Deliver the right mix of services in the right way

We target our interventions and activities to make a measurable difference in all that we do, and we hold those who do not meet their obligations to account.

Why this matters

People depend on WorkSafe to help workers, employers, businesses and other duty holders to ensure good health and safety is put into practice in all of New Zealand’s workplaces. WorkSafe also ensures that those who do not meet their health and safety obligations are held to account in a fair and proportionate way.

Delivering the right mix of services in the right way requires us to have a clear understanding of the mix of activities we need to undertake; especially in high-risk sectors or industries, where there is higher-risk work, or to support workers with greater needs. We need to have a clear understanding of the people and other resources necessary to use our levers in the most effective way, and to take an enforcement measure or action in a fair and proportionate way.

What we have achieved over the year

Throughout the year WorkSafe supported MBIE’s work on the health and safety regulatory reform package, including plant, structures and working from heights, mining, and the licensing of refrigeration technicians. We provided data, insights, and technical and operational advice including for the forthcoming amendments to the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substance) Regulations 2017.

Authorisations, licences and approvals under the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017

authorisations granted to compliance certifiers (including renewals) with one application declined

controlled substances licences issued to people possessing explosives and other high risk substances with three applications declined

exemptions granted (including Hazardous Substances Controls approvals) to duty holders to enable alternative means of regulatory compliance, with nine applications declined

register numbers issues, including for cylinders, fabricators and tank wagons

WorkSafe supported work on proposed updates to the schedule of New Zealand Standards cited in Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 and Gas (Safety and Measurement) Regulations 2010. We provided technical advice and input into the Energy Efficiency regulations review, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority proposals in relation to Demand Response. Although it was delayed as result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this important work will help modernise our regulatory framework. The reforms will enable WorkSafe to respond to new and emerging hazards and risks, and to use our levers and enforcement measures and actions effectively.

Throughout the year, we carried out a range of activities using our three levers; engaging, educating and enforcing the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA), the Electricity Act 1992 and the Gas Act 1992. We increased our focus on harm prevention, continued undertaking regulatory activities and using the full range of enforcement measures and actions available to us. Our regulatory activities include assessments, audits and investigations.

Regulatory activities

  2016/2017 2017/2018 2018/2019 2019/2020 Total 
Assessments 13,425 14,285 14,010 13,043 54,763
Audits4 12 5 5 12 34
Investigations 356 240 212 135 943
Total 13,793 14,530 14,227 13,190 55,740

Our enforcement measures extend beyond issuing infringement notices and taking prosecutions. They include verbal directions; directive and compliance letters and recommendations; non-disturbance, improvement, suspension and prohibition notices; sustained compliance letters and compliance orders, enforceable undertakings, duty holder reviews; and internal reviews.

What’s a duty holder review?

The Duty Holder Review process is voluntary and is one of WorkSafe’s tools in response to a notification of a serious harm incident in the workplace. The review process identifies why the incident happened and what actions need to be taken by the duty holder to prevent it happening again. The duty holder is supported by WorkSafe throughout the process, so we can have confidence the review process is robust.

The desired outcome from a Duty Holder Review is that changes are made to improve health and safety in a workplace. The results show that this occurs in a high percentage of cases. This makes them an effective enforcement tool.

respondents reported, that as a result of their Duty Holder Review, they now have a good/very good understanding of the cause of the accident/incident under review.5

Our top five

Areas of enforcement activity Sectors that we focused on Work-related health assessments and enforcement
  1. Falls from heights
  2. Hazardous substances
  3. Health and Safety systems
  4. Site conditions
  5. Safe use of machinery
  1. Agriculture
  2. Construction
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Forestry
  5. Transport, Postal, Warehousing
  1. Noise
  2. Body stress
  3. Wood dust
  4. Silica
  5. Asbestos

