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New Health & Safety Governance Guidelines

Posted by denise on 11 July 2013 | 0 Comments

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In response to the key findings and recommendations laid out in the final report of the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) have produced a guideline for good governance practices in managing health and safety risks.

With 1 to 2 New Zealanders killed each week at work and an estimated financial cost of 3.5 billion or more each year, the paper highlights the need for New Zealand organisations to improve their health and safety record.

There is a clear signal that the legislation in New Zealand will strengthen.  The guideline is designed to provide directors with advice on how they can influence health and safety performance in their organisations. It provides a series of useful checklists that identify questions for both managers and directors regarding health and safety in the workplace, and focuses in particular on how Boards can assure themselves of their organisation’s HSSE performance, including the identification and management of risks.

 It is an essential resource for directors providing information on director responsibilities, the role of directors in health and safety, diagnostic questions and actions for directors as well as case studies and a checklist.

 The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) has highlighted some key questions for organisations to consider:

- How confident are you that your systems are good enough? How confident are you that your reporting reflects what is happening in your business?

- Are the ACC WSMP or partnership accreditation programs enough to give you confidence that you are on track? HRINZ believes this is unlikely, and in that case, how will you know you are on track?

- Are your investigations thorough  enough to determine the root cause of incidents?  How do you know?

- What annual or regular reviews do you complete? What do external experts say about  your health and safety system, and will that be what your directors expect to hear?

The Guidelines, titled titled Good Governance Practices Guideline for Managing Health and Safety can be viewed on the MBIE website.

source:  HRINZ and MBIE

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