WorkSafe has commissioned a piece of research on workers and employers.

About the report

The employers and workers report examines employer maturity, worker engagement, participation and representation and the impact of workplace safety culture. The research confirms what we have known anecdotally, there are challenges with our safety culture and the research highlights what sectors we can best influence in terms of changing their behaviour and approach to health and safety. 
Understanding current attitudes and behaviours is integral to developing interventions that lead to behaviour change and a more mature health and safety culture. The research design uses the latest thinking in behaviour change to tease out the gap between attitudes and behaviour change. 
The research will allow WorkSafe to track improvements in workplace health and safety culture performance over time as we strive to transform New Zealand’s health and safety performance.

The 2021 report includes more detailed information about health problems workers consider to be caused or made worse by their work, and injuries sustained while working. This part of the questionnaire was strengthened to support measurement of indicators within WorkSafe’s new Strategic Outcomes Framework.

Key findings

The research from 2021 surveyed 2,672 employers and 3,627 workers across all industries and found:

  • there is a greater integration of health and safety in New Zealand workplaces since 2019
  • New Zealand has more mature safety cultures (up 4 points to 56% of all NZ employers), with an especially strong shift among medium-sized businesses, forestry employers, and agriculture employers
  • over half of employers now place health and safety in their top 3 priorities (up 5 points)
  • more employers recognise the connection between health and safety and harm reduction (up 4 points)
  • integrating health and safety into workplaces during COVID-19 has had its challenges, and more employers now say that the financial cost of complying with health and safety regulations is big
  • workers with a low level of engagement are 40% more likely to report sustaining work-related injuries and health problems that resulted in medical attention or time off work, even when exposure to risk is controlled for.

Read the report

Segmentation and insights programme: Employers and workers 2021 (PDF 2.3 MB)