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Health and Safety


The safety of all members of the Church community is of paramount importance. The Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki believes that effective Health and Safety management is essential to a successful church; ethically, morally, spiritually, legally and financially.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSW Act) came into force in April 2016. A guiding principle of HSW Act is that workers and other persons should be given the highest level of protection against harm to their health, safety, and welfare from work risks as is reasonably practicable. The main purpose of HSW Act is to provide for a balanced framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces. An introduction to HSW Act produced by WorkSafe can be found here.

As a result of this legislative change, a new Diocesan Health and Safety Policy has been approved by Standing Committee.

While the HSW Act is clear that health and safety is everyone's responsibility, it is also clear that key organisations and the officers of those organisations owe a duty of care not to expose people to
risks. Ministry units are responsible to do whatever is reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of all people who come into contact with the Church.

Diocesan guidelines for understanding the HSW Act and preparing your ministry unit to comply with the new legislation can be found here.

Detailed procedures and templates have now been developed and will be sent in hard copy to each ministry unit. Copies can also be downloaded here.

If you need any assistance please contact the Registrar-Manager, including support with how to make a Worksafe notification should you need to.


Procedures and Templates – Resources for Ministry Units

Notifiable Events

Notifiable events can be distressing for all involved. After an incident or accident you should
contact the Registrar-Manager on 027 525 5841 as soon as possible. All notifications to WorkSafe will be made by the Registrar-Manager unless she is unavailable, in which case you should contact the archdeacon for your parish or the Bishop's Office. The Registrar-Manager can also provide other aid and advice as appropriate.

The health and safety regulator must be notified when certain work-related events (notifiable events) occur. Only serious events are intended to be notified and these trigger requirements to preserve the
site, notify the regulator and keep records.

A notifiable event is any of the following events that arise from work:

  • a death
  • a notifiable illness or injury or
  • a notifiable incident.

These are expanded in the attached: Notifiable Events. WorkSafe guidance can be found at on their website.

If a Serious Incident Occurs

Following any serious incident that involves injury to lay workers, clergy, volunteers and visitors, or others who access and use our premises, including contractors, or any other dangerous occurrence:

  • arrange for first aid assistance, or the emergency services if necessary
  • immediately notify the Registrar-Manager or, if she is unavailable, the Archdeacon (see note above)
  • do not disturb the scene of the incident except to deal with continuing risk to people or property in case of investigation by WorkSafe
  • as soon as possible, complete an Accident/Incident Report