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.Ssafety star system must reward participating businesses


Leaders’ Forum says safety star system must reward participating businesses

3 December, 2013

The government’s new Safety Star Rating System must create competitive advantages for businesses that participate, Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum Executive Director Julian Hughes says.

“The Safety Star Rating System will only succeed in helping to lift New Zealand’s poor workplace safety track record if it motivates businesses to make better decisions,” Mr Hughes says.

“A functioning safety rating system must reward good performers and push work in their direction. A system that doesn’t differentiate top performance won’t create the changes in behaviour we desperately need.”

Mr Hughes welcomed the announcement today of the Safety Star Rating System, saying ACC’s existing incentives programme was well overdue for a revamp. He says the safety rating system is a step in the right direction but shouldn’t be developed in a hurry; it was more important to get the incentives right.

“To ensure it succeeds, the system must be designed with input from business leaders and must be actively supported by government agencies. Government buys a lot of goods and services from the private sector. By only buying from businesses with a star rating, government would overnight send a strong signal that it’s not okay to under-invest in health and safety.”

The Forum also wants the new regulator, WorkSafe NZ, to lead the design of the system. “There are several government agencies involved in workplace health and safety and it’s important that these agencies all work together on this programme. We simply cannot afford to have disconnected approach.”

Mr Hughes says there are good reasons why the safety star system should initially be targeted at high risk industries. “But eventually a programme of this type must be available to all industries.”

ends

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