COP v3.0:safety;

13 Safety 

This section highlights some aspects of the New Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA 2015), including:

  • responsibility,
  • working at height in New Zealand, and
  • working on roofs.

HSWA 2015: Objective

The objective of The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of workers, and other people.

Information used in this section was retrieved from and

13.1 HSWA 2015: Objective 

13.1 HSWA 2015: Objective

The objective of The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of workers, and other people.

13.2 Responsibilities 

The HSWA identifies four duty holders responsible for health and safety on site.
They are;
  • PCBU's
  • Officers,
  • Workers, and
  • Other People.

13.2.1 PCBU 

The person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is not necessarily one person. It is a business entity in most cases, but there could be more than one PCBU involved with a project; clients, principal contractors, and sub-contractors can all be PCBUs.

The ‘Primary duty of care’ of the PCBU is to ensure the health and safety of workers and anyone else who might be affected by the work done. PCBU Responsibilities 

The PCBU must (as far as reasonably practicable):

  • Provide and maintain a workplace that is without risks to health and safety.
  • Ensure the safe use, handling, and storage of plant, structures, and substances.
  • Provide adequate facilities for the welfare of workers.
  • Provide the information, training, instruction, or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work.
  • Monitor the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace to prevent injury or illness.

13.2.2 Officers 

Officers are people (including chief executive officers and directors) who have significant influence over the management of a business. An advisor is not considered an officer.

Sole traders have the responsibilities of both a PCBU and an officer. Officer Responsibilities 

An officer must take reasonable steps to:

  • Keep up to date about work health and safety matters.
  • Understand the nature of the hazards and risks associated with the organisation's operations.
  • Ensure the organisation has resources and processes in place to eliminate or minimise risks.
  • Ensure appropriate and timely processes are in place for receiving and responding to incidents, hazards, and risks.
  • Ensure there are processes for complying with any duty.
  • Verify that health and safety processes are in place and being used.

13.2.3 Workers 

A worker is anybody who carries out work on behalf of a PCBU. Workers' Responsibilities 

Workers must:

  • Take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others in the workplace.
  • Comply with health and safety policies and procedures of the PCBU.

Workers have the right to refuse to undertake unsafe or dangerous work.

13.2.4 Other People 

Other people in the workplace includes visitors and customers. Other People's Responsibilities 

Other People must:

  • Take reasonable care for their own health and safety.
  • Ensure that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of others.
  • Comply with safety instructions and procedures issued by the PCBU.

13.3 Working on Roofs 

Falling from height is the most obvious hazard associated with installing roof and wall cladding.  There is a hierarchy of techniques and mechanisms for ensuring safety at height.


13.3A Working on Roofs Safety Systems

Source: MBIE Best Practice Guidelines for Working on Roofs: 2012(optional caption)



13.3.1 Safe Access to Roofs 

Secure temporary access must be provided when there is no permanent access to roof areas. Preferred means of temporary access include scaffolding, constructed work platforms, or mobile elevating platforms.

13.3.2 Assessment of Existing Roof Cladding 

Roofing material deteriorates over time. Before beginning any work on a roof, inspect the roof surfaces to determine its condition and identify weak spots (e.g., abnormal corrosion).

13.3.3 Weather Conditions 

Weather conditions may affect working conditions adversely.

Adverse weather conditions include:

  • moisture (dew, condensation, rain, or snow),
  • high wind, and
  • sun glare and UV radiation.

13.4 Working At Height 

Source: Worksafe: Working at Height in New Zealand.

Many falls from heights are caused by a lack of planning. Dangerous situations can be improved by identifying, assessing, and managing hazardous situations.

13.4.1 Scaffolding 

Scaffolds are a common way to provide a safe work platform.

  • Scaffolds must comply with the Scaffolding, Access & Rigging New Zealand (SARNZ) Best Practice Guidelines for Scaffolding in New Zealand or equivalent guidelines or a higher standard.
  • Scaffolds should be erected, altered and dismantled only by persons who have been trained and have suitable experience with the type of scaffolding in use.

13.4.2 Roof Edge Protection 

Edge protection is used to prevent persons, objects, or materials from falling.

Edge protection may be:

  • a proprietary (engineered) system,
  • materials to form a guardrail or physical barriers,
  • erected scaffolding that supports a temporary edge protection system, or
  • a combination of solutions.


13.4.3 Safety Mesh 

Safety mesh protects workers against falling through a roof while they are installing cladding; it should be used in combination with appropriate edge protection. For more information about using Safety Mesh, see

Safety mesh should comply with AS/NZS 4389 Safety Mesh.


13.4.4 Safety Netting 

Safety netting describes fall arrest systems using temporary netting.  This must be designed and installed in compliance with Worksafe: Best Practice Guidelines, Safe use of Safety Nets.

13.4.5 Mechanical Access Plant 

Mechanical Access Plant includes:

  • mobile elevated work platforms,
  • forklift platforms,
  • crane lift platforms, and
  • knuckle booms

13.4.6 Safety Harness 

Safety harnesses may be of Total Restraint type or fall arrest type.

Total Restraint types are preferable, they protect a person from approaching an unprotected edge

Fall arrest or Positioning systems limit the distance a person can fall

All safety harness systems must be adequately anchored, and in fall arrest systems rescue planning must be developed prior to use.

13.4.7 Soft Landing Systems 

These mitigate the effect of falls by providing an energy absorbing landing area.  They are generally applied where potential fall height is low.