Other than residential properties, there are very few locations in New Zealand where workplace health and safety laws do not apply. In addition, the laws apply to almost everyone, not only employers.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (“the Act”) which comes into force on 4 April 2016 provides that employers, officers of the business, and particular employees are subject to a duty to ensure to a reasonably practicable standard the health and safety of workers and other persons at risk from work carried out. Workers also have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety, and so prosecutions for breaches of a duty could potentially affect a large portion of New Zealand’s workforce.
As penalties range between fines of potentially $50,000 and $3 million, and possibly even imprisonment, obtaining legal advice as early as possible after a health and safety incident is crucial to protect employers and employees.
Chris has experience in defending prosecutions under the previous health and safety legislation. As with the Act, Chris is focused on reducing risks and can provide sound advice on the most appropriate way in which to protect employees and employers from potential liability.