Rebuilding Canterbury safely

The Canterbury Rebuild Programme has met most of its short and medium term goals according to an evaluation report released by WorkSafe tonight. This includes zero fatalities since the programme launched in 2013.

The dedicated Programme was set up to improve health and safety outcomes in the Canterbury rebuild following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Despite estimates of one to two fatalities a year and more serious harm incidents during the rebuild, there have been no deaths on construction sites in greater Christchurch area since the Programme was established.

The evaluation report was released tonight at the Canterbury Safety Charter’s Beyond the Rebuild event.

The Canterbury Safety Charter was a significant part of the success of the Programme, creating a unified front on health and safety across the rebuild.

Other factors contributing the success of the programme included strengthening WorkSafe’s Canterbury Inspectorate with expertise from Australian inspectors, and events and materials focused on high risks such as asbestos, working at heights, moving vehicles and machinery.

WorkSafe’s General Manager, Assessments Jo Pugh said the release of the report is a great opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of organisations to collectively lift health and safety standards on Canterbury worksites.

“WorkSafe produced guidance material, held industry briefings and ran “Occupational health van” and fatigue campaigns where WorkSafe and Occupational Health nurses visited sites and talked with workers about health issues.”

“While there is always room for improvement, WorkSafe is proud of what the rebuild programme has achieved with our partners”

WorkSafe is working with the construction sector nationally to lift health and safety practices and looking at how what was developed and learnt from the rebuild programme, can be applied on building sites around the country.

Rebuilding Canterbury, healthy and safe (PDF 5.7 MB)

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Email: media@worksafe.govt.nz