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Awards recognise safety in workplace

News release
February 18, 2009

Awards recognise safety in workplace

Enter now at www.safeguard.co.nz  - entries close on 31 March 2009

Businesses that go the extra mile to keep their employees safe are to be honoured at a special award ceremony later this year.

The New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety Awards, proudly supported by the Department of Labour and Safeguard magazine, acknowledge individuals and businesses, both large and small, who champion safety.

The awards are an important part of modernising New Zealand’s approach to health and safety, as they recognise those who have demonstrated commitment, innovation and achievement in improving health and safety in the workplace.

They give national recognition to good ideas, superior systems, great initiatives and hard-working people who have made a difference, adding a dimension to health & safety that a traditional focus only on compliance can never achieve on its own.

Figures from Statistics New Zealand show there were 231,300 ACC claims for work-related injuries in 2007. Sixty-seven claims were lodged for work-related fatalities.

The manufacturing; construction; and agriculture, forestry and fishing industries accounted for 36 per cent of all claims. Workers aged 65 years and over had a higher rate of claims than any other age group.

The Department of Labour’s head of Workplace Health and Safety, Craig Armitage, says as well as the human toll from deaths and serious injuries in the workplaces, there are also huge financial implications for loved ones, businesses and the wider community.

"Having a safe workplace makes good business sense, and the Department of Labour is committed to assisting workplaces to realise the productivity benefits of safe and healthy workplaces," Mr Armitage says.

The New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety Awards will be presented at a gala dinner at Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland on May 6, at the end of the first day of the Safeguard National Health & Safety Conference.

Businesses wanting to enter the awards should log onto www.safeguard.co.nz and download an entry form. Entries close on 31 March 2009.

- Ends -

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