In a major step forward in the pre-funding of standards-related services, WorkSafe New Zealand recently signed a three-year contract with Standards New Zealand. The agreement provides for a wide range of services to support local, trans-Tasman, and international Standards for gas and electrical safety.
According to Mark Wogan, Manager Energy Safety, the contract is a significant step up from the usual one year service level contract typically created with Government clients. 'It is a more strategic approach to address key priorities in the standards and standards-related aspects of regulation,' he says.
'It also helps signal to the wider sector how proactive and committed the Energy Safety team at WorkSafe NZ is about engaging with key energy sector stakeholders. We want to develop robust, fit for purpose standards for use in regulation.'
The new framework is also designed to facilitate more effective cross-Government collaboration. This includes the important environmental areas of climate change and carbon zero initiatives. This dovetails well with a number of current priorities – including electric vehicles, hydrogen and refrigerants.
Proactive approach to standards-related services
Standards New Zealand Development Team Leader, Stanil Stanilov, says this agreement is the latest example of the close cooperation between the Standards NZ and WorkSafe NZ Energy Safety teams.
'Our first very successful Joint Committee Member training workshop was held in Wellington recently. It was sponsored by Energy Safety and was well attended by members from the energy sector, showing how committed they are to the development of effective standards,' he says.
'This is the first multi-year contract for Standards New Zealand,' he adds. 'This agreement helps both us and the Energy Safety team at WorkSafe NZ to work together proactively on standards-related services, instead of reacting to events.
'This shows commitment and confidence in the standards and conformance process in the energy sector. It would be of great benefit if we were able to work with other sectors in such a forward-looking way.'
Standards NZ is currently also working with the Energy Safety team on a young professionals programme and on gender equality in the energy sector.