It is estimated that more than a third of every working individual’s time is spent at the workplace each day, save for the weekends. This means that on average, at least 45 or more hours each week are spent within the work environment. Safety during work hours is therefore paramount if every employee is to remain healthy, and safe. As it is, most workplaces have been friendly in New Zealand because employers have taken the necessary steps to keep them that way. Still, more has to be done to ensure New Zealand workplace health and safety standards are upheld
All types of work, even those that are done within the tidiest environments, expose people to certain hazards. Whichever type of task one performs, there is always that possibility that an accident, damage or injury may occur. Whether this is to the eye, back, leg of whichever part of the body, once the damage is done, some hours off work have to be wasted while seeking treatment. In order to maintain New Zealand workplace health and safety standards set by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, it is important that employers know what they ought to do to safeguard the work environments.
Under the New Zealand workplace health and safety Act, employers have extensive duties that have been specifically designed to protect the welfare of employees.
Duties of the Employer
- Create a work environment that is safe and healthy so that it does not compromise the welfare of employees or workers.
- Conduct activities that promote the safety of workers.
- Manage the workplace in such a way that any conduct regarded as improper, and that is likely to put the lives of workers at risk is avoided or abolished.
- Provide safety and prevention measures that stops any risks that may arise from use of harmful substances, noise pollution, radiation, vibration, ionization or any other activity that may compromise the health and safety of workers.
- To provide systems of activities which are organized, planned, performed and maintained if they are working towards healthy outcome. In case certain risks are discovered, there is to be revision of the stated systems for appropriate measures to be taken.
- To maintain facilities within the work environment so that the safety and health of workers is not compromised.
- To provide training, instructions, supervision and information to be sure tasks are performed as required.
- To offer protective wear in cases where total elimination of risks is not possible.
- To put emergency plans in place and have them communicated to workers so that in the event of the unprecedented, workers are aware of the course of action to take.
- To report occurrences perceived as dangerous, or accidents to the relevant authorities as stipulated in the act.
- To employ the services of a competent employee who is able to uphold the safety standards of the workplace high.
- To put into place measures covering all calibers of workers, both permanent and temporary. In case accidents or injuries occur, the workers are supposed to be covered by the medical scheme designed by the employer for employees.
Keeping the workplace safe and healthy is important as it helps increase productivity.