From 4th April 2016 new workplace health and safety laws will come into effect under the ambit of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA). The act is part of a reform package aimed at addressing the gross number of serious work-related
injuries and deaths in New Zealand. As with all other workplace health and safety laws, the new act will be administered by Worksafe New Zealand.
The HSWA sets out a list of people who will be responsible for workplace health and safety as well as their duty of care to their workers/contractors.
In assigning the legal onus of ensuring workplace health and safety, the HSWA creates a new class of people known as the PCBUs (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) which has the primary duty under the new law to ensure the health and safety of workers and others affected by the work it carries out.
It has been clarified to us by Worksafe that
“Landlords will be regarded as PCBUs and have a responsibility to ensure health and safety of workers they engage or who are influenced or directed by the PCBU while they are doing work for that PCBU ‘so far as is reasonably practicable… [at the end of the day, it is] about what the Landlord can reasonably do to manage health and safety.”
Note that the HSWA will obviously have a more direct impact on those APIA members who also operate as builders or are in trade. We are currently
working with Worksafe to facilitate training sessions for APIA members to familiarise yourself with your new obligations as a landlord/property manager. Keep an eye out for upcoming training sessions on our events page.