A new study shows that stricter guidelines for people working at heights are preventing approximately 90 deaths and serious injuries every year.
The 2011 Working at Heights guidelines and 2012 Best Practice Guidelines require improved protections for employees including scaffolding, safety nets and edge protection.
The BRANZ study, commissioned by industry body Scaffolding, Access and Rigging New Zealand (‘SARNZ’), records that the guidelines have led to a 3.7% reduction in accidents and 0.8% net gain in productivity across the residential sector. While acknowledging the upfront costs associated with the additional safety systems, the study projects that the productivity gains resulting from reduced sick leave and lower healthcare costs will generate $1.13 billion in total benefits over 25 years. BRANZ researchers have recommended that the study be repeated in 2 years.
As outlined in our previous blog, recent statistics show an alarming upswing in health and safety concerns associated with the Christchurch rebuild so these statistics are positive in light of the impending health and safety legislation changes.