effort and should be worked on over time to ensure that your health and safety performance is continually improving.

health and safety compliance requires that you engage with your staff and include everybody in the discussion around health and safety. The main goal of modern health and safety management is to create a positive “safety culture”, which means that everyone takes health and safety seriously and treats it as part of normal work. Also, everyone should be actively encouraged to talk freely about safety or health issues at work and know that they have the right to refuse to do something they feel may be unsafe.

Before commencing work at a new site, an employee should be inducted to the site. That means they are made aware of the risks and the risk controls, as well as how to report hazards, incidents and near misses, and what to do in an emergency. They should also be trained to do the work they are asked to do. Details of inductions and training should be kept in a register.

In an ideal world workplaces would be 100% safe and nobody would ever get sick or hurt, but in the real world, accidents happen. No matter how competent and well trained people are and how well risks are managed, sometimes things go wrong. That’s what first aid kits and emergency plans are for! Importantly, though, when things do go wrong there are always lessons to be learned. Finding the root cause of an accident as soon as possible after it happens is the best way to start working out how to stop that accident from happening again. By law all incidents should be recorded in a register and investigated as soon as possible.

Similarly, all likely emergency events should be planned for. This might include ensuring that trained first aiders are available on all shifts, that the site has smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and evacuation plans. Or procedures for earthquakes, angry customers, robbery, vehicle accidents, chemical spills and so on. These emergency plans should be well understood by everybody and practiced to ensure they are effective.

When working with other businesses it’s important to understand how the risks of one business may affect another and any other people in the area. This might be a contractor doing work for another business, or a more complex situation like a construction site where there may be a few different trades people from different companies working together in the same site. Before work begins, each business should cross-sight each others health and safety systems, have a discussion and come to an agreement about how things will work on the shared work site.

Keeping accurate documentation is often seen as the most daunting part of establishing a health and safety system. If you keep it simple, (and you should keep it simple) your health and safety management system shouldn’t take up too much of your time, and will quickly become a valuable asset for your company.

So that’s it. health and safety compliance isn’t that hard really. If you take care of those 7 items, then you’ll be compliant with the law and your workplace will be safer and healthier.

Health and Safety in New Zealand.

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In New Zealand the law governing health and safety in the workplace is the Health and Safety at Work Act or HSWA. In this Act the term “Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking” or “PCBU” is used to describe a business or organisation and the term “Officer” is used to describe the top management of that organisation. “Workers” are all the other people in that place of work. In general it’s the Officer’s responsibility to make sure that the PCBU is compliant with the law.

HSWA uses the term “reasonably practicable” to describe the level of risk reduction that should be achievable where you work. It also presents a PCBU’s “primary duty of care”, which states that a PCBU must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers, and that other people are not put at risk by its work. That means that all health and safety risks are identified, assessed and eliminated. Where risks can’t be eliminated, they should be minimised to a point as low as reasonably practicable. These concepts are also used in the International Standard for Safety Management Systems, ISO 45001, and the concept of reducing risks to a point as low as reasonably practicable is regarded as best practice worldwide.

Regulation of health and safety in the workplace is done by a Government Agency called Worksafe New Zealand. Worksafe provide education and information to help you make your workplace safer and healthier. They also have the power to enforce the law. They have an information rich, user friendly website, which shows the recommended safe practices for high risk activities and some common risks, as well as the regulations that accompany them. These are called approved codes of practice and if there’s an approved code of practice covering an activity that you do, then you need to copy the documentation and adopt those practices in your own workplace.

They also publish evidence-based guidance for other tasks that you might do at work. There’s no point writing your own safe work procedures when the Regulator has already done it for you! So have a look at Worksafe’s website and see if any of the tasks you do are described in their approved codes of practice or in their guidance documents. For example, they have a factsheet on the safe use of ladders, so if you use ladders at work, just search “ladders” on Worksafe’s website and you’ll quickly find the factsheet.

Work Safe should be notified of certain hazardous activities and of serious harm incidents in the workplace. They have their own prescribed format for these notifications which can be easily found on their website.

It’s important to realise that Worksafe are not just there to enforce the law. They are a very approachable organisation and their primary goal is to improve health and safety performance across New Zealand. So if you can’t find the information you need on their website, then just get them on the phone! They will go out of their way to give you the guidance that you need. They’re a friend, not a foe! Remember, you the taxpayer pays their wages, so use them as much as you need to!

The HSWA is designed to make the workplace safer and healthier by encouraging the development of a positive safety culture. It requires that risks are eliminated or minimised. And that methods are established to engage workers to participate in health and safety planning activities, ensuring that everybody's voice is heard and acted upon.

It also requires that staff are inducted, trained and competent; that incidents are recorded and investigated to prevent recurrence; that emergency events are planned for and that suitable plans are established before working with other businesses.

All these legal requirements are reflected in the guidance provided in ISO 45001:2018, which has been designed to help any business to improve their health and safety performance. The course material on this website is based on ISO 45001, and will get your business’s health and safety documentation compliant with the Health and Safety at Work Act in NZ.