Working in Construction - Facts and Figures

Site Safe aims to foster skills and mindsets that can lead a culture of health and safety in the construction industry. As well as engaging in our own research, we also partner with the industry to keep up to date with the latest trends, facts and figures.

A recent survey put together by ACC and WorkSafe New Zealand shows some interesting facts directly relating to Health and Safety in Construction over the last 10 years. We’ve considered how some of these findings highlight the need for effective health and safety systems and practices and ongoing training across the industry.

The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Fatalities caused by occupational diseases linked to airborne exposures are estimated to have been almost 20 times higher than deaths from accidents (based on 2010 figures). This highlights the importance of using the correct PPE for the job at hand, and also considering other measures to reduce hazards.

The Importance of Toolbox Talks

Vehicle-related accidents (49%) were the main cause of fatalities in construction, with the majority occurring on worksites (70%).  This highlights the importance of daily briefings (toolbox talks) to increase the awareness of the location of vehicles and on site activity. We offer a wide range of toolbox talk guides free to Site Safe Members.

The Importance of Correct Equipment and Training When Working at Height

Falling from height (18%) and being struck by falling objects (10%) were also main causes of fatal accidents. This highlights the importance of training on ladders, scaffolding and correctly using a harness system.

The Importance of a Site Specific Safety Plan Including a Hazard Register

Out of the four main sub-sectors in construction, specialist trades (including electricians, plumbers, concreters, carpet layers, plasterers and joiners) had the highest number of injuries during the period of 2008 – 2014, and the commercial sector having the lowest number of injuries. Whilst the below table highlights some differences between sub-sectors, no number of injuries are acceptable in any sector – make sure quality training is undertaken and a Site Specific Safety Plan is in place.

Did You Know?

  1. Small businesses employing nine or less workers make up 87% of the construction sector
  2. One in 12 jobs is in construction, with almost 194,000 people employed in the sector
  3. The employed construction workforce was 30% larger in 2012 compared with 2002
  4. The forecast spend on all construction for the three years to the end of 2017 is $106 billion
  5. Eight out of every 10 workers of the construction workforce is male, with a higher proportion of Maori workers than average and a younger profile than other high risk sectors

Do You Own or Work For a Small Business?

Find out what your specific roles and responsibilities are in health and safety.