New toolkit to improve work health and safety culture in New Zealand

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A new health and safety tool kit developed and endorsed by the New Zealand government has been released to help lift the health and safety performance in workplaces across the country.

The toolkit, SafePlus consists of three products: Resources and Guidance, the market delivered Onsite Assessment and Advisory Service and the Online Self-Assessment tool.

“New Zealand has an unnecessarily high rate of serious workplace accidents. The social and economic cost of this in New Zealand workplaces is conservatively estimated at $3.5 billion each year and inflicts an enormous emotional toll on the people affected. We need a change in our workplace health and safety culture and SafePlus provides an important toolkit to achieve that change,” said SafePlus Programme Manager Malcolm MacMillan.

“SafePlus digs deep into a business to assess workers’ practices, behaviours, attitudes, and culture towards health and safety, this behavioural approach helps them identify opportunities and strive for excellence.”

The launch of Onsite Assessment and Advisory Service includes the SafePlus Register of Independent Accredited Assessors so businesses will now be able to directly engage with assessors. The Accredited Assessors were trained to deliver SafePlus and carry sector specific and generalists experience.

“SafePlus Accredited Assessors are an essential component of the SafePlus initiative. The services they provide during an Onsite Assessment and Advisory Service will change the way businesses view their health and safety in the workplace,” said Mr. MacMillan.

“Accredited Assessors use an approach that focuses on the people and their practices rather than written policies and procedures. They engage at all levels of a business, from senior leaders to frontline workers, then use these insights to measure a business’s health and safety performance, and provide them with advice and guidance.”

SafePlus is a joint harm prevention initiative developed by WorkSafe New Zealand, ACC and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). It has been developed in direct response to the Independent Taskforce into Health and Safety, and the Working Safer Reforms. Working Safer is aimed at reducing New Zealand’s workplace injury and death tool by 25 percent by 2020.

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