Press release

Health & Safety Reform: A Positive Step forward for NZ Companies

Wellington, Tuesday 8 March 2016  

Health & Safety Reform: A Positive Step forward for NZ Companies

NZ companies could have a lot to gain with the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 coming into force 4 April 2016. The Act aims to reduce New Zealand’s workplace injury and death toll by 25 per cent by 2020 and will require leadership and action from business, workers and Government to achieve this goal.

According to Heidi Borner, Health & Safety Specialist and founder of Orange Umbrella Limited, companies that implement a proactive Health & Safety culture reap numerous benefits; ranging from increased profitability, reduced turnover and improved staff culture.

“The health and safety of people is the foundation of a strong company. Getting the business drivers right so that they are not creating risk and frustration for the people carrying out the work, will increase productivity, efficiency, innovation and quality” says Heidi Borner, Orange Umbrella.

The Electricity Engineers’ Association launched the Safety Climate Project (SCP) in 2010 to help to improve health and safety culture at both the company and industry levels with the the aim of reducing injuries and fatalities. So far 28 companies across the electricity supply industry have used Orange Umbrella® tools to learn how their company culture influences how their people work, and the findings are also used to feed into industry initiatives.

Unison Contracting Services Limited (UCSL) already had a good record with conventional health and safety audits and measures. UCSL came into the SCP in 2011 and targeted weak areas of culture that are not measured in audits. As winners of the 2015 ACC Safety Awards and the 2014 Workplace Safety Award, Unison’s commitment to monitor and change culture has been a positive step forward for the business, with tangible business results.  

Since the 2012/2013 financial year Unison reports to have a:

  • 300% increase in near miss reporting
  • 48% reduction in the number of medical treatment injuries.                                      
  • 49% reduction in the number of incidents (e.g. vehicle or utility service damage).
  • 47% reduction in safety non-conformances from field assessments.
  • 13% improvement in employee engagement from the UCSL staff satisfaction survey.
  • 10% reduction in staff turnover.          
  • Achieved low risk in key GSP® safety culture leading indicators
  • 250% return on investment

Charles Kaka, Chief Executive Unison Contracting Services Limited says:

“The business outcomes since addressing our Health and Safety culture include: ownership change,  more consultation between employees and management on health and safety matters, jobs are completed right the first time (saves time, cost, quality), health and safety is now seen as ‘the right thing to do’ not something we have to do to meet compliance requirements, and significant safety performance improvements, industry and location regional recognition. Unison keeps improving each year”

For business owners still struggling with the change, or wanting to be proactive in implementing health and safety changes that will impact business outcomes, contact Orange Umbrella Limited for a consultation.


For more information please contact:

Heidi Borner:, mobile 021-354-707

Charles Kaka :, mobile 021 739 376