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NZ construction sector accord builds in OSH commitment

A new construction sector accord between the New Zealand government and the country’s construction sector will ensure safety, health and wellbeing underpin the initiative.  

NZ structural steelwork co failed to assess risk of beams toppling in fatal crush incident
Image credit: © iStock/ ved007

Announced by Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa on 14 April, the accord aims to create a strong and resilient sector with safety and health a priority area for improvement in construction projects.

New Zealand’s main OSH regulator WorkSafe welcomed the initiative. Director of strategic engagement and implementation Paula Knaap said: “The construction industry consistently accounts for a high proportion of work-related fatalities, injuries and ill health in New Zealand.”

“We know from past experience the building blocks to achieve great health and safety outcomes are the same pillars we need to support strong, resilient and sustainable industry.”

WorkSafe’s data shows that, in 2018 there were six fatalities in the construction sector and in the first six months of the year, 2,746 workers suffered from illness or injury.

The OSH regulator developed the Canterbury Rebuild Safety Charter to improve health and safety outcomes in the construction sector after the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes on the country’s South Island.

WorkSafe says the evaluation findings showed the charter was successful in creating a unified front on safety and health across the rebuild. It plans to draw on the charter to support the safety and health component of the accord and will work with the sector to improve the understanding of mental health and wellbeing challenges.

 

IOSH Magazine would be interested to hear from anyone who worked on the Canterbury Rebuild Safety Charter and would be interested in contributing an article on the rebuild project.

 

Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton is acting editor of IOSH Magazine. He is a former editor of SHP and has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner

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