Small business: Health and safety

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Nick Gerritsen is a founding director of NXT Fuels.
Nick Gerritsen is a founding director of NXT Fuels.

Take a look at the WorkingSafer blueprint for health and safety at work and you will see there is a lot going on in this arena for small businesses to take in.

In 2014 there is to be a new Act based on the Australian model which clarifies those responsible for standards in the workplace. The blueprint mentions a "suite of new compliance and enforcement tools and court powers" with the Ministry of Justice considering corporate manslaughter and the general corporate liability framework.

WorkSafe NZ, the new government agency, meanwhile is to be set up in December 2013 will be there to educate and guide to help prevent injury in the workplace. There will also be improved ACC incentive programmes and a new Safety Star rating scheme. It's all about a new co-ordinated delivery and there will be increased worker participation.

This week, we hear how two enterprising energy companies, CarbonScape and NXT Fuels, a cheesemaking company, Zany Zeus and a corporate cleaners, Rams Cleaning, approach health and safety in the workplace. For them, close adherence to keeping their staff safe has been non-negotiable from the start or else they would not be in business today.

In the paper on Monday, we focused on a construction company, one of the industries most under pressure to improve its record, and a business taking its responsibilities seriously.

Tony Rigg, Director 360 Safety Solutions and National manager the NZ Institute of Safety Management points out that if we are safe at work, we are more likely to be safe at home and makes a call to action to improve standards in the workplace for all our sakes.

Next week, we will be looking at the energetic types who organise events for NZ's industries. How profitable are these industry events and what good comes out of them? And is there good business to be made in running events?

For a good summary of the health and safety changes afoot click here

- NZ Herald

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