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IMPORTANT: Key changes required to comply with the new April 2016 Health and Safety Reform Bill
The Health and Safety Reform Bill is now in place. Is your business compliant? Are you aware of how this will affect you?
The changes increase the responsibility for business owners and managers to manage risk of their employees. This is largely influenced by ensuring the availability of reliable communnication lines and the use of devices appropriate to the environment for which the worker is subject to.
Devices should be rugged and durable, and fit-for-purpose in highly volatile or extreme environments such as high wind or noise. It’s vital to have clear communications in these environments, along with specific safety and duress features which are transmitted through a reliable, unified communications network – keeping your workforce connected and safe!
What do the changes mean exactly?
- Tougher penalties
- More precise requirements around record-keeping
- Bigger fines!
The 4 key health and safety changes you need to know.
The new act has 4 KEY CHANGES which are important to be aware of and take action on.
1. Health and safety responsibilities now lie with a business or organisation that undertakes a businesslike activity (instead of the employer). For example, this can include a company, joint partnership or a local sports club. All these organisations now have an obligation to take all reasonable and practical steps to protect their workers and the general public.
2. Many organisations have two or more people who are responsible for duties under the act. These people must now communicate with each other and work collaboratively on health and safety matters to ensure no potential risks fall through the gaps (previously, these people were not obliged to do so). So looking at an airport for example, there are many different organisations who now need to talk to each other across the whole operation (e.g. aviation fuel supplier, caterers, pilots, retailers, etc.).
3. Individuals who are responsible under the act include Directors and those in very senior roles such as CEOs. Penalties and fines have been increased – criminal conviction with prison time of up to 5 years is now a possibility, as are significant fines of up to $600,000, if they don’t carry out the necessary duties.
4. As mentioned, penalties have increased substantially. Companies can now be fined a maximum of $3 million, officers up to $600,000 and individuals fined up to $300,000.
These changes are all now in effect, so if you are not already prepared, or are unsure of what changes you need to make in your organisation, then it’s vital to seek further guidance to ensure you are prepared. Being complacent is not an option – it’s important to be proactive and ensure you are meeting your new obligations.
Genesis can help you improve your workplace health and safety and meet your obligations under the new act, in the areas of radio and communications.
If you need more advice, we are offering a FREE Needs Assessment/Risk Review. This includes an assessment of your communications requirements in order to help improve safety, operational efficiency, reliability and managing risk in your business.
Together, we will work out a communications solution/system to help you reduce and manage risk in both the context of the health and safety reformat and other relevant areas. This will, in effect, put you in a better position under the act. Call or email us today to find out more.