The New Zealand government has confirmed that Maritime NZ will have oversight over the health and safety of most port operations.
Maritime NZ Chief Executive Kirstie Hewlett says the decision to extend Maritime NZ’s Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) designation to cover the land side of New Zealand’s 13 commercial ports, will enable a holistic and targeted approach to supporting port businesses improve health and safety.
“Ports are complex, dynamic and high-risk environments where there are a number of drivers of harm. This change will allow us to take a wider view of how port operations are conducted, and alongside port businesses, take the required multifaceted approach to preventing harm. We will be able to more effectively work with, and regulate, businesses that carry out high-risk port-based activities to improve health and safety on ports. The extended designation also comes with resourcing to enable a greater presence on ports over time.”
Currently accidents or incidents that take place on land must be reported to WorkSafe New Zealand and those that take place on vessels and ship to wharf must be reported to Maritime NZ.
The extension of the designation was one of the recommendations made by the Port Health and Safety Leadership Group in their recently-released Port Sector Insights Picture and Action Plan. The plan was based on feedback and data collected from workers and port businesses in the wake of the death of two port workers in Lyttleton and Auckland last year.
WorkSafe will remain responsible for some specific areas and processes, including major hazard facilities and permitting and licensing regimes.
The extended designation will take effect on July 1, 2024.