WorkSafe defers ACoP review
A PROMISED REVIEW OF THE FOREST OPERATIONS APPROVED Code of Practice, better known in the industry as ACOP, has been put back until later in the year.
WorkSafe was to have made an earlier start on updating the important forestry safety guidelines, but it says that won’t happen until the latter part of 2017.
Alongside Industry Best Practice Guides and guidance, ACOP is regarded as an important source of WorkSafe’s expectations of safe work practices in the New Zealand commercial forest harvesting environment.
The ACOP underwent a significant review leading up to a revised edition being released in 2012 and at that time the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment committed to a further review within five years.
Last year, the government introduced sweeping changes to New Zealand’s health and safety landscape through the Health & Safety at Work Act.
Some regulations associated with the new Act are still in development and these may impact on the nature and content of any revised Forest Operations ACOP.
In addition, since 2012 the forest industry has, with the support of WorkSafe, established the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC). FISC is taking a significant leadership role in the sector. WorkSafe is committed to engaging closely with FISC on the process of any review of the Forest Operations ACOP, and on the nature and content of any revised Code.
WorkSafe says that in view of the uncertainties created by the rollout of the HSWA Regulations, and its desire to work with FISC on a review of the ACOP, it has decided to defer its scheduled review and is “unlikely to begin considering the review until the latter part of 2017”.
It will, however, continue to develop and release guidance and documents in response to current issues.