Public notice

Working safely together - Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Monday 14 November 2016

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA)

Otago Regional Council (Council) staff are tasked with ensuring that environmental regulations are being followed for the good of the environment and the wider community.

Staff of the Council are required to carry out inspections of private property in their capacity as Enforcement Officers under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

In overview;

  • Council officers are permitted by law to enter your land for this purpose
  • Health and Safety legislation does not prevent or delay Council access to private property
  • Our staff have been appropriately trained and are equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment; they are our responsibility
  • Our staff will take reasonable care for their own health and safety and will take reasonable care that their actions or presence does not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons.

Working Safely Together

Our individual responsibilities

Inspections must be completed in compliance with HSWA. This notice outlines the responsibility of the Council, and you, as the lawful owner or occupier of the property being inspected, under that legislation.

Section 332 of the RMA allows Council Enforcement Officers to enter private property, without permission or invitation of the lawful land owner or occupier, for the purpose of assessing compliance with environment regulations/legislation.

Under HSWA the Council is a PCBU (person conducting a business or undertaking). An Enforcement Officer carrying out their normal duties is defined as a ‘worker’ by the HSWA. A PCBU’s worker’s workplace includes any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be, while at work. This includes on your property.

That means when a Council Enforcement Officer is on your property for their work purposes they are operating under the jurisdiction of the Council PCBU. Likewise, you also constitute a PCBU and HSWA imposes certain responsibilities on both parties.

Council responsibility

To ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of its workers at its workplace: in this case, on your property. The Council will not attend an extensive induction process.

In visiting your property Council staff has the following responsibilities;

  • To take reasonable care for their own health and safety.
  • They have been appropriately trained for the work they are undertaking and are equipped with personal protective equipment which is fit for purpose.
  • They will take reasonable care that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons.
  • They will comply, as far as they are reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given.

Landowner/Occupier Responsibility

As a PCBU, to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of any person (including Council staff) is not put at risk from work carried out on your property as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking. Our expectation is;

  • we appreciate you making our staff aware of any risks at your property; and
  • we expect that you will work safely in their presence.

The HSWA does not prevent, or unduly delay a Council Enforcement Officer from carrying out their lawful duties under Section 332 of the RMA.