Workplace safety

None of us go to work with the intention of injuring ourselves or others, but in 2016, 233,000 claims were made to ACC by Kiwis injured at work.

Creating a safe work environment is more than keeping your policies and procedures guidelines up-to-date, it’s also about making sure everyone in your organisation looks out for each other, reports unsafe work practices or behaviour and finds ways to improve the health and wellbeing of workmates.

Here’s our top tips for making it home safely from work each day:

1. Safety is everyone’s responsibility

Keeping yourself and your work colleagues safe is a team effort. Your employer has obligations to make sure risks at work are minimised or eliminated, but employees also have a personal responsibility to speak up if they think a situation is unsafe.

2. Get the proper training

If you’re using machinery, tools or other equipment in your job, make sure you receive the proper training before you get started. Don’t take shortcuts when using equipment and keep up-to-date with current practices.

3. Look after your body

Repetitive movements, sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time and other factors can contribute to occupational overuse syndrome. An occupational workplace assessment can be helpful to ensure your workspace is designed well or you’re performing tasks without putting your body at risk.

4. Take regular breaks

Stand up, stretch, take a breather. Regular short breaks away from your desk or workspace benefits you physically and is good for your mental health.

5. Keep your stress levels in check

Everyone has stressful days at work, but ongoing stress can cause a range of physical and psychological problems, and lead to accidents. Find ways to minimise workplace stress and aim to have a good work-life balance.

Employment Assistance Programmes can provide practical assistance if you need help dealing with work-related issues.


  1. Injury Statistics – Work-related claims: 2016 Statistics NZ
Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team. Last reviewed: 21 Nov 2017