DOC today became the first Government department to formally join the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Labour Minister Simon Bridges announced.
“I welcome this commitment by the Department’s Director-General Lou Sanson to make health and safety a core focus of the DOC ethos. DOC does dangerous work in remote and hostile parts of New Zealand that requires an extra focus to keep its workforce safe,” Dr Smith says.
“The Forum’s 160 members are all senior New Zealand business leaders who have signed a pledge that commits them to making health and safety a vital part of their business.
“I believe there is room for improvement in DOC’s workplace. DOC staff are incredibly enthusiastic and committed to their conservation work but sometimes this can result in taking unreasonable risks. This pledge is about improving the culture and putting safety first.”
Minister Bridges says the Government is committed to improving New Zealand's workplace safety record, and the Health and Safety Reform Bill introduced this week represents the biggest health and safety reforms in 20 years.
“The Bill will play a major role in meeting the Government's target of reducing New Zealand’s rate of workplace injuries and fatalities by 25 per cent by 2020.
“But achieving this target is not something regulation can do alone. Everyone in the workplace must share responsibility, and I commend the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum on their Zero Harm Workplaces pledge initiative.
“Good health and safety is good for business. It is an investment in improved productivity and ensures workers get home safely every day,” Mr Bridges says.