The Act has significant implications for workers and business owners alike, reforming New Zealand’s health and safety system.
The Act introduces the concept of a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (’PCBU’) and sets out a wide range of PCBU obligations. It is important to note that the PCBU concept also applies to entities running businesses, such as companies. The Act also imposes a positive duty on officers of a PCBU (for example a director of a company or partner in a partnership) to exercise due diligence in ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations – failing which, officers can be personally liable.
For workers, there is an increased emphasis on worker participation and consultation with PCBUs, as well as an obligation on workers to take reasonable care for their own health and safety, and not to affect the health and safety of others.