Machinery and equipment priority in new Health & Safety at Work Strategy

September 6, 2019


Machinery, equipment, tools, structures, heights, and excavations are priority topics in a new Health & Safety at Work Strategy 2018-2028.

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging businesses and workers to have their say on the discussion paper which seeks to ‘confirm the nature and scale of the problems workers and businesses are facing’.

This feedback will be used to help reform regulations under the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015.

Mr Lees-Galloway explains: “Machinery, equipment, tools and structures are involved in 76% of fatal injuries at work. That’s 58 people every year who don’t make it home to their families.”

As a result, he is prioritising these topics as they cause ‘most harm for most people’: “These things cause unacceptable harm. They are prevalent in our most risky sectors – forestry, agriculture, construction, and manufacturing.

“This discussion paper seeks to confirm the nature and scale of the problems workers and businesses are facing and asks for feedback on options to address them. It’s not about regulating for the sake of it – it’s about taking a targeted and proportionate approach to supporting businesses to be good employers and protecting workers from death, serious injury and ill-health.”

What the stats say

Vehicles: On average 38 people die every year at work from injuries involving vehicles, 33% of these are truck related

Construction: Construction has the highest rate of severe injuries as a result of falls at height

Ground/excavation: From 2008- 2017, four people died and 27 have been injured from ground/excavation collapse (excluding Pike River Coal Mine tragedy)

Plant/structures: Most fatal injuries (from 2008-2017) in high risk sectors involved plant or structures. This includes 43% of deaths in manufacturing, 77% of deaths in agriculture, 19% of serious injuries in manufacturing and 14% of serious injuries in construction

Find out more

If your business falls within the following sectors: agriculture, amusements and theme parks, construction, engineering, fisheries, forestry, manufacturing, or transport – this discussion paper will be of particular interest to you.

The deadline for submissions is 4th October 2019. You can find out more and have your say here.