2018 has demonstrated WorkSafe NZ’s intent to increasingly use enforceable undertakings as an alternative to prosecutions. We see this as a positive move as it gives a mechanism for restorative justice to injured parties as well as a method of funding health and safety improvements both in their own company and in the community. We are aware however that companies finding themselves in the unenviable position of preparing a proposal to submit to WorkSafe NZ, can find this difficult to identify options.
WorkSafe NZ do provide a useful guideline that outlines the broad concepts and gives some examples. The reality is that companies can spend significant time and effort finding meaningful ways of applying this to their own circumstances. As enforceable undertakings have only been in existence for a couple of years, there are still limited examples of what is expected by WorkSafe NZ and their expectations can vary with each case.
It is also worth noting that actions and initiatives taken post incident can be taken into account when negotiating an enforceable undertaking. It may be worthwhile for companies looking at an enforceable undertaking to begin planning, and if applicable, applying remedial actions as soon as possible. An enforceable undertaking is not aimed at being a cheaper or easier option for companies, simply a better one. It is a clear opportunity to show remorse and to provide positive outcomes.
Avid Plus can provide services to advise your business in this regard and offer a range of initiatives including simulated learning modules, training courses and audits. Avid Plus supports a range of community charitable organisations that can be involved for the community component.
To find out more visit www.avidplus.co.nz or email firstname.lastname@example.org.