In Harm's Way: A case study of Pacific Workers in Manukau Manufacturing
This report discusses research undertaken to examine injury reporting by Pacific workers in the manufacturing industry in Manukau. Pacific workers experience a high level of workplace accidents compared to other ethnicities. Although there has been a gradual reduction in incidence rates across all ethnic groups since 2005, Pacific incidence rates are still disproportionately higher than those for non-Pacific people.
There are many theories about why this discrepancy exists, but there is a paucity of empirical information to inform them. Theories include increased risk exposure, communication and literacy difficulties, relationships in the workplace between management and workers, and differing attitudes to work (Premji et al 2008, Sargeant & Tucker 2009, Seymen & Bolat 2010, Kosny 2011). This research aims to determine the causal influences on the higher observed injury rate in order to inform the development of appropriate interventions.
The highest number of ACC claims lodged by Pacific people comes from the manufacturing industry. This sector is a large employer of Pacific workers with over 19.5 percent Pacific employees, compared with 11.0 percent of the total population nationally in 2006. Manukau was chosen as the research site due to its large population base of Pacific people, who make up 19.5 percent of the Manukau workforce and 28.1 percent of the Manukau manufacturing workforce.
- To understand the causal influences on the injury rate experienced by Pacific people in an applied setting.
- To help enable the informed development of appropriate health and safety interventions to reduce the accident rate experienced by Pacific people.
This report summarises the existing literature in the area, before discussing the methods used in the research. The first results section is the quantitative analysis of ACC data. The qualitative data is divided into two sections: first, the employees' perspectives, followed by the employers' perspectives. Finally, the report discusses the findings of the research, before concluding and making recommendations for future work by the Department of Labour.