Healthy and safe workplaces are fundamental to achieving Productive Work and High Quality Working Lives for New Zealand. We all need to increase our understanding of why workplace health and safety is important if we are to increase the number of healthy, safe and productive businesses. Workplace health and safety is important as a commitment to our employees, workmates, families and friends. It is important as an investment in our economy; and it is important as a legal duty.
As part of the Workplace Health and Safety Strategy, the Department of Labour is committed to supporting industry to improve workplace health and safety. Understanding the additional productivity benefits of health and safety will assist industry to take a lead.
The Department recently commissioned a team of university researchers to answer the question:
If businesses invest in health and safety, how does this contribute to their performance and productivity?
A team from Massey University carried out an extensive review of New Zealand and overseas literature, and followed this up with local case studies to test how well businesses understand the connection between a healthy and safe workplace and their bottom line.
This report summarises the literature review, its key findings and main themes.
The report covers:
• the known costs and causes of injuries and disease in New Zealand and overseas
• the challenges to finding ways to measure health and safety performance
• the links between health and safety interventions and increased performance and productivity
• the opportunities for businesses to change and further resea