Staying safe this work year


Harness the power of your whole team to assess and manage the risks of your business this year, says WorkSafe.

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“A big part of staying well at work is good health and safety habits – and it’s surprising how even a short break away can see those habits slip, says WorkSafe’s Brett Murray, general manager operations and specialist services.

“Don’t just assume everyone has recharged the batteries and is raring to go – a bit of time spent discussing your safety systems and procedures will be time well spent.”

The serious injury outcome indicators released late last year by Statistics New Zealand show that businesses across New Zealand are making strides in health and safety with positive trends in both work-related fatal and non-fatal injuries.

“While the downward trend is encouraging, the number of people being seriously injured at work is still too high,” Murray adds.

WorkSafe received 2587 Notifications of Notifiable Illness or Injury in 2016.

“I encourage each workplace in New Zealand to start the year by discussing health and safety and taking positive steps, such as discussing workplace risks with teams, checking Personal Protective Equipment including, hearing protection, safety glasses or face shields.

“Summer does create some new or add additional risks, especially those who are working long days as dehydration and fatigue can lead to potentially fatal accidents.

“Finally, don’t forget to include other risks in your discussions, such as welding fumes, wood dust and carbon monoxide or other airborne contaminants.”

Every year, an estimated 600-900 people die in New Zealand from work-related health issues and a further 5,000-6,000 are hospitalised with cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other chronic illnesses from workplace exposure to airborne contaminants.