The ‘Workplace Health and Safety Strategy for NZ to 2015’ aims to lift New Zealand’s workplace health and safety performance. Part of this strategy is the Occupational Health Action Plan to 2013. The broad scope of this document is giving occupational health more priority. We’re bringing this to your attention to help you be aware of your responsibilities in your workplace.

The priority areas of focus are:

Reducing exposure to these hazards

  • Cancer causing agents in the workplace
  • Respiratory hazards
  • Noise
  • Skin irritants
  • Psycho-social hazards (exhibited as chronic fatigue, stress related disorders, alcohol & drug abuse, heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders and suicide)

Developing capability

  • Developing the knowledge and capability of workplace managers and H&S representatives on the health hazards present in their own workplaces
  • Improving the knowledge and skills of health care providers to recognise and refer people presenting with symptoms suspected as being caused by workplace exposure
  • Workforce development to improve the expertise of the occupational health workforce as new toxicological or industrial hygiene information becomes available and new technologies for eliminating or reducing exposures are developed

Working in Partnership

  • Across the range from occupational health and safety practitioners, professional groups, public health researchers, medical professionals, employers and industry groups

For more information about the Strategy visit here http://www.dol.govt.nz/whss/strategy/index.asp

Diana Hanafin – National Health Manager