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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

How the sectors are doing

How the sectors are doing
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New Zealand

Within the aggregated data the five industry sectors showed very different levels of performance.

A summary of the Attitudes and Behaviours study on the WorkSafe website says the forest industry is the stand-out sector and leads the way. It notes, however, that little has changed in the industry since 2016, save in the area of worker involvement, where forestry “tops all measures.”

This was the sector where the views of workers and employers were most closely aligned, and where both groups were most likely to rate H&S among their top three priorities (53% of workers; 84% of bosses).

More than 80% of workers said safe work received positive recognition, 87% said they worked with their bosses to make sure everyone was safe, 96% said a worker who suggested stopping work on safety grounds would be supported, and 98% said they were encouraged to speak up about safety concerns.

WorkSafe describes the construction sector as “resting on its laurels ... having made few meaningful changes since 2014.”

Despite this, some 60% of employers had made significant changes to safety systems or practices during 2017, and the sector reported the highest rate of health and safety training, with two-thirds of workers having participated in a training course in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Workers in this sector also had the worst reporting rates for hazards, near misses and serious harm incidents, with 13% of serious harm incidents going unreported.

WorkSafe describes agriculture as trailing on a number of measures. It was the sector with the lowest level of worker participation (a third of workers and a fifth of employers said there were no formalised practices in their workplaces), and the highest percentage of workers (39%) who had never had H&S training. Only 28% of workers had received training in the year before the survey.

Workers and employers in this sector were the least likely to trust WorkSafe and believe it was doing a good job, and the most likely to express doubts about their H&S rights and obligations.

Progress in manufacturing, according to WorkSafe, has been marginal. The study showed that while formal H&S reporting rates were high, so too was the accident rate. Workers from this sector were the most likely to have had a serious accident and to feel unsafe at work, but the least likely to feel able to have a say on H&S matters.

It is also the sector with the greatest divergence of views between employers and workers.

While employers were the least likely to believe their industry was high risk, workers were the most likely to believe they could be seriously injured on the job.

Although 90% of employers said safety was at least as important as production and quality, only 49% of workers did not agree that bosses were sometimes more interested in getting the job done than in safety.

Data from the fishing sector is harder to decipher because progress between 2014 and 2017 was not measured. However there have been few significant changes since the first survey and, although employers in the industry have more H&S policies and practices than those in other sectors, fishing businesses appear to be struggling with issues similar to those experienced in the other five industries. Some 22% of workers have never had H&S training, and there is a significant disconnect between employers and workers on a range of topics.

While 21% of fishing workers said they had experienced a serious harm incident in the past year, only 8% of employers said this was the case. More than 90% of employers said they recorded serious harm incidents, but only 43% of workers agreed. Workers were also much less likely than their employers to say they were encouraged to come up with safety ideas, or would be supported if they suggested stopping work on safety grounds.



Organisations Mentioned:
WorkSafe NZ
Reference No:

From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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