Submissions sought on Clear Heads Bill

Submissions are sought on an amendment Bill that proposes random drug and alcohol tests for safety sensitive maritime jobs.

The Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee invites public submissions on the Maritime Transport Act Amendment Bill that will introduce new requirements for commercial maritime operators to have drug and alcohol management plans in place.

Under the proposal:

  • Operators will need to carry out random drug and alcohol testing of workers who do ‘safety sensitive’ work.
  • Workers who return a test that is not negative will not be allowed to do any safety-sensitive work until the operator determines that it is safe for the individual to resume working.
  • The Director of Maritime New Zealand will have the power to do drug or alcohol testing on workers in safety sensitive roles.

The Bill also allows for maritime rules that set out the detailed requirements for drug and alcohol management plans, random drug and alcohol testing, and related matters.

Other proposed changes in the bill include:

  • An increase in the levels of compensation available to address oil pollution caused by a spill from an oil tanker.
  • Amendments to current limitations of liability for claims relating to wreck removal, cargo removal and damage caused by hazardous and noxious substances.

Submissions close on 1 February 2017. The select committee will meet to consider submissions on 16 February.

More information on the Bill can be found on the New Zealand Parliament website:

Maritime Transport Amendment Bill[www.parliament.nz]

The Ministry of Transport also provides information on its website, including how to make a submission:

Ministry of Transport[www.transport.govt.nz/]

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