Our enforcement measures

  2016/2017 2017/2018 2018/2019 2019/2020 Total
Verbal direction 1 360 1,270 1,394 3,025
Energy Safety warnings 154 75 48 53 330
Directive letter 42 524 2,053 1,651 4,270
Non-disturbance notice 3 60 213 174 450
Improvement notice 2,152 3,619 5,385 3,974 15,130
Prohibition notice 1,178 1,196 1,618 1,302 5,294
Sustained compliance letter 0 399 1,262 977 2,638
HSNO compliance order6 151 122 1 0 274
Enforceable undertakings 2 14 8 7 31
Duty holder review 404 395 302 244 1,345
Internal review 13 27 20 23 83
Total 4,100 6,791 12,180 9,799 32,870

Our use of our enforcement measures, and our undertaking of enforcement actions, was impacted by COVID-19 and the Alert Level 4 and 3 lockdowns. During this time, we primarily focused on engagement and education. We supported workplaces to ensure that they addressed the new, critical risk presented by the virus, only taking enforcement action in the most serious cases.

WorkSafe’s focus, and the drop in notifications, has had a direct impact on the number of enforcement measures and actions we undertook over 2019/20, as can been seen across the statistical tables presented in this annual report. Our use of our range of enforcement measures and actions has been increasing; almost doubling from 2017/18 to 2018/19. If it was not for COVID-19, that increase would have been sustained through 2019/20.

In Alert Level 4, notifications to WorkSafe dropped by 31% in comparison to the 2019 work-week average as many workplaces closed.

Our enforcement actions

  2016/2017 2017/2018 2018/2019 2019/2020 Total
Infringement notice 12 10 6 6 34
Energy Safety infringement 14 14 10 7 45
Prosecutions 67 disposed 68 disposed 83 disposed 77 disposed 295 disposed
  59 successful 49 successful 71 successful 61 successful  
  6 unsuccessful 5 unsuccessful 4 unsuccessful 9 unsuccessful  
  2 accepted enforceable undertaking 14 accepted enforceable undertaking 8 accepted enforceable undertaking 7 accepted enforceable undertaking  
Total 93 92 99 90 374

Our external activities under this area of focus were supported by our work to transform our Operations Group and to ensure that we have the right people, with the rights skills working on the right regulatory activities to support improvements in the health and safety system. We are continuing to transform the structure of the Group, and to build the capacity and capability of the people within it and across our organisation.

Our performance results

Measure Target 2019/2020 Actual Commentary
Percentage or prosecutions are successful  ≥ 80%  88%  To year end, there have been:
  • 67 prosecutions initiated (through filing charges in Court)
  • 77 disposed (through getting a final outcome)
  • 61 convicted
  • 9 withdrawn
  • 7 discontinued due to enforceable undertaking.
Percentage of (formal) investigations where a final decision is made and communicated to victims and Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) within 12 months of commencement 100% 89%  102 of 115 decisions were communicated within 12 months. 
Percentage of energy safety (notifiable/non-notifiable incidents and unsafe situations) investigations involving gas and electricity that are completed within 60 days ≥ 80%  97%  To year end, 735 of 845 investigations have been completed within 60 working days.
Percentage of safety cases under review according to schedule  100% 100%  We have met our end of year target with 100% of new Major Hazard Facility safety cases received under active review in 2019/20. Of the 57 new safety cases received, 56 have been completed and one has been referred back to the operation for further information.

Build our harm prevention approach

We are working to reduce harm through targeted, evidence-based programmes. We enable workers to participate in and influence health and safety improvements. 

Why this matters

Harm prevention is at the heart of what WorkSafe does, and is the key to ensuring that people come home from work healthy and safe. Harm prevention includes using data and insights to expand our traditional focus on the high-risk sectors of agriculture, forestry and construction and manufacturing, to include other sectors with high rates of harm (such as transport, postal and warehousing) and high-risk work such as working in and around vehicles (WIAV). We are also targeting work-related health and safety harms that span across many sectors with our focus on carcinogens and airborne risks, musculoskeletal disorders, and mentally healthy work.

