Investigation of Causative Factors Associated with Summertime Workplace Fatalities
Conclusion and next steps
This study has confirmed that in the period from 2000 - 2005 the rate of workplace fatalities was higher in summer and autumn than throughout the rest of the year. While there appeared to be a clear peak in the number of fatalities that occurred in January the limited size of the data set meant that this could not be confirmed through statistical testing.
The research has identified a number of important findings with regards to workplace, environmental, sociological and individual factors that are associated with, or contribute to, increased risk of workplace fatalities, and provides direction for the development of preventative strategies that should be considered by the Department of Labour. Adopting some or all of the recommendations provided will not only help reduce the incidence of workplace fatalities but is also likely to significantly reduce the incidence of work related serious harm injuries.
The Department of Labour's Next Steps
This study is the first step to improving the Department of Labour's understanding of the reasons behind workplace fatalities. This research highlights some initial areas of workplace health and safety practice in New Zealand which can be improved. The Department of Labour intends to take a positive approach to the findings, focussing on ways to raise awareness and promote direct action to reduce workplace fatalities.
The Department of Labour will focus on the following approaches to deliver information and guidance:
Emphasise the benefits
Focus on actions that will reduce the work toll. Identify the benefits of safe work practices and demonstrate that they outweigh the perceived costs.
Deliver messages locally
Awareness-raising will be accompanied by realistic and practical advice on how to improve health and safety in New Zealand's workplaces. Messages will be targeted and personalised to specific at-risk groups. Small-scale, low-key safety initiatives locally delivered will be an effective part of personalising safety messages.
The Department will develop collaborative approaches and partnerships for the delivery of messages. We will actively seek the support of others, industry representatives, business organisations, unions, and businesses to promote awareness and action in workplaces and the wider community.