Advice on landholder health and safety obligations

The Commission is developing a fact sheet to provide guidance to farmers, forestry companies, and other land managers on their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

The new Act comes into force on 4 April 2016, following the passing of the Health and Safety Reform Bill in August.

Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said there had been a lot of interest in the health and safety reforms, from both landholders and recreational users, and the fact sheet would provide further clarity on how the reforms would affect them.

While the reforms result in some changes landholders should be aware of, the obligations of farm owners or managers to recreational visitors to their farms do not differ substantially from those under the old health and safety legislation.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 clarifies that the dwelling place on a farm is not a workplace, and 'workplace' does not include places on a farm where work is not for the time being carried out. Otherwise, landholder obligations in respect of recreational walkers are similar to those under the former Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.