Safety Reform Bill needed to move past 'she'll be right' culture

22/09/2015 - Health and safety

Safety Reform Bill needed to move past 'she'll be right' culture

Two years after it was recommended by a government appointed Taskforce into Health and Safety in New Zealand, the government’s Health and Safety Reform Bill was passed in late August, retaining the most important principles that underpinned it.

Julian Hughes, Z’s General Manager, HSSE, shares his views on the Bill.

“We all know that too many Kiwis die at work each year, but we seem less willing to do something meaningful about this unacceptable situation.”

“Before the Bill was reported back, my primary concern was on ensuring that last minute changes did not detract from the original purpose of the Bill and the multiple tragedies from which it was conceived."

“It was disappointing to see the discussions that took place as the bill focused on some minor changes, like the idea worm farms were more dangerous than dairy farms, as this distracted from the key points of the legislation." 

“However overall I was pleased to see the Bill has retained its most important principles and, over time, I believe it will help to shift how we think about health and safety in New Zealand.”

In New Zealand, on average someone is killed at work every week. That’s double the workplace fatality rate of Australia, and four to six times higher than for workers in the UK.

Julian says that, for New Zealand to see real change, we all have a role to play.

“A look at workplaces that do not harm people suggests the answer is a simple approach: focus on leadership and the building of a culture that does not accept workplace harm as an inevitable consequence of work.

“It is now more than ever before when leadership is needed to ensure we can all get on with building safer workplaces in New Zealand.”

You can hear more from Julian on the topic of health and safety in New Zealand with his opinion piece which was published on the New Zealand Herald website in July.


Related Articles

Are you a distracted driver?

Are you a distracted driver?

08/12/2015 - Health and safety

We reckon it’s super important to stay focused when you’re driving. Check out this video of Joel Kiefte, one of our Customer Relationship Managers, and... read more

Stay safe on the roads this summer

Stay safe on the roads this summer

17/01/2014 - Health and safety

Staying safe on the roads is always important particularly over the summer period when the amount of traffic on the road significantly increases. We thought it... read more