Be a health and safety super ninja

Keeping you and your team healthy and safe means your business can go the distance in peak condition. Whatever your business shape and size, you’ll need to exercise a health and safety plan.

You’ll need to:

  • Identify risks and hazards in your business.
  • Create a health and safety plan.
  • Make your plan part of your day-to-day business.

The legal low-down

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 sets out your workplace health and safety responsibilities. Other laws you need to know about are the Accident Compensation Act 2001, the Employment Relations Act 2000, and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.

The law says you are responsible for keeping yourself and your staff safe in the workplace — as far as is reasonably pratical. Everyone in the workplace plays a part and has responsibility for identifying and managing risk.

This means you need to keep up to date with the law, understand the health and safety risks of your workplace, and take all steps to get rid of or reduce these risks.

Identify risks and hazards in your business

Take the time to think about the types of risks and hazards you and your staff could be exposed to.

Physical hazards

Things that can cause physical harm like lifting heavy objects, poor quality desks and chairs, falls from heights, or moving machinery. Injuries from these hazards may happen quickly or over time.

Environmental hazards

Things in the environment that could cause injury or ill health like hot or cold temperatures, sun exposure, uneven ground or poor lighting.

Hazardous substances

Things like asbestos or chemicals that could cause health issues such as cancer or fertility problems.

Social hazards

Things like overwork, long hours, or bullying that can cause work-related stress and other illnesses.

Biological hazards

Things like bacteria and viruses that can cause health problems.

Questions to help you identify risks and hazards

To help you think about types of risks and hazards, start by asking these questions.

  • Could anyone be injured or get sick if something goes wrong from the work we do?
  • What hazards could harm me, my workers, suppliers, customers or other people?
  • Do we have any risks that are unlikely to occur, but could cause harm if they did? How can we minimise these risks?
  • Have I thought about what types of emergencies could affect me and my staff? Do I have a plan if there is an emergency?
  • Do I know how to find out how any injuries, illnesses, or near misses were caused? How can I make sure they don’t happen again?
  • Can I contact other experts for help?

Create a health and safety plan

Your health and safety plan should be easy to understand. All the people in your business should help write, update and test it.

A good plan will have:

  • ways to get everyone involved in creating and using the plan
  • procedures for identifying risks
  • plans to get rid of, or minimise the risks
  • procedures for monitoring everyone’s health and safety
  • training for new staff so they understand the risks and how to keep themselves safe
  • information on what to do in an emergency, including natural disasters
  • a process to review the plan at least once a year or after something major happens
  • a process for notifying authorities about a serious injury or death.

You might want help identifying risks or creating a plan. If you do, you can get advice from a health and safety expert. The Health and Safety Association of New Zealand has information on choosing the right expert for you.

Make your plan part of your day-to-day business

Your health and safety plan is not just a piece of paper. Everyone at your workplace needs to help create it, commit to it, and act on it. If you have a plan that you can all understand and that has measureable goals, you’re on the right track.

Here’s how to put your plan into action.

  • lead by example and involve everyone if you have staff.
  • set clear targets and procedures that everyone can understand.
  • keep health and safety top of everyone’s mind — have regular agenda items at staff meetings, run safety training courses, and have emergency drills.
  • keep accurate and up-to-date records of risks, training, and any incidents.
  • act quickly if you see any signs of health and safety concerns.

Important information

We recommend seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team at ANZ, please call 0800 269 296, or for more information about ANZ’s financial advice service or to view our financial advice provider disclosure statement see

This material is prepared based on information and sources ANZ believes to be reliable. The content is information only, is subject to change, and isn’t a substitute for commercial judgement or professional advice, which you should seek before relying on it. To the extent the law allows, ANZ doesn’t accept any responsibility or liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising from any act or omissions by any person relying on this material.