The Government’s draft strategy for improving the health and safety of New Zealand workers over the next 10 years has been released, with submissions now being called for, says Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Iain Lees-Galloway.

“New Zealand has made good progress in recent years in reducing the rate of acute harm. However, urgent work still remains. I believe that we can be among world leaders for healthy and safe workplaces,” says Mr Lees-Galloway.

“The Strategy outlines an opportunity to drive ambitious, sustained and system-wide improvements in our health and safety performance to significantly lift the wellbeing and living standards of all workers and their families in New Zealand.

“I want to ensure that we are reducing all types of significant harm at work – this includes broadening the focus from acute harm to make sure we’re managing wider health risks, including mental health.

“A key priority highlighted in the Strategy is ensuring better outcomes for Māori, and other workers at greater risk who are over represented in injury statistics and high-risk sectors, such as forestry and construction, or more likely to be engaged in temporary, geographically remote or precarious employment.

“The Strategy aims to provide a common direction and priorities and an opportunity for everyone to work together more effectively on strengthening our health and safety system. Once finalised, it will also outline more meaningful measures and targets for monitoring our performance as a country.

“Health and Safety is a collective responsibility of all New Zealanders. I encourage you to take part in creating better health and safety outcomes for our workers by giving your feedback.

“The public consultation is open until 8 June 2018 and a summary of the consultation will be made available later this year,” Mr Lees-Galloway says.

More information about the Strategy, including how to lodge a submission can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website. (external link)