Pike River report has implications for wider Health & Safety

The final report of the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy was publicly released on 5 November 2012. While many of the report's 16 recommendations are naturally focussed on Health & Safety in mining, four of the recommendations have much wider application:
  • Recommendation 1: To improve New Zealand’s poor record in health and safety, a new Crown agent focusing solely on health and safety should be established.
  • Recommendation 5: The statutory responsibilities of directors for health and safety in the workplace should be reviewed to better reflect their governance responsibilities.
  • Recommendation 6: The health and safety regulator should issue an approved code of practice to guide directors on how good governance practices can be used to manage health and safety risks.
  • Recommendation 7: Directors should rigorously review and monitor their organisation’s compliance with health and safety law and best practice.
Coming on top of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health & Safety, it seems likely that there will indeed be a shake-up of Health & Safety regulation in the coming months. The Government has set a target of reducing workplace deaths and injuries by 25% by the year 2020. This will not be achieved by doing nothing, and it seems likely that we will see a new Crown Agency responsible for Occupational Safety & Health matters, with potentially increased focus on workplace audits.

Talk to Enduro Safety if you need further advice on Health & Safety issues. We can advise on the most suitable course of action for your business, and provide advice on the link between good governance and Health & Safety.