The Occupational Health and Safety Act (2004) aims to promote an inclusive and proactive approach towards the elimination or reduction of health and safety risks in the workplace.
The Act, which came into effect on 1 July 2005, has five key principles outlined, as follows:
- All people, workers and the general public, should have the highest level of protection against risks to health and safety
- Those who manage the workplace are responsible for eliminating those risks. Where risks can't be eliminated, they are responsible for reducing those risks so far as is reasonable practicable
- Employers should be proactive in eliminating risks in the workplace
- Information and ideas about risks and how to control them should be exchanged between employees and employers
- Employees are entitled, and should be encouraged, to be represented in relation to health and safety issues
The Government has decreed that these principles should be met in a spirit of consultation and co-operation.