Health & Safety

All those who go to work should return home healthy and safe

The safety of all members of the Church community is of paramount importance. The Diocese of Dunedin 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.

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.

In 2022 Safeguarding policies and procedures were implemented to ensure that all vulnerable people (children and adults) are safe in our faith communities. 1

Detailed guidelines for understanding the HSW Act, procedures and templates have now been developed and are available for you to downloaded, as well as a copy of the Safeguarding Policy. 

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

Key Resources

Below are some health and safety resources and templates, including a folder of shared resources from parishes that you may find useful in developing your own. If you have something that you think works well, contact Andrew Metcalfe and we will put it in this area.

    Health and Safety Articles (from Ko Te Tonga kei te Karaka – The South Calling)

    Notifiable Events

    Notifiable events can be distressing for all involved. After an incident or accident you should contact the Registrar on 03 488-0821 as soon as possible. All notifications to WorkSafe will be made by the Registrar unless she is unavailable, in which case you should contact the archdeacon for your parish or the Bishop’s Office. The Registrar 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 or, if 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

    Video Resources

    A video with useful tips on how to prevent arson, part of our Health and Safety video series

    A video produced by the Suzy Lampleigh Trust in the UK focusing on Safety when working in isolated settings e.g. by yourself at work, travelling from A to B and so on. It is a longer watch (and apologies for the picture quality), but the content is very helpful for any who are in lone working situations or have concerns about your safety in the community.

    A video from the UK with a helpful overview on H&S

    A longer (23 minute) video that talks baout he Health and Safety at Work Act in NZ.

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