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H&S Industry News

Can Technology Turn Around New Zealand’s Health and Safety Failures?

Despite efforts over the years, New Zealand’s health and safety performance keeps falling short, with high rates of workplace fatalities and serious injuries.

A Decade of Challenges in Health and Safety

A decade ago, the Pike River tragedy led to an independent task force identifying critical issues in the health and safety system. These issues included poor implementation of legislation, under-resourced regulatory bodies, and a lack of coordination among injury prevention agencies.

health and safety technology could reduce the high rates of workplace fatalities and injuries in New Zealand

Fast forward to 2024, and although improvements have been made it’s clear as a safety community that we still have a long way to go.

The Cost of Inadequate Practices

In 2023, the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum estimated that New Zealand’s inadequate health and safety practices cost the economy around $4.4 billion annually. This prompted the formation of another independent task force to explore the root causes of these ongoing issues with the findings indicating that New Zealand has not effectively implemented health and safety reforms.

The country has also failed to learn from successful international examples and the government has made insufficient progress, with the 2018-2028 Health and Safety Strategy still lacking a concrete action plan. While new reforms have been announced, there is an urgent need for immediate and tangible actions rather than prolonged inaction.

The Role of Safety Technology in Transforming Health and Safety

So how can swift and effective changes be made to enhance New Zealand’s health and safety performance? At SiteConnect, we believe integrating advanced health and safety technology can play a pivotal role in addressing these challenges from the ground level by providing software accessible to the people our software pledges to protect.

Boosting Accuracy and Efficiency with Incident Reporting Software

Safety software can significantly improve the accuracy and efficiency of incident reporting. By replacing manual, paper-based systems with digital solutions, organisations can reduce errors, ensuring timely reporting and follow-up. Real-time data and analytics from safety software allow for immediate intervention and trend identification, helping to prevent future incidents.

Customisation and Flexibility for Diverse Needs

By offering customisation and flexibility, safety software enables organisations to tailor the system to their specific needs. As a result, safety managers can focus on relevant metrics and make informed decisions.

Enhanced Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are crucial in managing health and safety. Safety software provides a centralised platform for all stakeholders. Prompt information ensures that the right people are notified, enabling swift action and collaboration.

Integration with Other Systems for Holistic Safety Management

Integration with other management systems, such as job and project management systems as well as human resource systems, creates a holistic safety management ecosystem. This seamless data flow enhances overall efficiency and effectiveness.

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Predictive Safety

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another area where health and safety technology can make a significant impact. AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data to identify patterns and predict potential safety risks. Understanding these patterns allows organisations to implement preventative measures and reduce the likelihood of incidents. AI-influenced safety systems can also automate routine tasks, allowing safety professionals to focus on more strategic initiatives.

Exploring Advanced Safety Technologies

In addition to incident reporting software, other safety technologies can contribute to improving health and safety performance.

Wearable technology, for example, can monitor workers’ health and safety in real-time. Devices like smart helmets and wristbands can detect environmental hazards, monitor vital signs, and send alerts in case of emergencies. This proactive approach helps prevent incidents before they occur.

Health and safety technology in use

Drones and Remote Monitoring for Hazardous Environments

Drones and remote monitoring technology are revolutionising how organisations manage safety in hazardous environments. Drones can perform inspections and surveillance in areas that are difficult or dangerous for humans to access.

Drones also provide real-time footage and data, allowing safety managers to assess risks and make informed decisions without putting workers in harm’s way. Remote monitoring systems can also track environmental conditions and equipment performance, ensuring that potential hazards are identified and addressed promptly.

A Decade of Innovation Ahead

As we look towards the future, the realm of health and safety technology is poised for remarkable growth over the next 10 years. With advancements in artificial intelligence, IoT (Internet of Things), and wearable devices, the landscape of workplace safety and personal well-being is set to undergo profound transformation.

health and safety technology can help to foster a culture of safety within organisations

Fostering a Culture of Safety Through Technology

Ultimately, the goal of health and safety technology is to foster a culture of safety within organisations. Our vision at SiteConnect is to make safety processes more efficient, accurate, and transparent, technology encourages a proactive approach to safety management.

Workers are more likely to report incidents and hazards when they know that the process is straightforward and that their concerns will be addressed promptly. This transparency and accountability are crucial for continuous improvement and for ensuring that safety remains a top priority.


By adopting advanced health and safety technology, New Zealand can make significant strides in improving its health and safety performance. The technology addresses existing gaps and fosters a culture of continuous improvement and accountability. With coordinated efforts and a commitment to implementing these solutions, New Zealand can set a new standard for health and safety. This will ensure a better future for its workers and will allow businesses to thrive.

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