Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Room For Improvement When It Comes To Health & Safety At Work, Says Active+

Active+, one of New Zealand’s largest multi-disciplinary rehabilitation suppliers, says that Kiwi businesses still have some way to go to meet international standards in health and safety at work.

New Zealand productivity is 35 percent lower than the world’s best performers, according to the 2021 report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Active+ believes that improving wellness and safety in the workplace would give this statistic a much needed boost.

“Data from WorkSafe suggests that 5,000-6,000 hospitalisations each year are due to work-related ill-health. And 30,612 injuries per year result in more than a week away from work. Improving those statistics would undoubtedly help with our productivity,” explains Erin Holland, Chief of Clinical Services at Active+.

Erin says that it is often wrongly assumed that aches, pains and injuries only affect people with more physical jobs, such as builders.

“It’s important not to overlook office workers and their injuries,” she says. “The most common issues are caused by desks not being set up properly. For example, backache from sitting for too long, often in a chair that doesn’t promote a healthy, natural posture – and hand, wrist and arm pain from keyboard and mouse use.

“We also see a lot of people with neck pain from incorrect set up of screens and workstations, and eye strain due to inappropriate lighting and glare and headaches. That’s before you even start looking at mental health, which is becoming more recognised in the workplace. Employers are understanding that they need to look after the worker as a whole person.”

Providing good quality equipment is important, and often the first box that gets ticked when employers kick off a health and wellness programme. However, Erin points out that businesses need to go beyond buying their staff a comfortable office chair.

“A lot of employers focus on the equipment, and while that is important, it is not the whole answer to the equation,” she says. “Equipment should be fitted to the employee and properly set up. Old or broken equipment or equipment not fit for purpose should be replaced. We often see old or broken chairs being used and causing discomfort. Chairs also have a sitting time guideline. Some are only designed for short term use whereas others are suitable to be used all day. Sit to stand desks can have a place for flexibility and movement in the workplace, but can also cause issues such as back pain from standing and circulatory issues, so are not the solution to seated roles entirely.”

Erin hopes that the increased focus on health and wellness during the pandemic will remain central to how businesses operate, as it will benefit the economy, business owners and the wellbeing of thousands of individuals.

“Employee health really should be paramount for New Zealand businesses to ensure profitability and productivity, as well as maintaining a happy, healthy workforce,” she says. “This includes mental and physical wellbeing. While some employers are definitely working towards this, there remains a lot of work to be done to reach international standards.”

Active+ has relationships with a number of large employers and supports Kiwis around the country with their workplace health. Services include injury prevention and education seminars, ergonomic assessment and workstation setup, stress management, work place exercise programmes, vocational rehabilitation and early pain and reporting assessments..

It is estimated that the network assists around 3,000 employees per year through 50-60 different corporates.

For more information on Active+, visit activeplus.co.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


Westpac NZ: Warns About Sophisticated New Scam
Westpac NZ is warning New Zealanders about a sophisticated new scam that involves a fake Westpac investment prospectus.
The prospectus is formatted to resemble a Westpac document and includes professional-looking imagery... More>>



Campaign For NZ Coastal Tankers : Says Fuel Security At Risk

Three unions representing New Zealand shipping crews are mounting a united campaign to protect New Zealand’s fuel security and save New Zealand coastal tankers... More>>



Tourism: Travel Bubble With Cook Islands Resumes

Cook Islands tourism restarts today, ending a five-month border closure due to COVID-19. Graeme West, General Manager Australasia for Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, said today’s first flight of quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to the Cook Islands is very significant... More>>


Insurance Council of New Zealand: September South Island Windstorm Cost $36.5 M Raises 2021 Extreme Weather Claims Total To $321.6 M

Gale force winds and storms between 9 and 13 September 2021 resulted in insurers supporting communities to the tune of $36.5 m. This is a significant rise, of $16.7 m, on preliminary figures for the event and lifts the end of year total for all extreme weather events in 2021 to $321.6 m... More>>


Statistics: Building Consents Hit New Highs In November
There were a record 48,522 new homes consented in the year ended November 2021, Stats NZ said today. This was up 26 percent compared with the year ended November 2020... More>>

Fonterra: Revises Milk Collection Forecast
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today revised the forecast for its 2021/22 New Zealand milk collections to 1,500 million kilograms of milk solids (kgMS), down from its opening forecast of 1,525 million kgMS... More>>