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Getting down to business!

Listening to our customers – in our case businesses – is paramount to providing good service. HASANZ has been meeting with people in business, especially those representing high risk sectors and national business associations, to find out what businesses want from HASANZ and from workplace health and safety professionals.

We've learned that:

Businesses don't trust the current health and safety system or advisors. They want help from health and safety professionals to bridge the gap between business demands and getting health and safety right.

When businesses want advice, they will go to their trusted advisor, which for many small businesses is their trade association.

Many small businesses really want to have professional input at the front endso they get it right in the first place and avoid prosecution. But they want to be sure they have the right advice – hence the importance of HASANZ setting a high bar for the quality of advisors.

Some businesses are put off by the term "health and safety" as they sometimes associate this with bureaucracy and negativity, ie, too much emphasis on what you can't do, rather than what you can do.

Feedback on health and safety professional advice is generally positive because keeping staff safe and healthy helps businesses with their bottom line.

Businesses are very keen on an online register of workplace health and safety professionals, because they want to find competent advisors who they can trust. However, they also want to be sure that any register is designed to work well for businesses.

Our eye is on the prize of increasing business confidence in the competence of workplace health and safety professionals…which must benefit all of the associations that sit under the HASANZ umbrella. We will be involving people from business groups to have input to how we communicate with and assist employers, including design of a register. HASANZ will continue to build relationships with New Zealand's business sector and ensure our work is relevant to their needs and "on target".

Shenagh Gleisner
HASANZ Chair