Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

Health and Safety


There are changes coming for Health and Safety regulations which will affect clubs. The new Health and Safety at Work Act is expected to come into effect in April 2016.

Now is the time to become familiar with the expected changes and ensure your club is up to scratch in the health and safety department.

Some Background

In 2013 the government announced its Working Safer reform package aimed at bringing down New Zealand’s workplace injury and death toll by 25 per cent by 2020. Perhaps the most important part of this is the new Health and Safety Reform Bill, which will make every workplace responsible for the health and safety of all workers (including contractors).

Is your club a PCBU or a Volunteer Organisation?

The Health and Safety Reform Bill introduces PCBUs; a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking.

It is important to understand if your club falls under the category of a PCBU or a volunteer organisation. This will help you understand your duties under the new Act. Click here to help identify which category your club comes under.

However, a simple test is that if your club has people working in paid employment then it is classified as a PCBU. Click here for a lot of useful information regarding updates on the bill, duty of care, due diligence, liabilities and enforcement for PCBUs.

Volunteer organisations will have their own special categories under the new Act. It is our understanding that the Select Committee are still working through the duties of a volunteer organisation and we will provide further information as it becomes available.

Essential Reading

Sport New Zealand has been monitoring the progress of the new Bill and looking at its potential impact on sports Organisations. The latest update from Sport New Zealand is available here.

Whether your club is a PCBU or a Volunteer Organisation, you will as a club or an officer of that club, have a duty of care and need to ensure that your health and safety processes and documentation are in order.

Now is a good time to review your processes and documentation including your Risk Assessment and Management System (RAMS), your Safe Operating Procedures (SOP), your training requirements and implementation and that this information is accessible to your members.

Sport New Zealand: Health and Safety for Clubs

Health and safety is about the hazards that exist in your usual club environment. Do you have a first aid kit and people trained in its use? What will you do in the event of an accident or civil defence emergency? Do you have contact numbers for your members’ next-of-kin to ensure they can be contacted in the case of an illness or injury?

However big or small, the club should have plans in place to deal with health and safety issues. How extensive these plans are will vary, depending on the size and structure of your club. But even if the club is small and uses a local community pool for training, competitions, or meetings it’s still important that these issues are considered.

The club’s legal requirements change according to whether or not you employ paid staff. But, in short, club management and members should consider the following guidelines to ensure everyone remains healthy and safe while participating in club activities.

Sport New Zealand’s website is updated regularly with useful information for clubs on Health and Safety that is specific to our sector.

We recommend you review Sport New Zealand’s developing an approach to health and safety for clubs.

Sport New Zealand Free Online Training

Sport New Zealand has developed a free course in partnership with Skills Active that all paid and volunteer workers can complete.  The course has been developed to enable Regions and Clubs to provide training for your entire workforce.  The training is suitable for people aged 16 or older, takes 20-30 minutes to complete and is best accessed using a computer or tablet.

Learners can also opt for a paid version of the course and get the credits reported to NZQA if they have enrolled with them. To view the course outline go to www.sporttutor.nz and click on ‘Sport Safe’.

There are also lots of other first aid and safety courses available. Red Cross New Zealand or St John New Zealand both offer a variety of health and safety training courses around the country. There are also commercial training courses available to help you find out more about health and safety in the workplace. Check your Yellow Pages or search on Google to find suitable courses near you.


Other resources you can use for your club include:


The toolkit, templates and guides have been published in good faith for the general information of human resources managers. They provide practical and general guidance but they are not intended to provide comprehensive advice that can be applied in all scenarios.

Employment law is subject to frequent change and it is difficult, therefore, to keep employment documentation up-to-date. Sport New Zealand and Swimming New Zealand accepts no legal responsibility for the content of these documents and recommends that appropriate professional, legal advice and assistance should be sought as required.


More information on preventing accidents, and procedures should an emergency occur, can be found at:

Liability Package from Marsh

Swimming New Zealand has been working with our insurance broker to negotiate a cost effective means for clubs to protect themselves. A quality package has been presented to us that should be affordable to all Clubs in New Zealand.  Not only does it provide a General Liability policy cover but additionally the package includes Statutory Liability & Employers Liability as well.

Statutory Liability is important in that it provides protection in the event that a Club should be held liable for the breach of an insured Act. This covers legal costs and any fines or penalties awarded. The only exception in this area is in respect of the Health & Safety Act where any fine is uninsurable however the legal defence costs and any reparation awarded by the court is coverable.

If you would like more information, or to take up this package, please contact Tony Grant from Marsh on (04) 819 2449 or 0800 805 333.

Swimming Clubs Liability Proposal