I've spent most of this week writing an article on the implications for a high risk industry of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
However, if you (like me) are a small, office-based business owner you have a whole lot less to worry about, when this Act comes into force on Monday, 4 April 2016. We're still included as PCBUs (persons conducting a business or undertaking) but if you're not a high risk sector or industry:
You still have a primary duty to manage risks. This is set out in section 30 of the Act. This means eliminating risks to health and safety as far as is reasonably practicable and minimising any other risks.
Section 36 of the Act sets out in more detail what a business owner needs to do, including providing any information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of your business activity.
If you employ people, you also have two related duties to engage with workers and enable them to participate in improving health and safety. You must:
The Worksafe website is an excellent source of information about the implications of the Health and Safety Act for different industries. The website also includes general information for businesses here.
You may also be interested in checking out the ACC website. ACC offers a 10% Workplace Safety Discount (WSD) for small businesses (fewer than 10 employees) who put health and safety systems in their workplaces. You can find out more here.