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$22 million set aside to help businesses reduce workplace injury
Next month Kiwi businesses will be able to make a bid for a share of a new $22 million fund that’s been created to help improve workplace health and safety.
“Kiwis are well-known around the world for our innovation and work ethic, yet we also have an unacceptable high rate of workplace accidents. We want to tap into that innovation and help businesses protect their most important assets – their people,” says Paul Gimblett, Head of Workplace Safety & Levies at ACC.
“This funding will support Kiwi businesses to access effective health and safety solutions and share learnings and innovations to tackle the unknown. We want all Kiwis to return home to their friends and whanau in the same health as when they began their day at work.”
Priority areas for investment
In 2017 we processed 231,651 claims for work-related injuries. Five sectors currently represent half of all severe workplace injuries:
- healthcare and social assistance.
That’s why we’re investing $22 million over five years to introduce a new injury prevention programme for businesses.
This investment is in addition to our $15 million per annum investment in WorkSafe NZ to support their injury prevention programmes.
Contributing to good health and safety at work
Many organisations do not have the financial resources, capability or capacity to invest in health and safety improvements and innovation. As part of the new programme two types of assistance will be available:
Workplace injury prevention grants
These grants will provide funding for organisations to help solve workplace health and safety problems that affect multiple businesses in an industry or supply chain.
We’ll partner with these organisations to help carry out projects and share the benefits with other businesses. The idea is to create changes that lead to workplace health and safety improvements for many businesses and their staff.
Workplace injury prevention subsidies
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.
There are three types of subsidies:
- workforce capability development (e.g. training courses)
- professional health and safety consulting advice, and
- capital investment that has health and safety outcomes (e.g. people moving equipment).
Subsidies are generally sector-specific and are likely to be targeted at sectors where workers have a higher risk of injury. The subsidies that will be offered will change over time to meet business, sector and workplace needs.
For grants, the first funding round will open in February 2019 with a subsequent round likely to be in September 2019.
For subsidies, three rounds of offerings (sector-specific) are planned in 2019. The first round will start in February with other subsidy offerings likely to be in June and September 2019.