Meeting compliance obligations
Health and safety on the whenua
We want to keep our people safe and well. There are regulations and best practice to help us do that.
As Māori, we're over-represented in workplace accident statistics. Part of the mahi to improve outcomes for our people is about putting processes in place to keep us all safe and healthy. We all need to take responsibility for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our whānau while on our whenua.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) is New Zealand’s workplace health and safety law. Trustees need to be familiar with this legislation and understand what it means for your trust, and for visitors and workers on the whenua.
WorkSafe is the government organisation responsible for health and safety. They provide guides for different industries on their website.
If you're not sure what you need to do, WorkSafe's enquiries team can provide general information about how the law may apply, and good practices that may be relevant for your business or situation.
If you want to pay for a consultant to provide specific advice, the Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ) provides a list of verified consultants on its website.
Good health and safety practices
The specific health and safety regulations and requirements you need to meet will differ from trust to trust depending on the mahi you do. However, there are some good practices everyone can set up to help keep whānau and/or kaimahi safe and able to return home. These include:
If you have a new lessee, workers, or manuhiri who may be unattended on the whenua, it's good to do an induction to the whenua. This involves telling them where any risks or hazards you've identified are, and if possible providing a map that shows where they are.
Risks and hazards register
It's good to set up a risks and hazards register to keep track of any risks or hazards on or related to the whenua.
- A hazard is an existing issue. For example, there's a sinkhole in the eastern paddock that you could fall into.
- A risk is something that could happen. For example, there's a stream on the western side, we need to watch the tamariki around this.
The register should identify how serious each issue is and how it can be mitigated or managed.
Mitigating risks means taking whatever steps you can to avoid having the risks turn into reality, and to reduce the impact if they do.
It could include things like:
- installing smoke alarms in any buildings
- setting up health and wellness policies and practices for whānau
- requiring manuhiri to wear high-vis vests or workers to wear safety gear
- keeping insurance up to date.