Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

Part 1
Preliminary

2 Interpretation
  • (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

    accident means an event that—

    • (a) causes any person to be harmed; or

    • (b) in different circumstances, might have caused any person to be harmed

    approved code of practice means a code of practice for the time being approved under section 20A; but where any amendment of the code of practice has been approved under that section, means the code of practice as amended

    Armed Forces has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Defence Act 1990

    at work, in relation to any person, means present, for gain or reward, in the person's place of work

    Board means the New Zealand Mining Board of Examiners established under section 20D

    coal has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    coastal cargo has the same meaning as in section 198(6) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994

    compliance order means an order made under section 137 of the Employment Relations Act 2000

    contractor means a person engaged by any person (otherwise than as an employee) to do any work for gain or reward

    Crown organisation has the same meaning as in section 4 of the Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Act 2002

    demise charter has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Ship Registration Act 1992

    department means the department of State that, with the authority of the Prime Minister, is for the time being responsible for the administration of this Act

    employee, subject to sections 3C to 3F, means any person of any age employed by an employer to do any work (other than residential work) for hire or reward under a contract of service and, in relation to any employer, means an employee of the employer

    employer, subject to sections 3C to 3F,—

    • (a) means a person who or that employs any other person to do any work for hire or reward; and, in relation to any employee, means an employer of the employee; and

    • (b) includes, in relation to any person employed by the chief executive or other employee of a Crown organisation to do any work for the Crown organisation for hire or reward, that Crown organisation

    enforcement action means,—

    • (a) in relation to an inspector,—

      • (i) the filing of a charging document under this Act; or

      • (ii) the issuing of an infringement notice under this Act; or

      • (iii) the making of an application for a compliance order; and

    • (b) in relation to a person other than an inspector,—

      • (i) the filing of a charging document under this Act; or

      • (ii) the making of an application for a compliance order

    facility includes amenity and equipment

    fail includes refuse; and failure includes refusal

    harm

    • (a) means illness, injury, or both; and

    • (b) includes physical or mental harm caused by work-related stress

    hazard

    • (a) means an activity, arrangement, circumstance, event, occurrence, phenomenon, process, situation, or substance (whether arising or caused within or outside a place of work) that is an actual or potential cause or source of harm; and

    • (b) includes—

      • (i) a situation where a person's behaviour may be an actual or potential cause or source of harm to the person or another person; and

      • (ii) without limitation, a situation described in subparagraph (i) resulting from physical or mental fatigue, drugs, alcohol, traumatic shock, or another temporary condition that affects a person's behaviour

    hazard notice has the meaning given to it in section 19ZF(1) or 46A(1), as applicable

    health and safety committee means a committee established to support the ongoing improvement of health and safety in a place of work

    health and safety medical practitioner means a person for the time being appointed under section 34(1)

    health and safety representative means an employee elected, as an individual or as a member of a health and safety committee or both, to represent the views of employees in relation to health and safety at work

    healthy means unharmed; and health has a corresponding meaning

    home means a place occupied as a dwellinghouse; and includes any garden, yard, garage, outhouse, or other appurtenance, of a home

    improvement notice means a notice under section 39(1) or (2) or 39A

    industry health and safety representative has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    infringement notice means a notice given under section 56B

    inspector means a health and safety inspector for the time being appointed under section 29(1)

    inspector's notice means an improvement notice or a prohibition notice

    limited child care centre means any premises used regularly for the care of 3 or more children (not being children of the persons providing the care, or children enrolled at a school being provided with care before or after school) under the age of 6, none of whom attends for any period exceeding 2 hours per day, in circumstances where the children’s parents or caregivers are—

    • (a) in close proximity to the children and are able to be contacted; and

    • (b) able to resume responsibility for children at short notice

    limited child care service provider means the body, agency, or person who or that operates a limited child care centre

    machinery means an engine, motor, or other appliance that provides mechanical energy derived from compressed air, the combustion of fuel, electricity, gas, gaseous products, steam, water, wind, or any other source; and includes—

