Hazardous substances at your workplace

What do toothpaste, explosives, veterinary medicine and solvents all have in common?

They are all classified as hazardous substances!  Hazardous substances are used widely across New Zealand workplaces and a well known serious risk for many businesses which is why it’s important businesses manage their hazardous substances risks and protect people from harm.

Your responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Regulations

Under the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 there’s specific duties that apply to businesses who use, handle, manufacture or store hazardous substances. All ‘persons conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU) who have management or control of a workplace, transit depot, or hazardous substance location must comply with these duties.

Did you know that if published information about a hazardous substance changes you are responsible for reviewing and changing controls for that substance?

In the event of a claim, one thing the insurance company will be checking for is that your controls meet the requirements of the latest published information about a hazardous substance.

How a Statutory Liability policy can help

A Statutory Liability policy can cover you for the legal costs of defending yourself against any unintentional breaches of the Health & Safety at Work Act relating to hazardous substances, such as a substance escaping, spilling or leaking. Fines imposed under the Health & Safety at Work Act are not insurable.

There are also some specific extensions to Statutory Liability policies that can cover costs resulting from a hazardous substances emergency at your workplace. So it’s a good idea to talk to your broker about all the options to make sure you’ve got the right protection in place in case anything goes wrong.


Greg Greenwood

About the Author

Name: Greg Greenwood        

I'm the Leader - Business Development and Sales plus Manager - National Projects at Rothbury Insurance Brokers and live in Christchurch.  I have a portfolio of commercial clients, many who have been my clients for years. My experience of…
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I'm the Leader - Business Development and Sales plus Manager - National Projects at Rothbury Insurance Brokers and live in Christchurch.  I have a portfolio of commercial clients, many who have been my clients for years. My experience of earthquake claims and issues is called upon frequently to assist clients and those needing insurance advice in the region.  I am also the Chairman, Canterbury region for IBANZ (Insurance Brokers Association NZ).

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Disclaimer: The articles published on this blog are designed to provide general information and do not take into account any individual’s particular circumstances. We recommend that you obtain professional advice on your requirements before making any decision about a financial product.

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