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The Health & Safety Reform Bill – what it means for Cowperthwaite Roofing, our staff and our clients


Nothing is more important to Cowperthwaite Roofing than the well-being of our customers, staff and contractors. We already ensure that all our jobs are carried out in accordance with the Best Practice Guidelines for Working on Roofs (published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in co-operation with the Roofing Association of NZ.)

On 4th April 2016, the Health & Safety Reform Bill comes into force. This Act was drawn up based on recommendations from the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine tragedy and the Independent Task force on Workplace Health & Safety.

It’s part of Working Safer: a blueprint for health and safety at work which aims to reduce New Zealand’s workplace death and injury toll by 25% by 2020. All employers are affected by this legislation, not just those within more high risk industries, such as construction.

Under the Act, a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) – usually a company rather than an individual – has primary legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of its staff and contractors, and anyone else affected by its works. It is worth mentioning that property managers, commercial property owners /landlords, commercial tenants and body corporates are all classed as PCBUs.

One of the key goals of this Bill is to encourage an attitude of shared responsibility amongst all those involved (employees, suppliers, site visitors) for health and safety. If everyone plays their part – recognises what is within their control, takes a common sense approach, communicates concerns, acts appropriately – it is hoped that accidents and incidents will naturally be reduced.

It should also be noted that some rules concerning asbestos are changing too. Shockingly, more than 170 New Zealanders still die each year from asbestos-related diseases. Clearly, more stringent controls are required and, from 4th April, the majority of asbestos removal work requires a licence, and suitably appointed Supervisors need to oversee the work. Whilst in the process of acquiring our Class B Asbestos Removal License, Cowperthwaite Roofing will continue to work with other licensed contractors to efficiently fulfil clients’ projects.

For any professional organisation, compliance with the new Health and Safety at Work Act is a given. For those who fail to take their health and safety responsibilities seriously, the penalties are severe – and quite rightly so.

Are you ready for the Health & Safety law changes?

Got a question about the Health & Safety At Work Act (HWSA)? Get answers and have the myths dispelled.


Whether you need a roof repair, a re-roof or a new build, you can trust Cowperthwaite Roofing to deliver a first class job, on time and on budget. We work hard to maintain our reputation for quality projects and outstanding customer service. To know more about any of the roofing services offered by Cowperthwaite Roofing, please either e-mail enquiry@cowperthwaites.co.nz or phone (09) 525 3095.