WorkSafe is concerned about the higher rates of harm and exposure to risk experienced by Māori, Pacific Peoples, and other groups such as migrant workers and those in precarious employment. Addressing these inequities is top of mind as we work to gain further insight into Māori injuries and fatalities, and to learn more about how to reduce the disproportionate risk of harm they face. We need to ensure the contribution all workers make to health and safety at work is recognised and valued.

What we have achieved over the year


Develop and share data and insights to improve decision-making

A Health and Safety at Work Strategy Stakeholder Reference Group (the Strategy Reference Group) was established to support a long-term focus towards achieving the HSW Strategy vision, goals and priorities in the health and safety system at work.

The Strategy Reference Group supported the production of the Health and Safety System Outcomes dashboard which has now been published online. In addition, WorkSafe published an external online Data Centre to provide enhanced transparency on statistics relating to WorkSafe activity and work injuries. This is part of our work to build a base of data, information and research.

To further our research base and harm prevention activities, WorkSafe progressed a research initiative with the Health Research Council that included:

  • completing a literature review to develop our understanding of the implementation issues associated with successful organisational-level psychosocial harm interventions. This will enable us to assemble ‘best evidence’ information to support efforts to improve worker health
  • designing and implementing interventions with organisations for reducing psychosocial hazards and measuring the impact of those interventions on wellbeing in the manufacturing, health and education sectors.


Work-related health including mental health

Work-related health, including mental health, has been a focus for WorkSafe over the year. With additional budget funding, we created a new leadership position in our Executive Leadership Team with a focus on work-related health and technical services, grew our work-related health capacity and capability through hiring new staff, and confirmed the scope, phasing and funding requirements for three work-related health sub-plans:

  1. carcinogens and airborne risks
  2. musculoskeletal disorders
  3. mentally healthy work.

As part of our programme to reduce harm caused by carcinogens and airborne risks, we worked jointly with the Ministry of Health, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and the national Dust Diseases Taskforce on a coordinated response to accelerated silicosis – an emergent occupational disease in workers in the engineered stone benchtop industry. The project provides an intervention opportunity to address risks to the health of workers, and a data and information gathering opportunity that will enable us to learn more about the size and complexity of this harm in New Zealand. It will inform our work programme into the future.

A worker is 15 times more likely to die from a work-related disease than from a workplace accident. Every year it is estimated work-related ill-health results in:

  • 750–900 deaths7
  • 5,000–6,000 hospitalisations.


Lift the capability of health and safety practitioners

This year WorkSafe supported the HSW Strategy goal of lifting the capability of health and safety professionals by supporting a programme of workforce development projects in conjunction with the Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ) and its members. This included projects to develop the occupational hygienist workforce, and a competency framework for hazardous substances compliance certifiers. We participated on both the governance group and technical advisory group, bringing leadership and technical expertise to the projects.

Two more workforce development projects started this year with WorkSafe support. HASANZ and the New Zealand Occupational Health Nurses Association are working to build workforce capability, and to develop education and training pathways for occupational health nurses. WorkSafe is also supporting HASANZ to work with the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management, New Zealand Safety Council and other stakeholders to develop a New Zealand competency framework and lift education standards for generalist health and safety professionals.


Enable workers to be represented, engaged and to participate

The best health and safety outcomes are achieved when workers are involved in decisions about their own health and safety.

WorkSafe also continued to build capability for worker engagement, participation and representation (WEPR) in the health and safety system. WEPR informs our harm prevention activities, is a key part of our approach when undertaking regulatory activities, and is a focus of our work with sector and industry leadership groups.

79.3% of our workplace assessments this year included interaction with a worker or representative where available.

This year we conducted a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) survey to investigate ways of supporting HSRs to better engage with duty holders and workers; to improve WEPR, and health and safety outcomes at work. This was the first survey of its kind focusing on understanding the needs and experiences of HSRs.

