Sweeping changes to New Zealand’s health and safety laws in 2015 made anyone running a business responsible for providing a safer work environment.
This meant maintaining a worksite that is without risk to themselves, their workers, subcontractors and members of the public, and the penalties for failing to do so are significant, including jail terms for the most serious breaches.
A cornerstone of the legislation, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, is that business owners need to identify and then eliminate or minimise any risk on their worksite.
In this blog, we discuss how you can improve your health and safety standards around your construction site.
Health and safety on the worksite 2019
Worksafe, the safety regulator set up in 2013 after the Pike River tragedy, has a goal of a 25 per cent reduction in workplace fatalities and serious injuries by 2020.
After a promising start in which by 2015 fatalities were down by a third, and serious injuries by 29 per cent, the gains have started reversing and last year Worksafe reported signs of complacency creeping in. In 2019 and beyond, more needs to be done - particularly in agriculture, construction and forestry, the three worst industries for workplace deaths.
How the right new equipment can benefit your site’s health and safety
The Health and Safety at Work Act's requirements include providing safe machinery. This effectively means any business owner facing prosecution has to be able to prove that their onsite machinery is either state-of-the-art or at the very least up to date. Investing in modern machinery is a tangible sign of your commitment to worksite health and safety.
A visit to an industrial heritage museum can be a real eye-opener in terms of the risks old machinery posed for their operators. All those lessons about machinery safety and the need for guardrails, two-hand controls and emergency stop switches were learned the hard way. The right new machinery mitigates risk by building on the lessons of the past to make your worksite safer.
Today, there are several pieces of equipment that can help your team work safer.
Health and safety advantages of telehandlers
In the construction industry, the telehandler can make to improving worksite health and safety. Telehandlers have a telescopic boom capable of supporting a wide range of attachments that can turn it from a forklift to a winch, jib crane, elevated work platform (EWP) or anything else you need onsite. Rather than making do with machinery that’s not designed for the task at hand, a telehandler’s versatility means you will always have the right tool for the job.
Click here to find out more about the difference a versatile telehandler can make not only to health and safety but also the smooth running and project management of your construction worksites.