Posted by HASANZ |

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- September 2019


Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

HASANZ is focused on building the professionalism of the health and safety workforce, and ensuring that health and safety is a valued career. We are developing a five-year plan to fill gaps in career pathways and to attract people into the different health and safety disciplines.

Our work in this area is ramping up, and includes our stocktake of the workforce and future demand, projects to boost the number of Occupational Hygienists, developing the HASANZ Register and promoting the HASANZ scholarships.  We are also aiming to establish a project to grow the number of hazardous substances professionals.

Below is an update on these activities:

Stocktake of the Health and Safety Workforce 

HASANZ' soon-to-be-published report, Building the Professions – Stocktake of the Health and Safety Workforce, will provide insights into the capability and capacity of the health and safety workforce, and forecasts demand for its services over the next decade. The report makes recommendations to lift levels of professionalism and to attract people into the workforce.

It focuses on the seven disciplines that are members of HASANZ: H&S generalists, occupational hygienists, occupational health nurses, human factors/ergonomics' (HFE) professionals, occupational therapists, occupational health physiotherapists, and hazardous substances specialists.

One of the most interesting aspects of the report is the forecast of the size of the health and safety workforce that might be needed to meet demand in 2029. The forecast, undertaken by MartinJenkins & Associates, suggests the workforce will need to grow by 45% over the next 10 years to about 6,600 people, up from an estimated 4,500 now. That is an additional 2,100 roles.

Existing skills shortages and demographic trends in some disciplines suggest this forecast could be on the conservative side and that the amount of ‘new blood’ needed to avoid skills shortages in future could be higher. Disciplines particularly vulnerable to future skills shortages include hazardous substances specialists and occupational hygienists.

The report recommends that further work be undertaken to understand supply and demand issues in these priority areas, and to attract new people into the workforce.

It also includes findings about gaps in competency frameworks, and education and training pathways for some disciplines, and makes recommendations on ways to fill these gaps. These recommendations include ensuring competency frameworks are developed for any discipline that does not already have one, and were fit for purpose frameworks exist, that these are adopted by the relevant disciplines.

The report goes on to recommend ways to ensure that education programmes are aligned to competency frameworks, and to fix problems with the availability of education programmes in New Zealand, particularly for disciplines with smaller numbers of students.

The report is authored by HASANZ, with support from WorkSafe and Skills NZ, and with input from members of the various disciplines. Thanks to everyone who contributed to its creation. Later this year we will be convening a workshop with a cross-section of participants to develop and agree the actions to address these challenges and build the health and safety workforce of the future.

Growing the number occupational hygienists in NZ

HASANZ and NZOHS (NZ Occupational Hygiene Society) are jointly leading a three-year programme of work to increase the number of capable, competent and qualified Occupational Hygienists. NZOHS is bringing the occupational hygiene profession expertise. HASANZ is providing project management and support. Funding is being provided by WorkSafe.

An attraction strategy is being developed to bring people into the profession. New marketing collateral will be developed, and presentations at universities will be undertaken.

Five recipients of HASANZ scholarships for occupational hygiene began their studies in February – two are Masters’ students and three are international certification students. These recipients also attended a scholarship field-day which included a health and safety tour of Wellington Airport (see more about the scholarship programme below).

The NZOHS has now been granted Approved Training Provider status by OHTA (Occupational Hygiene Training Association) to run eight occupational hygiene training modules. As at the end of July, four modules had been run attended by 24 students.
Currently, there is no bachelor’s or master’s level programmes in occupation hygiene. We are looking at ways to have these programmes offered in NZ.

HASANZ Register

The HASANZ Register is another key element of the work we do on behalf of the disciplines to connect businesses with competent health and safety professionals. The Register is now just over a year old, meaning the first round of registration renewals is taking place.

In July there were 163 people on the Register, and in the three months ended July, there were 9,198 clicks on the site.

