Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson has recently launched new guidance to reduce the workplace death and injury toll from falls in the construction sector.
Best Practice Guidelines for Working at Height in New Zealand was launched at the new Wigram Skies housing subdivision in Christchurch as part of the Department of Labour’s Preventing Falls from Height project.
Minister Wilkinson told the construction industry there’s no longer any excuse for failure to work safely at height.
“These guidelines give everyone in the industry clear, simple advice that will help bring down the death and injury toll from avoidable falls in the construction industry,” Ms Wilkinson said.
Department of Labour general manager southern Jean Martin says the construction sector has one of the highest rates of workplace fatalities, and the third highest rate of serious injury.
“Investigations show that more than half the falls from height reported to the Department of Labour involve construction workers falling from less than three metres — often from ladders and single-storey roofs.
“This sobering picture is why preventing falls from height is a priority for the Department of Labour,” Ms Martin says.
The launch event was opened by Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu general manager tribal interests David Perenara-O’Connell. The Wigram Skies subdivision is being developed by Ngai Tahu Property.
Organisations supporting the event include Hawkins Construction, Fletcher Construction, the New Zealand Construction Association, the Construction Safety Council and the Roofing Association of New Zealand
The event included practical demonstrations on working safely at height.