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TV show takes viewers behind accident scenes

5 May 2006

TV show takes viewers behind workplace accident scenes

A new reality television series starting on TV One next week gives viewers the chance to experience the work that goes on behind the scenes of workplace accidents and investigations.

Special Investigators follows workplace health and safety inspectors for the Department of Labour, Civil Aviation Authority and Maritime New Zealand going about their daily business, and showcases the variety of hazards people can encounter in the workplace.

“Viewers will get to see the depth of investigations that go on when someone is killed or injured at work – something they would never normally experience – and they may be surprised how much work goes on in determining what went wrong, and ensuring lessons are learnt from these incidents,” Department of Labour manager for professional and specialist services Maarten Quivooy says.

“If things go wrong, investigators must look at a range of people who may have duties, including employers, employees, principals, contractors, manufacturers, designers, suppliers, the self-employed - any person in control of a place of work. If you're one of these people then you need to understand your responsibilities and have systems in place to manage risks."

Series one of Special Investigators follows seven of the Department’s health and safety inspectors as they investigate tragic workplace fatalities, serious accidents and near misses, in a variety of rural and urban workplace settings, from Auckland to Canterbury.

Special Investigators was produced by Greenstone Pictures, and camera crews spent the better part of two years accompanying inspectors in Auckland, Tauranga, Manawatu, Wellington/Hutt Valley, Nelson and Canterbury/West Coast.

Mr Quivooy said the Department decided to become involved in filming the series as a way of influencing society around the consequences of poor workplace safety and health.

“Special Investigators is a chance to present the great work we do to the public in a way that we hope will have a huge impact in terms of prevention and education.

“The series sends powerful safety messages to viewers through the drama, the life-and-death scenarios and the high profile of the stories. The real-life situations will draw people into asking why this incident occurred, and how they – and their workmates, employees and employers – might prevent a similar accident from occurring in their own workplace.”

Series one of Special Investigators premiers on TV One at 8pm on Monday 8 May. Episode one follows Nelson inspector Ron Burt as he looks into the tragic circumstances that led to the death of a Motueka mowing contractor.


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