The government’s latest workplace health and safety attitudes and behaviours survey has confirmed strong links between recent health and safety training and the way people act and feel at work
Commissioned by the government’s health and safety watchdog, WorkSafe, the survey canvassed thousands of Kiwi workers and employers in high-risk industries, asking them about their experiences of workplace health and safety.
The survey found that workers who had received health and safety training in the last 12 months were more likely to feel confident in knowing how to report injuries, accidents and near misses, and to say action was taken if a new hazard was noticed.
Chief Executive of health and safety not-for-profit Site Safe, Alison Molloy, says the survey made it clear that investing in your workers made good business sense.
“People are the biggest asset in any business.
“And when it comes to health and safety, investing in your people can save lives.
“Health and safety training not only builds skills, confidence and empowers workers to speak up, it also contributes to a happier, safer and more productive workplace.
“The business case for health and safety training is clear – not only does training prevent injuries and accidents, it demonstrates that you care for your people and want to keep them safe.
“This equates to real benefits for your business.”
They were also more likely to feel they made a difference to health and safety at their workplace and to feel their boss would support them in speaking up or stopping work if the job was unsafe.
Less encouragingly, three out of ten employers said none of their workers had ever had any health and safety training.
Under current health and safety legislation, employers do not have to provide health and safety training but are required to engage with their workers on health and safety, and to give workers the opportunity to contribute to improving health and safety.
Molloy says more could be done to make training a clear priority for employers, particularly those in high-risk industries.
“This research proves that not only does health and safety training help keep people safe, it also improves the way people feel about their workplace and their employer.”
For more information on Site Safe’s training courses, go to www.sitesafe.org.nz
To read the full survey, go to WorkSafe’s website www.worksafe.govt.nz