Chief Exec Update - the latest from Brett

08 May 2019

Brett Murray

The recent signing of the Construction Sector Accord is another sign the government and the construction sector are committed to lifting health and safety at work.

Of course, Site Safe backs any initiatives for safety at work, the job description is in our name, after all.

And it is good that it’s getting acknowledged at the highest levels, with Construction Minister Jenny Salesa saying improving health and safety is one of four priorities the government is working on with the industry.

It also reinforces the role of Site Safe in supporting New Zealand’s construction workers in the broader sphere of mental health and wellness.

The accord was developed to deal with several issues in the sector including company failures, leaking building repairs, and skills shortages, which Fletcher Construction chair, and Accord Development Group chairman Peter Reidy, says place a lot of stress on people.

He says these issues had left people in the industry struggling to cope with the pressure and is likely to have contributed “to the relatively high rates of suicide and injury in construction”.

It is an area Site Safe is working on with a study into suicide in the construction sector planned to be released at the Safeguard conference at the end of May.

We want to increase the resilience of our workers in all areas and to do as much as we can to keep all people in the industry safe and well.

It is something Site Safe has been doing for two decades with May marking the 20th anniversary

It’s grown from two people in Wellington to a national organisation training thousands of people every year.

The payoff has been not only fewer deaths and injuries in the construction sector, but in many cases, a greater commitment to looking after staff at every level within companies. And that's a win for everyone.