Safety scheme benefits companies, workers, public
11 December 2006
Safety in physical works scheme benefits companies, workers and the public
A major Manukau City Council initiative to promote health and safety at physical works contract sites in the city has been hailed as a success, with eight companies confirmed as council’s first ‘Partners in Health and Safety’ since the scheme began in May this year (2006).
Statistics released by the Department of Labour showed that 65 workplace deaths occurred in New Zealand during the year from June 2005. Of those killed, three were visitors or bystanders and 11 were self-employed contractors.
“Manukau City Council took these figures seriously,” says Director for Organisational Performance Robyn McCulloch. “We decided to lead the charge to lift health and safety standards with a project involving construction sites, roadworks and other physical works in our city.”
The council worked closely with contractors, the Accident Compensation Corporation and the Department of Labour to establish 20 best-practice guidelines for minimum safety standards, and develop processes to successfully manage health and safety requirements in physical works contracts.
It also initiated an education programme to help contractors and consultants achieve the desired standards, and invited companies to apply to join the scheme and achieve their certificate as ‘Partners in Health and Safety with Manukau City Council’.
“As well as being of tremendous benefit to the health and safety of workers and visitors at physical works sites,” Ms McCulloch says, “the scheme produces real benefits to companies seeking works contracts with Manukau City Council.
“Certificated 'Partners' in Health and Safety’ receive a unique number identifying their organisation as a company we know can meet our minimum workplace safety requirements. That means elements of their safety practices (e.g. traffic management) have been pre-approved for works contracts with the council, and it reduces the amount of health and safety paper work they have to do as part of the contract submission process.”
On Thursday 7 December 2006, Manukau City Council Chief Executive Officer Leigh Auton presented the first eight companies to qualify as “Partners in Health and Safety” with certificates citing their achievement. Those companies were: Excell Corporation Limited, Blacktop Construction Limited, Fibretek Limited, HEB Smithbridge Limited, Mainzeal Property & Construction Limited, Dempsey & Wood Limited, March Cato Limited and Fulton Hogan Limited.
More companies are expected to join the health and safety partnership scheme during 2007.