Like all businesses in New Zealand, COVID-19 is going to impact on our ability to provide our services and support to workers and businesses.
We will maintain our core regulatory services – that means we will continue to respond to notifications of Immediate Risk of Harm, serious injuries and fatalities.
As the health and safety regulator it is important that we’re seen to be modelling best practice in keeping our people healthy and safe and continuing to exercise our core functions.
To protect the health and safety of our people, and to ensure they do not become a vector for the virus, we have suspended our proactive workplace assessment programme from Monday 23 March until further notice.
Businesses should be clear – even though we are not doing these assessments, we will continue to exercise oversight of health and safety behaviour using a variety of different tools and methods.
I remind all employers that they have a legal obligation to keep their workers healthy and safe. I also remind employers that they have a responsibility to enable workers to self-isolate. In this time of disruption and uncertainty, it is critical that employers keep their health and safety obligations at the top of their agendas.
Our normal business practices will be disrupted:
- our people will only be travelling in exceptional circumstances
- we are progressively cancelling our involvement in external interactions
- we are likely to have many of our people working remotely in the near future.
However, a great deal of the support we provide to the health and safety system is catalogued on our website and I urge you to refer to that information as a first port of call.
We will be continually re-prioritising our work and remain focused on providing support for workers and businesses as the situation develops.