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Health and safety responsibilities

Health and safety can feel overwhelming for small businesses – Here’s some information on how to comply with your obligations.

We know our clients are committed to being excellent employers – taking care of their team and themselves. That includes being compliant with health and safety regulations. But these can be confusing for small businesses, so how can you get started?

Your health and safety responsibilities

If you are responsible for health and safety in your business, you have obligations under the Health and Safety Workplace Act 2015. It’s important to understand the risks in your business and have a plan to eliminate or minimise these risks.

There’s a four-step process:

  1. Identify and assess the risks in your business
  2. Eliminate or minimise the risks
  3. Monitor the control measures
  4. Review for continuous improvement

Document everything to help ensure you can demonstrate compliance. You can read about your responsibilities in WorkSafe’s Quick Reference Guide.

What if you have no employees?

If you are a sole trader, a contractor or a business owner with no employees, you are still a PCBU. The responsibilities in the guide above also apply to you. You must ensure:

  • your own health and safety,
  • the health and safety of others who could be put at risk by the work you do,
  • and the health and safety of visitors to your worksite or the general public.

What if you work from home?

If you’re working from home, or your employees or contractors are working from home, WorkSafe has a specific guidance page. It focuses on healthy workstations and computer use, plus taking care of mental health.

We can help you identify risks in your business

Identifying business risks is a vital step in complying with your health and safety obligations. Using our experience in your industry and with business finance, we can point out some risks you might not have considered.

If you would like some assistance in identifying risks, or you have questions about your accounts, do get in touch.