    • (a) any plant by or to which the motion of any machinery is transmitted; and

    • (b) a lifting machine, a lifting vehicle, a machine whose motive power is wholly or partly generated by the human body, and a tractor

    matter, in sections 54, 54A, 54C, 54E, 56B, and 56C, means—

    • (a) a failure to comply with this Act or regulations made under this Act; or

    • (b) a series of such associated failures arising out of, or relating to, the same incident, situation, or set of circumstances

    medical practitioner means a health practitioner who is, or is deemed to be, registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand continued by section 114(1)(a) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 as a practitioner of the profession of medicine.

    mine operator has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    mine worker has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    mineral has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    mining operation has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    Minister means the Minister of the Crown who, under the authority of any warrant or with the authority of the Prime Minister, is for the time being responsible for the administration of this Act

    New Zealand includes all airspace within the territorial limits of New Zealand

    New Zealand ship has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Ship Registration Act 1992

    permit operator has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    person includes the Crown

    person who controls a place of work in relation to a place of work, means a person who is—

    • (a) the owner, lessee, sublessee, occupier, or person in possession, of the place or any part of it; or

    • (b) the owner, lessee, sublessee, or bailee, of any plant in the place

    petroleum operations means petroleum operations prescribed for the purposes of this Act by regulations made under this Act

    phenomenon includes radiation

    place of work means a place (whether or not within or forming part of a building, structure, or vehicle) where any person is to work, is working, for the time being works, or customarily works, for gain or reward; and, in relation to an employee, includes a place, or part of a place, under the control of the employer (not being domestic accommodation provided for the employee),—

    • (a) where the employee comes or may come to eat, rest, or get first-aid or pay; or

    • (b) where the employee comes or may come as part of the employee's duties to report in or out, get instructions, or deliver goods or vehicles; or

    • (c) through which the employee may or must pass to reach a place of work

    plant includes—

    • (a) appliance, equipment, fitting, furniture, implement, machine, machinery, tool, and vehicle; and

    • (b) part of any plant, the controls of any plant, and any thing connected to any plant

    principal means a person who or that engages any person (otherwise than as an employee) to do any work for gain or reward

    prohibition notice means a notice under section 41(1) or 41A

    quarrying operation has the meaning given to it in section 19N

    residential work, in relation to the occupier of a home, means—

    • (a) domestic work done or to be done in the home; or

    • (b) work done or to be done in respect of the home,—

    by a person employed or engaged by the occupier solely to do work of one or both of those kinds in relation to the home

    safe,—

    • (a) in relation to a person, means not exposed to any hazards; and

    • (b) in every other case, means free from hazards;—

    and unsafe and safety have corresponding meanings

    Secretary means the chief executive of the department

    serious harm, subject to subsection (4), means death, or harm of a kind or description declared by the Governor-General by Order in Council to be serious for the purposes of this Act; and seriously harmed has a corresponding meaning

    ship has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Ship Registration Act 1992

    significant hazard means a hazard that is an actual or potential cause or source of—

    • (a) serious harm; or

    • (b) harm (being harm that is more than trivial) the severity of whose effects on any person depend (entirely or among other things) on the extent or frequency of the person's exposure to the hazard; or

    • (c) harm that does not usually occur, or usually is not easily detectable, until a significant time after exposure to the hazard

    site health and safety committee has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    site health and safety representative has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    site senior executive has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    subcontractor means a person engaged (otherwise than as an employee) by any contractor or subcontractor to do for gain or reward any work the contractor or subcontractor has been engaged (as contractor or subcontractor) to do

    substance includes a thing that is an organic material, whether living or not

    suspension notice means a notice under section 37(1)

    tourist mining operation has the meaning given to it in section 19L

    trained health and safety representative has the meaning set out in section 46A(1)

    tunnelling operation has the meaning given to it in section 19O

    union has the same meaning as in section 5 of the Employment Relations Act 2000

    volunteer

    • (a) means a person who—

      • (i) does not expect to be rewarded for work to be performed as a volunteer; and

      • (ii) receives no reward for work performed as a volunteer; and

    • (b) does not include a person who is in a place of work for the purpose of receiving on the job training or gaining work experience

    WorkSafe means WorkSafe New Zealand established by section 5 of the WorkSafe New Zealand Act 2013.

