Department of Labour launches online tool to help small businesses improve workplace safety

Hazard handling logo
Any small business anywhere in New Zealand can now access the Department of Labour’s ‘Hazard Handler’ to build a customised hazard register.

The ‘Hazard Handler’ provides practical information on how to identify and manage both general and industry-specific health and safety issues.  It is targeted at small businesses without a hazard management system.  ‘It can show them what they need to do – it is there to provide the first steps towards identifying hazards and risks for all their employees so they can install systems to improve workplace health and safety,’ says Trevor Mallard, Minister of Labour.

A complete online self-assessment of workplace hazards takes one to two hours to complete.  Each question has hints and tips for managing dangerous equipment and materials.  When the questions are finished, the user downloads a personalised hazard register. 

‘Eligible small businesses within the forestry, residential construction, agriculture, motor trade, and road transport industries can also use the ‘Hazard Handler’ to apply for the ACC Workplace Safety Discounts programme,’ says Mr Mallard.  For small businesses that don’t qualify, the ‘Hazard Handler’ contains a General Small Business category that addresses common, non-industry specific hazards, including noise, forklifts, machinery, and the office environment.

The ‘Hazard Handler’ is available from the Department of Labour website www.dol.govt.nz: View ‘Hazard Handler’.

Standards New Zealand works with many industry sectors and the Occupational Safety and Health Service to develop Standards for safety at work.  Topics covered include high visibility clothing for road workers, eye protection for welding, dangerous goods, and many more.

More information about occupational safety Standards.  

Published in consumer and occupational safety.