All agencies who are part of a co-location have health and safety responsibilities.
The legislative framework in New Zealand is made up of:
The law is also supported by approved codes of practice (ACOPs) and guidance in the form of:
This guidance sets out the key obligations generally on agencies in relation to the HWSA and the HSW General Regulations within the context of co-locations. As the HWSA is a new law, we anticipate this guidance will evolve as the law is interpreted and applied. It’s not a substitute for specialist health and safety or legal advice.
When developing health and safety procedures for co-locations, you should:
The HSWA helps businesses manage their health and safety risk by:
There are 5 key concepts to the HWSA:
The HSWA introduces the concept of a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’, known as a PCBU. The PCBU has a primary duty to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of workers and other persons are not put at risk by its work.
A PCBU, so far as is reasonably practicable must ensure:
In the context of co-locations both the lead agency and each participating agency is a PCBU. Each agency might owe its primary duty to another agency’s staff, either because it influences or directs their activities, or because its work might put the health and safety of the other agency’s staff at risk. This may create some overlapping duties which PCBUs must engage together on.
All agencies will need to consult, cooperate and coordinate activities to meet their shared responsibilities.
PCBUs can't contract out of these duties. However, they can contract to meet their duties by making reasonable arrangements with other PCBUs to take responsibility for certain actions, and verifying these are done.
The lead agency, as a PCBU, has a high level of influence and control over the health and safety of workers at the co-located site. They have a primary duty of care with respect to the site as:
Participating agencies, as PCBUs, have a moderate level of influence and control over health and safety at the co-located site. Participating agencies have a primary duty of care for their own staff and to work together with other PCBUs co-located at the site. This means agreeing arrangements for keeping people healthy and safe, and helping maintain building hazard registers.
This split of responsibilities proposed by the lead agency concept makes the ongoing management of the facilities and meeting obligations under the HSWA simpler for all parties.
|Summary of the obligation||Specific obligation||Comments|
|A PCBU that manages or controls workplace facilities.||Must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace, how people enter and exit the workplace, and anything else that may arise from the workplace, does not put anyone’s health and safety at risk.||
Lead Agency coordinates key factors with cooperation from participating agencies.
Key factors PCBUs will need to consider in relation to managing workplace facilities, specifically for the co-location site include coordinated:
A PCBU that manages or controls the fixtures, fittings or plant at workplaces.
Must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the fixtures, fittings and plant do not put anyone’s health and safety at risk.
To provide first aid.
Must ensure that first aid equipment adequate and appropriate for the functions/scale/operations of the site is provided and accessible by all workers.An adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid, appropriate for the functions/ scale/operations of the site, and accessible by all workers.
Lead agency provides and maintains first aid equipment.All agencies to identify and train first aiders as appropriate to the size of their groups.
A PCBU must prepare, maintain and implement emergency plan for the building.
|Must ensure an emergency plan is prepared for the workplace including evaluation procedures, notifying emergency service organisations, communication procedures, procedure testing and training.||
Lead agency develops coordinated plan for the premises in consultation with participating agencies.
|To engage with its workers on health and safety matters.||PCBU’s must, so far as reasonably practicable, engage with its workers on health and safety matters that affect workers.||
Lead agency coordinates a health and safety committee for the co-location with representation from each participating agency.For larger co-locations, each PCBU may wish to run separate Health & Safety representative meetings that are agency specific.
In addition to specific PCBU duties, officers, workers and other people have obligations. These are outlined below. All agencies, both lead and participating, should be aware of these obligations, and should consider how health and safety reporting from co-locations feeds into their broader agency health and safety structures.
Officers (Chief Executive and potentially the Senior Leadership team) have a personal duty to undertake due diligence to make sure their agency complies with its duties and obligations. Specifically, they must take reasonable steps to:
Workers (an agency’s employees and its contractors’ and subcontractors’ employees) must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and make sure their actions don't adversely affect the health and safety of others. They must also follow any reasonable health and safety instruction given to them by the agency, and cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure relating to health and safety in the workplace. Workers may choose one or more people to speak or act about health and safety matters on their behalf.
Health and Safety representatives and committees are a requirement in certain circumstances for workplaces and can be established as part of the governance structure.
Other people who come into the workplace, such as visitors or customers, also have some health and safety duties to ensure that they take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that their actions don’t adversely affect the health and safety of others.
At a tenancy level, a health and safety committee needs to be established that includes representatives from each agency. This committee discusses site specific health and safety issues and identifies issues that need to be escalated through their respective internal health and safety governance or reporting structures. The health and safety committee is supported by health and safety reps and employees.
How health and safety governance is structured for your co-location site will be dependent on the size and number of agencies in the co-location. One committee made up of representatives from all agencies may be appropriate for smaller sites. The nominated governance group may take on the responsibilities of the health and safety committee. In larger sites it may be necessary to have agency sub-committees that report into a tenancy-level health and safety committee.