Christchurch rebuilders given safety message

Posted 03 Oct 2012 by PRNews Popular

 

The head of the United Kingdom's health and safety team has been invited to Christchurch to spread a message of safety to those rebuilding the city.

Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive, Judith Hackitt, oversaw the fast-tracked construction of the London Olympic Stadium and athletes village last year. That included 60 million work hours with no fatalities.

"You don't do this because the rules say you have to, you do it because you think it's the right thing to do. Everyone has the right to go home from work without having been harmed."

The visit comes as Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson warns Christchurch's construction sector could be subject to up to 50 deaths within the next few years unless more stringent health and safety standards are adopted.

There have been no fatal injuries recorded so far, but Wilkinson said the clean record was at risk if safety precautions were not taken seriously.

"If we didn't so anything better, if it was business as usual, we might have 50 deaths. That's including occupational deaths from substances and things likes that.

"It's a pretty scary story."

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The injury toll has risen by 42% in the Christchurch industry, with ACC receiving 3000 claims in 2001 compared to over 4000 last year.

Leighs Construction owner Anthony Leighs said the challenges last year were phenomenal.

"The environment, the manic nature of what was happening, and now the challenges are from the vast number of new entrants to the industry."

Leighs said the "she'll be right attitude" was no longer acceptable.

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