Grace period announced for adventure activities operators that are dedicated to safety
WorkSafe New Zealand Chief Executive Gordon MacDonald has announced 192 adventure activity operators have been granted a short extension to a deadline requiring them to be registered under the Adventure Activities Regulations. The extension allows those operators that are well advanced in the audit process an additional four weeks, until 1 December, to complete the final stages of their audit and become certified.
“We know the majority of operators have worked hard to get through the safety audit process and make positive changes to their safety management systems where needed. The operators that will benefit from this extension are very close to becoming certified and registered. We don’t want to penalise those companies that are on track to become registered but may just miss the 1 November deadline,” says Mr MacDonald.
The extension applies to adventure activities operators where WorkSafe is satisfied that they:
- are already well advanced in the audit process and have developed and documented a credible safety management system; and
- have made reasonable efforts to become registered in a timely way, in particular they have submitted their safety documentation to a Government-recognised certification body no later than 25 September 2014; and
- have a reasonable prospect of becoming certified and registered with the benefit of a short extension; and
- have no other safety concerns in the view of WorkSafe NZ.
Mr MacDonald says the brief extension is another step WorkSafe NZ has taken to support those operators that are committed to having robust safety systems in place.
“The safety audit and registration process will help strengthen the professionalism of the adventure activities sector and lift safety standards across the board. But it would be counterproductive to make it illegal for these businesses to operate. They would need to cancel bookings, let staff go and close their doors, when they already have safety systems in place and are so close to becoming certified and registered. Now they can prioritise their time to get through the last steps to meet the new regulatory requirements,” says Mr MacDonald.
Those operators who are not registered and do not have an extension will face enforcement action from 1 November.
“The Adventure Activities Regulations are there to save lives and reduce harm. Operators who are operating outside of the law from 1 November will face enforcement action,” says Mr MacDonald.