The findings of the HSR survey have provided us with information on the profile of HSRs, and the challenges that they face in their roles. As a result, WorkSafe developed a programme of work with a set of initiatives to support HSRs. This includes establishing a tripartite, cross-sector WEPR community of practice that will have a focus on working with, and building the capability of, health and safety representatives across all sectors. The tripartite nature of the community of practice will make it particularly valuable, as it includes government, business and worker representatives. WorkSafe also supports a range of sector-based WEPR initiatives.

This year we continued to support the FISC Safe-tree ‘frontline leadership’ and ‘team up’ training courses. These courses are resulting in an upwards skill shift of 15–20% relating to improving WEPR. Increasing WEPR on the forest block is a goal for FISC, and for WorkSafe, given that forestry is a high-risk sector.

We need to change the culture that assumes fatalities and injuries are part and parcel of farm life.

Agriculture is another focus area of our WEPR initiatives and projects. Our research has shown that female farmers and women on farms might hold one of the keys; they’re leaders, influencers and drivers of change, as well as being workers. Our Farmer Led Design initiative sought to leverage their power and influence to drive health and safety change.

WorkSafe’s behaviours and attitudes surveying has suggested:

  • Workers aged 60 years plus were significantly more likely to report being confident to speak up about health and safety at work, with younger workers (18 to 29 years) and migrant workers significantly less likely.
  • Sixty-one percent of all workers reported being very confident to speak up/say no if asked to do something risky, a smaller proportion (54%) were very confident their boss would support them if they suggested stopping work because of a potential hazard.
  • The forestry sector is one of the most mature sectors (from a health and safety cultural perspective), with
    forestry employers reporting high levels of care for their workers.

Our guidance material

A core activity for WorkSafe is to work with our partners and key stakeholders, and other experts, to develop guidance and educational material so that workers and duty holders can know what good looks like, how they can effectively manage critical risks, and how to enable workers to participate in health and safety at work.

The range of guidance that provided advice to workers, employers, businesses, other duty holders and their representatives on WorkSafe’s response to COVID-19 can be found on a dedicated page on our website. Drawing on our te ao Māori and tikanga capabilities, we supported the development of the Tangihanga guidelines for all marae, including whānau support for communities working through the tangihanga process during the four Alert Levels supporting New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines are on the MoH website.8

The production of COVID-19 related guidance, education and communication materials was in addition to our usual guidance and education programme, which meant that some of the work programme was delayed. This included the delivery of new modules for the Risk Management Framework Tool – Pickled(external link). Regardless, we finalised nine new risk modules which will be rolled out in the new performance year. Pickled is designed to support those with low literacy and numeracy. It has educational learning theory embedded into its design.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, we were able to work with representatives of District Health Boards, other healthcare providers and unions to develop a guidance document to support managing violence in healthcare settings. Guidance material was completed to allow the transition of white water rafting responsibility from Maritime New Zealand (Maritime NZ) to WorkSafe under the Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016.

We developed and published an Extractives Industry Quarterly Report which provides industry with reliable safety performance data, regulatory activity and focus areas to assist duty holders to better understand and manage industry risks. This quarterly publication will show emerging trends with regard to industry incidents or non-compliances.

Our performance results

Harm prevention Target 2019/2020 Actual  Commentary
Percentage of people who say our guidance is useful (this measure provides an indication of how we help all parts of the system understand what good health and safety practice looks like) Hold or
98% WorkSafe reports annually on guidance that was ‘very useful’ and ‘somewhat useful’.
Percentage of assessments that include interaction with a worker or representative where available ≥80% 79.3%

WorkSafe was exceeding the target set for this measure prior to the April/May 2020 lockdown. The year-end result reflects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, and our
commitment to WEPR.

During lockdown, WorkSafe largely undertook remote assessments. It made accessing workers more challenging, but the risks associated with COVID-19 highlight why worker engagement is so important; they had a role to play in ensuring workplaces were safe and workers could safely return to work.

WorkSafe is proud that we came so close to achieving this target despite the impact of COVID-19.

Update and implement Healthy Work Plan and Harm Reduction Action Plan Achieve Achieved

Both plans have been updated. The Harm Reduction Action Plan does not contain initiatives for implementation. It is a strategic document developed with ACC.

