Our articles are an important source of information and commentary on matters that affect you.
Description of this module
In March the Government introduced the Health and Safety Reform Bill following the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy. It will become law in April 2015 and place stricter obligations on all in the workplace; it therefore exposes a broader range of individuals to liability.
There are three tiers of liability and associated obligations under the new law – particular onus falls on those in senior management:
The due diligence duty includes requirements on an officer to take reasonable steps to:
What happens if I fail to discharge my duty?
The Bill establishes heavy penalties. If you are a director, officer or PCBU and you fail to comply, you face prosecution and a possible fine of up to $600,000 if proven reckless. A company may face a fine of up to $3,000,000, Workers even face a potential fine of up to $100,000 for simple non-compliance and no resulting injury or illness.
What will the new law mean for my business?
Small and medium enterprises: direct influence on the health and safety or workers and therefore greater exposure.
What does this mean for me and what next?
Greater exposure to liability calls for greater protection. We have begun setting up asset protection mechanisms for several of our clients, particularly the creation of family and investments trusts. If the new obligations will or may affect you, please call our offices and discuss the best way forward for your circumstances.
Get in touch for a free telephone consultation.