Major players join forces over H&S

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Health and safety improvements could be on the horizon for New Zealand’s construction industry after a number of major firms agreed to join forces to tackle the issue.

Fletcher Construction, Arrow International and NZ Strong are among eight companies to sign an agreement committing to standardise their approach to on-site health and safety.

Site Safe – a non-profit membership organisation set up by the industry to support improved health and safety – is set to facilitate the implementation of decisions made by the group.

“The companies supporting this agreement, and Site Safe, know that working together to standardise and improve health and safety practice will achieve far greater benefits and enable subcontractors and their workers to have better consistency about what is required of them,” said Site Safe chief executive, Alison Molloy

The signatories have agreed to work together on several priority areas, including standard requirements for safety gear, prequalification, alcohol and drug testing, and certain high-risk activities.

A further key area is how to best ensure workers are fully engaged in their own health and safety as well as that of their colleagues.

The companies involved have also agreed to share their health and safety performance with each other, and to standardise how this performance is measured, so that better information on health and safety practice and improvement is available to all.

“By standardising our approach to managing health and safety risks, we bring our large workforce of subcontractors with us and make a step shift improvement,” said Rick Herd, CEO of Naylor Love, another company involved in the pact.

“By joining forces, we will make safety practice easier on site and further reduce injury rates,” he continued. “Getting everyone home safe at the end of the day is always our top priority.”

The group – which also includes Cassidy Construction, Dominion Constructors, Hawkins Construction and Leighs Construction – expects to announce its first decisions later this year.

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