New Zealand's Dark Horse of Disaster Risk Reduction Legislation - The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

An unexpected but influential piece of legislation, helping organisations prepare for earthquakes.

Our recently completed Earthquake Commission (EQC) funded research investigated whether the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) has a role in how New Zealand organisations manage earthquake risk. We found that organisations were driven to undertake earthquake risk reduction by both the HSWA and their concerns about how an earthquake might endanger their staff and customers. However, there is a gap between organisations wanting to do the right thing and the actual implementation of earthquake risk reduction activities.

Organisations struggle to access relevant information on what and how they should be reducing earthquake risks. These challenges combined with a lack of time and money to implement these activities (especially in SMEs) were found to be the greatest barriers to organisations becoming more earthquake resilient.

Huge thanks to our fantastic project team Tracy Hatton, Sophie Horsfall, Charlotte Brown, Toni Collins from UC School of Law and Dave Brunsdon from Kestrel Group.

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