A survey conducted by Safeguard magazine of nearly 800 people has found optimism that New Zealand’s engagement with health & safety has improved over this time.
It shows 78% of respondents believe health and safety is taken seriously, an increase from the 67% who felt the same way last year.
The other big improvement – up 9% – is in direct support of the new legislation, as 72% of respondents agree that in their workplace, risks are discussed with other businesses which share the same site. Overlapping duties is a key element of the new Act .
Three areas of concern have been highlighted. Only 48% of respondents felt confident that the Health of workers is taken seriously compared to 78% who were confident about Safety.
Clearly this is an area where we have an opportunity to improve.
Less than half felt that HSW Act 2015 provided an opportunity to improve health and safety rather than just to comply with the law.
My view is that as people become more comfortable with the requirements of the new legislation then they will be able to turn their focus to enhancing their overall processes. Many clients have been overwhelmed by the increased demands of the new Act and SafeTech assists by giving practical advice and support in this area.
Despite the new legislation being aimed directly at reducing illness and accidents in the workplace, only 47% of respondents were confident that no one would be harmed or made unwell by the activities undertaken at their place of work.
WorkSafe New Zealand, the national health & safety regulator, has 61% of respondents saying it is performing well, and that their personal dealings with the agency have been satisfactory. This is around 5 percentage points up from last year.