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Sun June 16 2019

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New Zealand gives grants to boost workplace safety

10 Jan New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is allocating NZ$22m (£12m) in grants and subsidies to help businesses – particularly small ones – make their workplaces safer.

ACC is a government entity responsible for administering the New Zealand’s universal no-fault accidental injury scheme. It will invest the NZ$22m over five years into an incentive programme to help businesses reduce workplace injury, said ACC minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “The subsidies are designed to support small and medium-sized businesses to invest in training, equipment or advisory services that will have a direct impact on the health and safety of workplaces, he added. “This is particularly important for smaller businesses which haven't previously been able to access this type of support because the barriers have been too high.”

In 2017 ACC claims for work related injuries totalled 231,651. Five sectors currently represent over half (52%) of all severe workplace injuries, namely agriculture, construction, forestry, manufacturing, healthcare and social assistance. Compared to international standards, New Zealand has a higher rate of injuries and fatalities in the workplace, the government said.

The programme will include two types of assistance. Workplace injury prevention grants will provide funding for organisations to help solve workplace health and safety problems that affect multiple businesses in an industry or supply chain. Workplace injury prevention subsidies are available to help small to medium businesses access services and other supports that are known to improve workplace health and safety. The subsidies can cover a range of support such as training courses, advice of health and safety and capital investment in equipment.

For grants, the first funding round will open in February 2019 with a subsequent round likely to be in September 2019.

For subsidies, three sector-specific rounds are planned for this year. The first round will start in February with other subsidy offerings likely to be in June and September 2019.

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