Construction Gets Safer

13 Mar 2018

Fewer tradies are being killed or seriously injured at work, new research has found.

The government’s Towards 2020 report into New Zealand’s workplace death and injury rates shows the fatality rate in the construction industry has more than halved since 2011 and is now lower than the national rate.

Of the five sectors tracked by government health and safety watchdog WorkSafe, construction recorded the lowest fatality rate in 2016.

Chief Executive for not-for-profit health and safety organisation Site Safe, Alison Molloy, said the results reflected the industry’s ongoing commitment to improving health and safety.

“It’s heartening to see all the hard work by New Zealand businesses, workers, industry organisations and government paying off.

“In 2011, for every 100,000 workers, an average of almost seven construction workers were being killed each year. By 2016, that number was at just under two workers.”

The work-related fatality rate for construction in 2016 was 1.9 per 100,000 fulltime workers, compared to the national average of 2.1.

The report found serious injury rates in the industry are also improving, with rates steadily declining since 2013.

Ms Molloy says the improvement shows behaviours across the industry are starting to change, with many businesses and workers no longer tolerating the old “she’ll be right” attitude.

“Employers – both big and small – and workers on the ground are really standing up and taking responsibility for health and safety.

“Site Safe is proud to be contributing to that change, and proud to be helping our industry as it continues to improve.

“However, there is still more work to be done and we can’t afford to be complacent – two deaths is still two too many.”