WorkSafe New Zealand has recently announced that the Canterbury Rebuild Programme has been successful in meeting many of its short and medium-term goals as shown in an evaluation report.
There has been zero fatality since the programme was launched in 2013 to improve health and safety outcomes in the Canterbury rebuild following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.
It was estimated that there would be one or two fatalities a year and more serious harm incidents during the rebuild, but there have been no deaths on construction sites in greater Christchurch area since the Programme was established.
A significant part of the programme’s success is attributed to the Canterbury Safety Charter. Other factors that contributed to the success of the programme included strengthening WorkSafe’s Canterbury Inspectorate with expertise from Australian inspectors, and events and materials focused on high risks such as asbestos, working at heights, moving vehicles and machinery.
“WorkSafe produced guidance material, held industry briefings and ran “Occupational health van” and fatigue campaigns where WorkSafe and Occupational Health nurses visited sites and talked with workers about health issues,” said WorkSafe’s General Manager, Assessment Jo Pugh.
“While there is always room for improvement, WorkSafe is proud of what the rebuild programme has achieved with our partners.”
The agency is now working with the country’s construction sector to lift health and safety practices and evaluating at how what was developed and learnt from the rebuild programme, can be applied on building sites around the country.