The Crane Association of New Zealand (CANZ) has joined forces with a number of industry groups expressing frustration at the New Zealand government’s Plant & Structures regulations.
Centring around the Plant, Structures and Hazardous Work regulations of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, construction industry bosses are becoming frustrated at government delays for OH&S regulations pertaining to staff working in their sector.
Aligning with the industry associations for scaffolding, roofing, elevated work platforms, hire, and forklift hire, CANZ questioned the lack of transparency surrounding delays in releasing drafts of the regulations.
Scaffolding Access and Rigging Association, chief executive officer, Tina Wieczorek, says the existing regulations are years out of date.
“This creates significant risks to anyone working in the crane, scaffolding, roofing and elevated work platform sectors, as well as many others.”
She says the new regulations, designed to reduce work-related harm, were first drafted in mid-2019 but still haven’t been finalised.
“Meanwhile we have thousands of construction staff in cranes, up scaffolding, on roofs and using elevating work platforms every day,” she says, “all working in potentially risky environments and who deserve the most up to date regulations to ensure their safety.
“Government doesn’t seem in a rush to get the new safety regs in place.”
They all agree the new regulations need to be consulted on urgently and gazetted as soon as possible to avoid any further undue risk to workers.
“But we’ve been told nothing’s likely to happen until at least March next year,” Wieczorek said. “Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, we don’t have an accident in the meantime that the new regs would have prevented.”
Despite submitting an Official Information Act (OIA), all the relevant associations are still in the dark regarding what changes are being made.
Once enacted, the new regulations will update the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to ensure its alignment with current industry practice and ensure safety procedures.