WorkSafe is planning to deliver three sub-plans under the Healthy Work Action Plan in the new performance year, subject to funding and the impact of COVID-19.

Percentage of assessments that include a focus on work-related health risks ≥50% 69.1% WorkSafe has exceeded this target, which is consistent with our increased focus on harm prevention and work-related health. It will remain a focus for the new performance year.

The Harm Reduction Action Plan sets out how WorkSafe and ACC will focus our effort to prevent work-related harm in New Zealand. Together with ACC we refreshed and launched the action plan this year. It is set at a higher level than the previous version; to allow flexibility as activities are scoped. New focus areas can be added when plans for their delivery are developed, rather than waiting for the next review. The plan concentrates on what will make the biggest impact to reduce work-related fatalities, potentially fatal work injuries and injuries that result in more than a WAFW.

Working in and around vehicles

Along with our work in high-risk sectors and WEPR, WorkSafe is working on a range of harm prevention initiatives that relate to high-risk work; this work cuts across all our focus areas.

We know that vehicles are the most common cause of fatal work-related accidents in New Zealand and we need to address the harms from WIAV. As a result, WorkSafe initiated a revised WIAV programme following research, design and consultation with key partners and stakeholders including the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) which is primarily responsible for public safety on rail and roads, along with the Police.

The risks associated with WIAV can occur in complex and varying environments, including off-road and on private properties (such as forestry roads and farms). They can occur in places where businesses are required to manage not only their own vehicles, but also those of others visiting the workplace.

Our WIAV programme currently focuses on three main harm prevention opportunities:

  1. increasing seatbelt use in work vehicles
  2. traffic management on work sites
  3. risks associated with trucking.

WorkSafe’s seatbelts initiative includes setting out expectations for the use of seatbelts, an Operations and General Inspectorate focus on seatbelt use, and a media campaign. We have begun work on a Good Practice Guide for traffic management that will be produced in the new year.

Our Site Traffic Management initiative will begin with a focus on forklift safety. WorkSafe is supporting the ‘vehicles and lone worker’ initiative which is specifically focused on the agriculture sector, and on continuing professional development for vehicle use, automatic alerts in vehicles and the use of seatbelts.

We issued a policy clarification in June 2019 setting out our expectations about installing Crush Protection Devices (CPD) on quad bikes used for work, after consultation with the agriculture industry. It was supported by Federated Farmers as a key stakeholder in the sector.

of fatalities between 2013 and 2017 were associated with vehicles


work-related deaths are in road traffic accidents

the approximate increase in the number of CPD purchased after the WorkSafe policy clarification

Grow effective strategic relationships

The change required to lift New Zealand’s health and safety performance and address workplace harm will take a concerted effort from everyone.

Why this matters

WorkSafe does not control all the levers or the tools that will improve New Zealand’s health and safety culture, and practice. Our partners and stakeholders, and expert advisors all need to act to achieve the vision that everyone who goes to work comes home healthy and safe.

New Zealand needs to start looking at what new actions are needed to address our stalling injury rates. This includes WorkSafe working with those who have the breadth and depth of influence across a diverse range of sectors and industries, and whose specialist expertise, insights and reach can enhance our own.

One of the foundations of good health and safety at work is strong tripartite leadership, ensuring workers, business and government agencies work collectively to improve New Zealand’s health and safety performance. Building tripartite relationships is a focus of our cross-sector, and sector and industry engagements.

What we have achieved this year

Throughout the year WorkSafe supported MBIE’s work on the health and safety regulatory reform package, including plant, structures and working from heights, mining, and the licensing of refrigeration technicians. We provided data, insights, and technical and operational advice including for the forthcoming amendments to the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substance) Regulations 2017.

Workers with greater needs

We know that Māori, Pacific Peoples and migrants suffer greater rates of harm at work that other New Zealand workers. COVID-19 has created additional groups of vulnerable workers; including those at greater risk of serious complications if they contract the virus and those that may be moving into new jobs, with new health and safety risks.

