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Draft strategy revealed for Health and Safety at Work

Draft strategy revealed for Health and Safety at Work

The Government’s draft strategy for improving the health and safety of New Zealand workers over the next 10 years has been released, with submissions now being called for, says Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Iain Lees-Galloway.

“New Zealand has made good progress in recent years in reducing the rate of acute harm. However, urgent work still remains. I believe that we can be among world leaders for healthy and safe workplaces,” says Mr Lees-Galloway.

“The Strategy outlines an opportunity to drive ambitious, sustained and system-wide improvements in our health and safety performance to significantly lift the wellbeing and living standards of all workers and their families in New Zealand.

“I want to ensure that we are reducing all types of significant harm at work – this includes broadening the focus from acute harm to make sure we’re managing wider health risks, including mental health.

“A key priority highlighted in the Strategy is ensuring better outcomes for Māori, and other workers at greater risk who are over represented in injury statistics and high-risk sectors, such as forestry and construction, or more likely to be engaged in temporary, geographically remote or precarious employment.

“The Strategy aims to provide a common direction and priorities and an opportunity for everyone to work together more effectively on strengthening our health and safety system. Once finalised, it will also outline more meaningful measures and targets for monitoring our performance as a country.

“Health and Safety is a collective responsibility of all New Zealanders. I encourage you to take part in creating better health and safety outcomes for our workers by giving your feedback.

“The public consultation is open until 8 June 2018 and a summary of the consultation will be made available later this year,” Mr Lees-Galloway says.

More information about the Strategy, including how to lodge a submission can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website.

Note to editor:

The Strategy will set out a plan for New Zealand’s health and safety system over the next 10 years.

The draft Strategy has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and WorkSafe together with a range of stakeholders, including Business NZ, NZ Council of Trade Unions and sector health and safety leadership bodies. It is informed by research and previous Strategy evaluations.

Its development flows on from the recommendations of the Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety that reviewed New Zealand’s system in response to the Pike River tragedy in 2012.

The purpose of the Strategy is to strengthen the health safety at work system so it is amongst the best in the world by:

Aligning direction across the system: creating a shared ambition for how the system will work to improve the lives and wellbeing of workers in New Zealand
Enabling co-ordination between people in the system: helping people work together more effectively by providing a clear picture of the overall system and its participants’ roles, and setting a platform to work together across the system
Identifying capability gaps and opportunities: prioritising the key areas where capability needs to be lifted and developing actions within these areas, taking into account ACC’s injury prevention priorities
Improving system measurement: developing a performance monitoring framework which will improve the collective intelligence, data, and analysis of risks and interventions across the whole system.
Implementation planning will commence once the Strategy is finalised, following the consultation. It will set out a clear plan of action to turn our vision into reality.

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