Workers receiving free site visits

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Around 400 Canterbury construction workers are receiving free health advice to help raise awareness about the health risks they face on work sites.

WorkSafe New Zealand has organised an occupational health van to tour rebuild sites. Two experienced occupational health nurses from TriEx are visiting 25 sites around Canterbury and talking to around 400 rebuild workers. The initiative began on March 6.

WorkSafe New Zealand Canterbury project manager Donna Burt says construction workers are exposed to a number of health risks through the course of their work, including dust, noise, asbestos, solvents and fatigue.

“We’re pleased to see a number of construction companies continuing to improve their safety initiatives and plans, but sometimes the ‘health’ in health and safety is missing,” Ms Burt says.

“Too many people become ill or die each year because of exposure to a health risk through their work. This is just one initiative that aims to raise awareness about the importance of treating health like safety.”

Every year in New Zealand approximately 75 people die at work from safety-related incidents. A further 600 to 900 die every year from work-related diseases.

As well as providing information on the health risks construction workers face, the nurses will provide information on how to make sure personal protective equipment, such as face masks and ear plugs, are fitted correctly.

For more information contact WorkSafe New Zealand on 021 823 007 or email media@worksafe.govt.nz.