Table 1

Historical context of Occupational Health and Safety Legislation in New Zealand: before prescriptive legislation (preperiod) and after (self-managing legislation in two phases; postperiod 1 and postperiod 2)

No of actsVarious regulations, often industry specific (eg, Bush Workers 1945, Agricultural Workers Act 1977)Single Act providing comprehensive coverage of work: HSE Act (1992)Single Act providing comprehensive coverage of work: HSE Amendment Act (2002)
Enactment dateVarious enactment datesEnacted April 1993Enacted May 2003
FeaturesPrescriptive regulationProcess regulationContinuation of process regulation established under HSE Act (1992)
Focused on prescribed workplaces within particular industries or on processes.Broad coverage of nearly all workplaces, duties on employers to manage hazards.Expanded to include aircraft, ships, volunteers doing regular work, on-the-job trainees, loaned employees
Industry-specific regulation and proceduresTreats hazards with similar procedures (hierarchy of action), whatever the place of workAdditional duty to involve employees in health and safety matters
Compliance based. Inspectors would strictly enforce the law.Risk based. Self-regulated with reduced enforcement.Risk based. Self-regulated with reduced enforcement.
  • HSE, Health and Safety in Employment.