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WorkSafe commits to Pacific worker safety programme

WorkSafe New Zealand is today celebrating its formal commitment to a programme that ensures Pacific peoples are kept healthy and safe at work.

The Puataunofo ‘Come Home Safely’ programme, which has existed in a limited capacity since 2006, now has the formal backing of WorkSafe to engage and educate Pacific peoples working in higher risk industries in Auckland. This commitment will ensure the programme is better resourced by WorkSafe staff, and is rebranded as a regulatory intervention – including improvements to presentation material, programme collateral and video content.

This marks an important milestone for the Puataunofo programme, which has relied on the passion and personal commitment of individuals while they continued their regular roles.

WorkSafe’s investment gives the programme a renewed focus, ensuring it remains relevant and accessible to today’s workers and challenges. This includes reducing work related health issues alongside efforts to reduce injuries and fatalities in the workplace.

“Pacific peoples comprise 6.1% of New Zealand’s working population, with more than 65% of our people working in the Auckland area,” said WorkSafe’s National Puataunofo Advisor Hans Key who is of Samoan descent at a launch event in Manukau this morning.

“We also know that Pacific peoples frequently work in higher risk roles and are sadly over-represented in workplace injury and fatality statistics.”

The announcement coincides with the first meeting of the National Pacific Peoples Responsiveness Advisory Group (PPRAG), another WorkSafe initiative to better support worker health and safety. The group will help inform WorkSafe decisions on how best to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities among Pacific peoples.

“We are really proud of how the Puataunofo programme has developed and the esteem it is held in by many Auckland businesses. The allocated funding and the establishment of the PPRAG shows the commitment WorkSafe has to keeping Pacific workers healthy and safe, especially those working in industries like manufacturing, construction and the transport sectors,” concluded Key.

Research into the programme in late 2018 revealed its benefits and has resulted in WorkSafe deciding, in conjunction with other partner agencies and businesses, to give the programme the boost it needs to really make a difference.

Puataunofo in Auckland has been supported by a local steering group, which includes representatives of Immigration New Zealand, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, ACC and Auckland Council, as well as a number of local businesses. WorkSafe is currently considering how best to roll the programme out in other parts of the country in the future while maintaining a strong focus on the Auckland region.

To inquire about whether Puataunofo is available for your workplace call Hans on 027 246 8563

For access to more information and video content visit https://worksafe.govt.nz/managing-health-and-safety/businesses/puataunofo/.

ENDS


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