    (2) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that—

    • (a) a person may at the one time be 2 or more of any of the following: a contractor, an employer, a person who controls a place of work, a principal, a self-employed person, and a subcontractor; and this Act may impose duties on or in respect of the person accordingly; and

    • (b) this Act may at the one time impose the same duty on 2 or more persons, whether in the same capacity or different capacities; and

    • (c) a duty imposed by this Act on any person is not diminished or affected by the fact that it is also imposed on 1 or more other persons, whether in the same capacity or in different capacities.

    (3) To avoid doubt, a person is in a place of work whenever and wherever the person performs work including in a place that—

    • (a) the person moves through; or

    • (b) itself moves.

    (4) Until the commencement of the first Order in Council made under this Act declaring harm of any kind or description to be serious for the purposes of this Act, harm of any of the kinds and descriptions specified in Schedule 1 shall be deemed to be serious harm.

    Section 2(1) all practicable steps: repealed, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) approved code of practice: replaced, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(2) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) Armed Forces: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(2) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) Board: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) coal: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) coastal cargo: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(3) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) compliance order: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(4) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) crew: repealed, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(4) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) Crown organisation: inserted, on 18 October 2002, by section 23(1) of the Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Act 2002 (2002 No 37).

    Section 2(1) demise charter: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(4) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) departmental medical practitioner: repealed, on 16 December 2013, by section 22 of the WorkSafe New Zealand Act 2013 (2013 No 94).

    Section 2(1) employee: substituted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(5) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) employer: substituted, on 18 October 2002, by section 23(2) of the Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Act 2002 (2002 No 37).

    Section 2(1) employer: amended, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(6) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) enforcement action: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(7) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) enforcement action paragraph (a)(i): replaced, on 1 July 2013, by section 413 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (2011 No 81).

    Section 2(1) enforcement action paragraph (b)(i): replaced, on 1 July 2013, by section 413 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (2011 No 81).

    Section 2(1) harm: substituted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(8) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) hazard: substituted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(8) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) hazard notice: replaced, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(3) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) health and safety committee: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(8) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) health and safety medical practitioner: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 22 of the WorkSafe New Zealand Act 2013 (2013 No 94).

    Section 2(1) health and safety representative: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(8) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) improvement notice: replaced, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(4) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) industry health and safety representative: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) infringement notice: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(9) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) limited child care centre: inserted, on 21 December 2010, by section 4 of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 135).

    Section 2(1) limited child care service provider: inserted, on 21 December 2010, by section 4 of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 135).

    Section 2(1) matter: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(10) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) medical practitioner: inserted, on 18 September 2004, by section 175(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (2003 No 48).

    Section 2(1) mine operator: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) mine worker: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) mineral: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) mining operation: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) New Zealand: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(11) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) New Zealand ship: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(11) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) permit operator: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) petroleum operations: inserted, on 1 February 1995, by section 203 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (1994 No 104).

    Section 2(1) place of work: amended, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(12) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) prohibition notice: replaced, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(5) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) quarrying operation: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) registered medical practitioner: repealed, on 18 September 2004, by section 175(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (2003 No 48).

    Section 2(1) ship: inserted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(13) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) site health and safety committee: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) site health and safety representative: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) site senior executive: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) tourist mining operation: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) trained health and safety representative: added, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(14) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) tunnelling operation: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(1) union: added, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(14) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) volunteer: added, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(14) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).

    Section 2(1) WorkSafe: inserted, on 16 December 2013, by section 4(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 95).

    Section 2(3): substituted, on 5 May 2003, by section 4(15) of the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 86).