WorkSafe is excited by the opportunity presented by two key achievements this year that will help us better engage with Māori and Pacific Peoples. They are the creation of two new cross-sector, tripartite groups with worker representatives, business and government.

Our Partners Council

This year, work was completed to establish a cross-sector, tripartite group – our Partners Council, with representatives from the CTU, BusinessNZ, and from Iwi and Māori workers. The Partners Council is a dedicated forum to share strategic insights and advice on how we can materially reduce work-related harm and illness and improve the quality of work. They will operate as a forum for information, advice, consultation and collaboration with leaders reflecting the perspective of iwi, businesses and workers.

Māori responsiveness

The Partners Council will support WorkSafe to deliver Maruiti 2025; our Māori strategy. It sets out WorkSafe’s direction towards reducing Māori fatalities, injuries and ill-health to a point where they will be equal to – or lower than non-Māori by 2025. It also sets out a way forward to uplift our Te Ao Māori capability to establish and maintain meaningful relationships with Māori and communities.

Te Ara Tuituinga

WorkSafe is implementing Te Ara Tuituinga, a Crown-Māori engagement framework supported by Te Arawhiti (the Office for Māori Crown Relations) to build our Te Ao Māori capability. Te Ara Tuituinga is designed to provide WorkSafe staff with a cultural framework that has a clear foundation for focused engagement with Iwi throughout Aotearoa; to ensure engagement with Māori is built from a level of trust and confidence.

An example of the work we are doing to better recognise our obligations to Te Ao Māori and Tikanga, is the development of Mate Ohorere (our sudden death protocols), our approach to managing cultural beliefs and protocols surrounding a workplace death. Mate Ohorere is intended to guide our staff, and keep them and others spiritually safe when they are undertaking work during a traumatic time. It will help ensure our relationships with whānau pani (bereaved family) and communities remain enduring. We are working towards the implementation of Mate Ohorere in the new year.

Our Pacific Peoples Responsiveness Advisory Group

This year, WorkSafe established the National Pacific Peoples Responsiveness Advisory Group; a cross-sector, tripartite group. The Advisory Group was established in 2019 with the aim of providing advice and support to WorkSafe on its approach to engaging with Pacific workers and to staff managing the Puataunofo Come Home Safely programme.

Throughout the year WorkSafe worked with a range of other partners and stakeholders to drive change in our health and safety system at work, and reduce fatalities, injuries and harms. All our relationships are essential to our success, as we cannot achieve the change that is necessary working alone.

We worked with, and funded, three tripartite Sector Leadership Groups:

  1. the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC)
  2. Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ)
  3. the Canterbury Health and Safety Charter.

Along with FISC, CHASNZ, and the Canterbury Health and Safety Charter, we have funded the Agricultural Leaders Health and Safety Advisory Group (ALHSAG) and ShopCare. We are working towards these groups becoming tripartite groups; with workers, employers and business leaders and government. WorkSafe is committed to working to ensure any new sector or industry group to receive WorkSafe funding will be progressed with a tripartite approach from the outset.

Our work to support FISC has included the Toroawhi initiative, the national roll-out of the Notification and Reach project in forestry, and the formalisation of the wood buyer accord in the Wairarapa. With CHASNZ, we supported the ’mates in construction’ programme aimed at preventing suicide in the construction industry.

Another significant piece of work in the construction industry was our large tunnel intervention project. The project was developed and implemented with the intention to engage the sector on the health and safety expectations for the two significant tunnel projects in Auckland (Central Interceptor, City Rail Link). WorkSafe provided advice on many aspects of the planned work, including the electrical safety of tunnelling and tunnelling machines to support the projects. We facilitated tunnel competency training workshops that established minimum health and safety competency standards for the tunnel workers.

The electrical safety workshops resulted in early agreement being reached on important health and safety by design requirements. This meant that compliance with regulations and standards for Tunnel Boring Machines was ensured before the delivery of the relevant equipment to New Zealand; this was something which had not happened in previous projects and is a measure of the workshops’ success.

