3 Steps to Improve Workplace Health & Safety
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, every business owner has the duty to provide a safe place of work for their employees and customers.
What many people don’t know is that the law imposes severe penalties for non-compliance, up to a maximum fine of $3 million or up to 5 years of imprisonment.
Further, the penalties are personal to the director, which means a business owner can’t simply liquidate their company to avoid the fine. In addition, a business owner can’t take out insurance to insure against a potential fine.
Therefore, all business owners must take their health and safety obligations seriously, or face the risk of severe penalties.
In order to meet their health and safety obligations, a business owner must take reasonable steps to provide a safe place of work. You can take the following steps to ensure your place of work is safe:
- Identify foreseeable risks
- Implement controls to minimise these risks
- Audit the controls on a periodic basis
For example, if you operate a restaurant with a deep fryer, a major risk is water getting into the fryer leading to an explosion.
The controls you could implement might include:
- Training employees of the danger of mixing hot oil with water
- Keeping the deep fryer at a safe distance from any water source
- Putting a prominent warning sign near the fryer
- Ensuring there are no shelves on top of the fryer
You want to ensure you have at least 2 to 3 controls for each risk, so that if 1 control was to fail, there are other backup controls. Lastly, you want to audit your controls regularly, to ensure they are still working as expected.
Partner & CEO
Kenneth is the founding partner of Capstone Law. Kenneth has a MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and he was also awarded the prestigious Dean’s Academic Achievement Award for graduating from the University of Auckland law school in the top 5% of his class. Kenneth has worked at some of the best law firms in the country before starting Capstone Law.
+64 9 555 0386