Just take a look at some of the recent statistics from WorkSafe New Zealand:
From January to June this year, 28 people across Aotearoa have died in workplace accidents.
From July 2020 to June 2021, 55 people died.
In the previous year 100 people died.
Encouraging a ‘safety culture’ from businesses and encouraging a ‘buy in’ from employees are both vital. Here are just a few examples of the accidents and fatalities which have occurred recently that have been in the news, to reinforce why:
A person died after falling from a height at a Lower Hutt business.
A 21 year old construction worker died when carrying out work for a property developer in Newmarket, Auckland.
A worker suffered an electric shock at Devonport Naval Base resulting in lengthy time spent in the Burns Unit at Middlemore Hospital.
A South Auckland man was lucky to survive after being shot in the heart with a nail gun by a colleague at an Otara furniture manufacturer. The employer was fined $250,000.
A West Coast flooring company man died after being overcome with fumes from an organic solvent-based adhesive while working in a confined space.
A company and its director were heavily fined after parts of a worker's fingers had to be amputated following a workplace injury while using a metal press in the Bay of Plenty. The director’s maximum penalty for his charge was $300,000, and the company's was $1.5 million.
A worker was awarded more than $400,000 after a four-metre fall at work in East Tamaki, Auckland, left him paralysed.
Typically, these examples involved insufficient training, sub-standard risk identifications and incorrectly marked hazardous zones. All these topics are covered in our Health & Safety training courses which lead to unit standards at Level 3 or 4 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Businesses can face penalties under the Health and Safety at Work Act for failing to comply with a duty to ensure the health and safety of workers so far as reasonably practicable. All these incidents take a huge toll on family and friends who are left to live with the pain and agony. Emotionally and psychologically, they will never totally recover and will carry a life-long sentence. Also, the companies responsible carry huge financial scars following these tragedies and are often left with damaged reputations. Workplace New Zealand makes certain that PCBU's (Persons Conducting the Business or Undertaking) face measures of enforcement under the Health and Safety at Work Act. PCBU's and their Officers have explicit legal duties to undertake due diligence on their company's adherence to health and safety obligations. Please remember that failing to do so not only puts the your workers at risk, but it also puts your business in Workplace New Zealand’s sights.