The success of the competency workshops was evidenced by the establishment of comprehensive training programmes, and purpose built training facilities, for both projects. These were supported by all of the clients and contractors involved. WorkSafe has since received enquiries from operators involved in other tunnel projects about how this health and safety approach could be taken up by all of the tunnel industry.

workshops held for a mixture of Extractives Industry managers and other duty holders to educate and engage on legislative and regulator expectations


Meet, greet and educate breakfast presentations given to electrical workers with the Electrical Workers Board members throughout New Zealand

General Inspectorate engagements including at Fieldays, through roadshows, industry conferences and other relevant events

Presented on sentencing under the HSWA at Continuing Professional Development seminars for District Court Judges across the country

As well as working across sectors and industries, WorkSafe works across Government. This year we established a terms of reference for managers from across our Guidance, Education, Policy and Practice teams to meet 6-weekly with their counterparts in Maritime NZ, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Environmental Protection Authority (the EPA), and the NZTA. The purpose of these meetings is to foster information sharing and collaborative ways of working to support improving health and safety at work. They are in addition to our quarterly Joint Agency Intelligence Group meetings to share regulatory intelligence experience and expertise with Maritime NZ, the CAA and NZTA.

WorkSafe and Maritime NZ partnered together on a project with the aim of developing a joint assessment template and approach to assessing health and safety on New Zealand’s ports. The project recognised that port-related assessment activity could be managed more efficiently between our two agencies; to avoid confusion when it comes to risks or incidents between ship and shore. WorkSafe and Maritime NZ also worked with the Ministry of Transport and the Rivers Association of New Zealand this year; to ensure the smooth transition of responsibility for white water rafting to WorkSafe.

We share the goal of driving change to reduce fatalities, injuries and harm at work.

Our engagement with key government and regulatory agencies also occurs through Board Chair and Chief Executive Forums. Our work at these senior levels was disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for agencies to support the all-of-government response and the sectors of their immediate focus.

Our performance results

System leadership Target 2019/2020 Actual Commentary
The number and range of sectors supported by tripartite sector leadership groups 5 6 A tripartite group comprises government, business and worker representatives. WorkSafe has supported the establishment of three cross-cutting tripartite groups this year; the Partners Council with a focus on working with Iwi and Māori, the Pacific Peoples Responsiveness Advisory Group and the Worker Engagement, Participation and Representation (WEPR) Community of Practice. These tripartite groups extend wider than individual sectors and all come with significant potential for supporting health and safety in their populations or areas of focus.
Percentage of people we directly engage with who agreed WorkSafe is:
Educative Increase
66% We have not met our target for being ‘Educative’ this performance year with the result falling just outside the margin of error. All other results have been achieved, with WorkSafe meeting or exceeding the target.
Fair Increase
Proportionate Increase
Performing effectively Increase


4 - WorkSafe audits authorisation holders, compliance certifiers, safety auditors of adventure activity operators, and other organisations such as Scaffolding, Access and Rigging New Zealand and the New Zealand Engineering, Food and Manufacturing Industry Training Organisation Incorporated that assist WorkSafe with regulatory compliance.

5 - The Duty Holder Review survey was conducted online on a continuous basis between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. A total of n=222 individuals were invited to take part in the survey and it achieved a 49% response rate. The margin of error for the achieved sample of n=101 respondents is ±9.4%.

6 - Compliance Orders were an enforcement tool that was commonly used prior to December 2017, when the workplace controls for hazardous substances were revoked from the Hazardous Substance and New Organisms Act 1996 and made in regulations under the HSW Act. From that time instances of non-compliance with respect to hazardous substances management have been dealt with using the enforcement tools available under the HSW Act.

7 - The 750 deaths were estimated from a list of diseases with a known or probable link to work. The 900 figure was estimated by adding additional diseases with a possible link to work.

8 - Ministry of Health: COVID-19: Deaths, funerals and tangihanga(external link)