On November 1, 2014, all Dive Industry Operators within New Zealand that offer diver training, dive charters and tours whether shore or boat based, within New Zealand waters, and that fit within the scope of new MBIE regulations, will need to be registered with Worksafe New Zealand and hold a current Adventure Safety Certificate. If not registered with WorkSafe New Zealand (formerly the Health & safety Group) within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will have the power under 2011 regulations to convict any adventure activity not registered with WorkSafe NZ.
Essentially this means any business from sole operators (independent instructors) to large multi staff business, that receive any form of reward for their instructional or guiding services will need to be audited and then registered with WorkSafe NZ.
Notices have been out for quite some time now, with many business already having engaged an auditor, for those who have not engaged an auditor or who think they don’t fit within the scope of the regulations please check out the links provided. Time is running out and OutdoorsMark, the only auditor for the entire Adventure Sector, is inundated with audit requests. It is important that you take a pro-active approach to checking whether you need to comply, as the regulations will be enforced and anyone not complying will be prevented from operating until they do comply.
The audit process will include a site visit by a technical auditor experienced in the dive industry, this will take between 1 to 2 days depending on the size of the operation. Sound operational procedures and safety manuals will be an integral part of a successful audit, and templates for these will soon be available through WorkSafe NZ.
Unfortunately compliance will take some time in getting your processes in place, and it will have a cost. The advice given to the industry is not to be lured into trying to evade the process as many dive operators are already well on their way to registration and no doubt will be keen to see anyone trying to fly under the radar made to comply.
Act now so you can operate after November 1, 2014.