CHASNZ’s three-part strategy to reform health and safety in construction


Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ) is a charitable trust established in March last year and it is already leading the way toward a safer, more efficient construction industry

CHASNZ is an accredited charitable trust that has been developed to deliver a unified voice and to raise the standard of health and safety across the whole of the construction industry.

The aim is to help create a stepchange in the health and safety culture and performance in the next five years so that all construction workers go home safe and well at the end of every day.

CHASNZ works with industry to identify and provide guidance on best practice health and safety.

Their goal is to establish consistent, easy to engage, health and safety systems that are at the heart of business culture, continuously reviewing and making improvements to the health and safety standards in the construction industry.

To achieve this, CHASNZ has devised a robust strategy made up of three key themes:

1. Provide industry leadership

CHASNZ was established with sector representation across the whole NZ construction industry.

A high calibre Board, who act as ‘Brand Champions’ for each key sector of construction, provides inspirational leadership to enable better involvement and connection within the industry.

CHASNZ recently welcomed Brett Murray, CEO of Site Safe New Zealand Inc, to its Board of Trustees as the representative for the Construction health and safety training industry.

Brett brings with him a wealth of experience in health and safety. Brett will be forming a training advisory group that will ensure the training needs of the Construction industry are captured and that training is aligned with industry standards.

2. Achieve world-class performance in health and safety for the Construction industry

The Plant scheme is available and ready. Any NZ based Construction organisation that employs excavator and roller workers has access to free useful materials.

The ConstructSafe website functionality is being improved, to enable navigating the website as either a Worker, Company or Client.

In November a framework review group met to discuss the content and form ConstructSafe’s Tier one, three and four tests. The objective of the group was to challenge the ConstructSafe questions, set up to date against industry needs, to ensure it represents the NZ Construction industry as a whole.

The workshop was attended by key industry representatives from Fletchers, Naylor Love, Leighs Construction, Hawkins, Arrow International, Dominion and LT McGuinness, Site Safe, Downer, McConnell Dowell, Fulton Hogan, HEB, CPB, Skills, and Connexis.

The feedback was positive, some changes are required and the review group is working to roll out an updated version of the ConstructSafe Tier 1 test which will be available early this year.

CHASNZ will be working on further Tier 2 specialist assessments this year which includes the release of Electrical safety competency. The VCLG is also playing a vital advisory role in providing CHASNZ with the priorities over other core safety assessments such as carpentry.

Data and information gathered by ConstructSafe has indicated that a number of candidates are experiencing challenges around literacy and understanding English. With help from Downer NZ, CHASNZ has received funding from Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)/Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua.
This funding will focus on addressing these challenges and work with industry partners on a funded solution.

3. Focus on achieving consistency and cohesion across the industry

CHASNZ is now responsible for the ConstructSafe safety competency assessment scheme. Endorsed by the CHASNZ Board and independent advisors as the Construction industry health and safety competency benchmark tool.

To date, more than 70,000 Tier 1 ConstructSafe assessments have been performed and the scheme has expanded to cover Tier 2 specialist trade activities including scaffolding, excavator and roller operation, as well as Tier 3 (Supervisors), Tier 4 (Managers) and Tier 5 (Professionals and Practitioners).
CHASNZ has been tasked with developing a standard for pre-qualification schemes in the Construction sector in New Zealand.

The objective of the project is to develop a framework where pre-qualification schemes can be assessed by all parts of the Construction supply chain, with the benefit of schemes being mutually recognised by clients.
This project will commence in early 2019 and has the backing of many large and significant Construction companies.

CHASNZ is developing a standard measurement framework for lag metrics across the industry. The work the Vertical Construction Leaders Group (VCLG) has already been undertaken is being used to develop an overall approach to what lag metrics are important and how they should be measured.
Representation from the horizontal, vertical and residential building arena were active contributors at the meeting held in November and an overall approach is now being developed for consultation across the industry.