Health and Safety at Work Act 2015: Intention, Implementation and Outcomes in the Hill Country Livestock Farming Industry

38 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2017

See all articles by Bronwyn Neal

Bronwyn Neal

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: July 19, 2017

Abstract

The recently enacted Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is intended to apply across all industries in New Zealand. The unique workplace environment and industry culture of the hill country livestock farming sector makes application, implementation and enforcement of the Act in this context uniquely challenging. In contrast to other industries the hill country livestock farming industry has an uncontained workplace complicated by family and public involvement. WorkSafe, as a “fair, consistent and engaged” regulator, seeks to establish health and safety as one of the industry’s key cornerstones alongside lifestyle, profit and sustainability. Results to date have been undermined by WorkSafe’s conflicting enforcement, engagement and education functions. There is a perceived misplaced focus on enforcement of low probability, periphery hazards rather than the key risks that cause accidents. This paper explains the implications of significant changes under the Act for the industry. It also recommends legislative adaptations to address the inadequacies of the farming exception in s 37. An alternative WorkSafe strategy that focuses on effecting compliance through supply chain demand and economic drivers rather than enforcement is also outlined.

Keywords: Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, hill country livestock farming, health and safety, WorkSafe, workplace

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Neal, Bronwyn, Health and Safety at Work Act 2015: Intention, Implementation and Outcomes in the Hill Country Livestock Farming Industry (July 19, 2017). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Student/Alumni Paper No. 30/2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3005092

Bronwyn Neal (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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