We ran an online marketing campaign earlier this year and this was successful in increasing awareness and growth in visits to the site. We have recently begun another online marketing campaign. In addition, will be shortly announcing a demand creating initiative - watch the space!

Other News

Expert Witness Webinar 
A number of health & safety people are required to testify in court as expert witness. In addition, there are other legal processes where health and safety people get involved (ie, advice to legal teams). 
At 6pm on 24 September we will be hosting a webinar where Olivia Lund (Partner at Duncan Cotterill) and Mike Cosman (Certified NZISM Member) will talk about what it takes to be an Expert Witness in health and safety investigations and prosecutions.
This presentation will cover the different roles of an expert, engaging with lawyers, the court process, good practice and tips.
Register here.

Health Risk Management Seminar
We are in the final stage of a seminar series on Health Risk Management in-conjunction with Duncan Cotterill, WorkSafe and the NZ Occupational Hygiene Society.

  • Christchurch.  12-2pm, 22 October.  Duncan Cotterill Office, Australis Nathan Building, 37 Galway Street
  • Wellington. 12-2pm, 24 October.   Duncan Cotterill Office, Level 2, Chartered Accountants House 50 Customhouse Quay
  • Auckland.  12-2pm, 29 October.   Duncan Cotterill Office, Duncan Cotterill Plaza 148 Victoria Street

 More information and registration details will come out shortly.

ACC Workplace Injury Prevention Grants
The August 2019 round of the ACC Workplace Injury Prevention Grants is now live. The ACC website has been updated with all the information on grants including how to apply and, based on feedback from the February 2019 round. ACC has provided additional information to assist potential applicants make a good quality application.
For this round ACC is seeking proposals in two priority areas:

  1. Industries with high rates of injury
  2. Workforces over-represented in injury statistics

The round is open for six weeks – the close date for applications is 5pm, 10 October 2019.

New estimates for work-related ill-health and the burden of work-related harm in New Zealand
WorkSafe New Zealand recently reviewed the work-related health death and hospitalisation estimates. They also updated the estimates of the burden of harm from work-related injury and ill-health in New Zealand.

In summary, in New Zealand: 

  • Work-related health deaths are estimated at 750-900 a year
  • There are an estimated 5,000-6,000 hospitalisations each year due to work-related ill-health
  • The latest three years (2015–2017) average figure for ACC gradual process claims is 5281 per year
  • A worker is 15 times more likely to die from a work-related disease than from a workplace accident
  • 50,000 work-related disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are lost annually. This translates into a social cost of at least $2 billion each year.
  • The burden of harm calculations shows that acute injuries (including fatalities) account for 11% of annual work-related DALYs lost. Musculoskeletal harm accounts for 27%, mental health harm 17%, cancers 16% and respiratory harm 14%.

You can read more on WorkSafe’s website.

Mental Health Week (23-29 September)
Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW), run by the Mental Health Foundation, is 23–29 September.
This year the theme is Explore your way to wellbeing – Whāia te ara hauora, Whitiora. Workplaces are asked to encourage their staff to take notice of the simple experiences, actions, relationships and surroundings that make them feel good every day – and do them more often.
MHAW 2019 is underpinned by Te Whare Tapa Whā, a Māori perspective on wellbeing developed by leading Māori health advocate and researcher Sir Mason Durie. Te Whare Tapa Whā helps to identify where we need extra support. MHAW will help workplaces explore this health model and give practical ideas on how they can strengthen the wellbeing of their people and create a workplace environment where it’s safe and okay to talk about mental health.
Workplaces can order a free workplace explore pack or download posters, email signatures and screensavers from the MHAW website. Soon their website will have details on the MHAW Workplace Challenge. To explore your way to wellbeing, register your workplace for updates.

NZOHS Work-related health conference
The conference will be from 5 to 7 May 2020, in Queenstown.
Please use this link for the See More.

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Nga mihi nui


Philip Aldridge
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