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Health and Safety Fines and Liabilities

Failing to comply with health and safety duty (e.g. not using safety gear)

If a person has a health and safety responsibility and fails to comply with that duty then the liabilities are as follows:​

  •  Any individual –  a fine not exceeding $50,000.
  • A business owner – a fine not exceeding $100,000.
  • The business – a fine not exceeding $500,000.

Failure that exposes an individual to risk of death or serious injury/illness

If a person has a health and safety responsibility, fails to comply with that responsibility and that failure exposes any individual to a risk of death/serious injury/illness then the liabilities are as follows:

  •  Any individual –  a fine not exceeding $150,000.
  • A business owner – a fine not exceeding $300,000.
  • The business – a fine not exceeding $1.5 Million.

Reckless conduct in respect of health and safety duty 

If a person has a health and safety responsibility, is reckless to risk or engages in any conduct that exposes any individual to risk of death or serious injury/illness then the liabilities are as follows:

  • Any individual – a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years/fine not exceeding $300,000
  • A business owner – a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years/fine not exceeding $600,000.
  • The business – a fine not exceeding $3 Million. 

Health and Safety Definitions

A list of common terms you may hear when talking about health and safety, and what they mean. Based on the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 definitions and the definitions and acronyms on the WorkSafe website. 

PCBU
Means a person conducting a business or undertaking-
(i) whether the person conducts a business or undertaking alone or with others; and
(ii) whether or not the business or undertaking is conducted for profit or gain

Officer
​Unless the context otherwise requires, officer, in relation to a PCBU,-
(a) means, if the PCBU is-
     (i) a company, any person occupying the position of a director of the company by whatever name called:
     (ii) a partnership (other than a limited partnership), any partner:
     (iii) a limited partnership, any general partner:
     (iv) a body corporate or an unincorporated body, other than a company, partnership, or limited partnership, any person occupying a position in the body that is comparable with that of a director of a company; and
(b) includes any other person occupying a position in relation to the business or undertaking that allows the person to exercise significant influence over the management of the business or undertaking (for example, a chief executive); but
(c) does not include Minister of the Crown acting in that capacity; and
(d) to avoid doubt, does not include a person who merely advises or makes recommendations to a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

Worker
A worker means an individual who carries out for in any capacity for a PCBU, including work as-
(a) and employee; or
(b) a contractor or subcontractor; or
(c) an employee of a contractor or subcontractor; or
(d) an employee of a labour hire company who has been assigned to work in the business or undertaking; or
(e) an outworker (including homeworker); or
(f) an apprentice or a trainee; or
(g) a person gaining work experience or undertaking a work trial; or
(h) a volunteer worker; or
(i) a person of a prescribed class.

Workplace
(1) A workplace –
(a) means a place where work is being carried out, or is customarily carried out, for a business or undertaking; and
(b) includes and place where a worked goes, or is likely to be, while at work.
(2) Place includes- 
(a) a vehicle, vessel, aircraft, ship or other mobile structure; and
(b) and waters and any installation on that, on the bed of any waters, or floating on any waters.

Reasonably Practicable
Reasonably practicable, in relation to a duty of a PCBU, means that which is, or was, at a particular time, reasonably able to be done in relation to ensuring health and safety, taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters, including-
(a) the likelihood of the hazard or risk concerned occurring; and 
(b) the degree of harm that might result from the hazard or risk; and
(c) what the person concerned knows, or ought reasonably to know, about-
     (i) the hazard or risk; and
     (ii) ways of eliminating or minimising the risk; and
(d) the availability and suitability of ways to eliminate or minimise the risk; and
(e) after assessing the extent of the risk and the available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, the cost associated with available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, including whether the cost is grossly disproportionate to the risk. 

Notifiable Event
Notifiable event means any of the following events that arise from work:
(a) the death of a person; or
(b) a notifiable injury or illness; or 
(c) a notifiable incident.

Harm
(a) Illness, injury, or both; and (b) includes physical or mental harm caused by work-related stress.

Hazard
(a) An activity, arrangement, circumstance, event, occurrence, phenomenon, process, situation or substance (whether arising or caused within or outside a place of work) that is an actual or potential cause or source of harm; and
(b) includes
     (i) A situation where a person’s behaviour may be an actual or potential cause or source of harm to the person or another person; and
     (ii) Without limitation, a situation described in subparagraph (i) resulting from physical or mental fatigue, drugs, alcohol, traumatic shock or another temporary condition that affects a person’s behaviour. Hazardous has a corresponding meaning [HSE Act].

Having a COVID-19 safety plan in place for your business during level 1 is optional.
If you are unsure whether you think you should implement one, please contact us.

This safety plan has been provided by WorkSafe in order to make creating your COVID-19 Safety Plan a little simpler.
Please click on the ‘Download’ button below for your free template in either the .PDF or Word version. 
​Use this form to document how you and your workers will keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Provide as much information in response to each question as possible.
The information provided in this document will help your workers and other people to know exactly what to do and what to expect, ensure all your workers understand what is involved.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation – review your plan regularly and make changes as required.

SaferKiwis offer free e-mail support to help you get your safety plan up and running correctly, so if you have any questions go to the contact us page and let us know what we can help you with.