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Thursday, 01 July 2021 15:30

On Your Behalf: Health and safety refresher

Written by  Larissa Trownson
Larissa Trownson is Legal Counsel at New Zealand Winegrowers Larissa Trownson is Legal Counsel at New Zealand Winegrowers

Health and safety is an important part of any business – it’s the right thing to do by your workers, and you also have obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).

How do I manage health and safety in my business?

  • Decide that everyone being healthy and safe is important
  • Make a conscious decision to plan for managing risk
  • Invest time and thought into health and safety
  • Remember that health and safety includes mental wellbeing as well as physical wellbeing
  • Model the right behaviours

Identify ways to manage risks

  • Be prepared by planning
  • Identify where the risks of harm or illness are
  • Use a risk and hazard identification register
  • Work out how to manage the risk before the work starts
  • Use effective communication to all, for example, by written record
  • Keep things up to date - new risks or hazards may arise at any time (Covid-19 is a good example of this)

Make health and safety an everyday activity

  • Think about health and safety daily
  • Involve everyone on the vineyard or winery - this includes any contractors
  • Make it easy for workers to raise issues or make suggestions
  • Have site rules, and make sure workers are aware of them

What do I have to do?

Health and safety does not need to be complicated. Here are the basics, you must:

  • Be able to show you are managing your health and safety risks
  • Identify and manage risks to people in your workplace
  • Monitor the health of workers and workplace conditions to prevent illness and injury
  • Include workers and family, if relevant, in planning to make the vineyard or winery healthy and safe
  • Train and supervise people who work in the vineyard or winery
  • Make sure workers and family know how to manage risks
  • Have procedures for dealing with workplace emergencies
  • Have safe and healthy facilities for workers
  • Make sure machinery and systems are safe for workers to use
  • Provide and make sure personal protective equipment is used where appropriate

Why should I?

Regardless of your legal obligations, maintaining a healthy and safe workplace is extremely beneficial. An Australian study found that healthy employees were:

  • More productive than unhealthy workers
  • Less likely to become sick with ongoing conditions and to take fewer sick days
  • Less likely to be fatigued and more alert to safety issues and less likely to be injured
  • More engaged, increasing creativity and innovation
  • More likely to stay on the job for longer, reducing recruitment and training costs and the resulting productivity losses

More information is available at wellplace.nz

What if something goes wrong?

If, despite your best efforts, something has gone wrong then it is important to assess what happened and see whether there are steps you can take to stop it from happening again. In some circumstances you may have a legal duty to notify WorkSafe. More information is available at worksafe.govt.nz/notify-worksafe

More information

New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) has worked with WorkSafe and ACC to provide tools, templates, practical information and resources to help your vineyard and winery build a healthy and safe place to work, such as the Working Well guide, a table of risks for vineyard and winery and checklists. These are available on NZW’s member website (under Advocacy, Health and Safety). WorkSafe also has extensive resources on their website at worksafe.govt.nz.

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