1 May 2014

Cyclone Ita, which ravaged the West Coast recently, caused very few injuries and no fatalities.  WorkSafe New Zealand says that it is essential the clean-up doesn’t add to the injury list through the use of unsafe practices.

WorkSafe’s Assessment Manager for Canterbury and the West Coast, Dave Hulston, says that his team has been working in the region this week providing support and ensuring that repair work doesn’t put workers and the community at further risk.

“The scale of the Cyclone’s devastation has been enormous, and the community has spent the last couple of weeks addressing the immediate repairs needed,” he says.

“With over 60 houses lost and many more damaged, there is plenty more work to be done, and we want to make sure no one is hurt or, at worst, killed in this process.

“Our team is working with local community agencies to encourage a safety focus in the repair work, and to provide resources designed to improve the safety precautions undertaken.

“Nationally, falls are one of the largest causes of injury in the building industry.  With so many damaged roofs across the region, it’s essential that contractors are aware of the risks involved in work at height, and the essential safety procedures,” says Mr Hulston.

WorkSafe NZ resources for workplace safety, including a toolkit for Working Safely at Height, are available on its website.

Source: http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/news/releases/2014/safe-clean-up-the-focus-of-worksafe-inspectors2019-coast-visit