Innovation in health and safety projects

  • Hon Iain Lees-Galloway
Workplace Relations and Safety

Five organisations are being awarded grants for innovative projects that help reduce injuries in the workplace, and help us to make progress in protecting the wellbeing of working New Zealanders says ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

The grants are part of ACC’s new $22 million workplace injury prevention incentive programme for businesses over the next five years.

The successful applicants are the Food and Grocery Council, Forestry Industry Safety Council, Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ), Beca, and a collective made up of the Auckland, Hawke’s Bay and Hutt Valley District Health Boards.

“Kiwis are well-known around the world for being innovative and hard working. That’s great, but the sad truth is that we also have an unacceptably high rate of workplace accidents compared to international standards,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.

“These grants we’re announcing today are about supporting business innovation and strengthening leadership on health and safety in our high-risk sectors. The projects include virtual reality, smartphone apps, and intervention training.

“These injury prevention grants will help ensure New Zealanders return home to their friends and whanau safe and healthy after work. They align with the Health and Safety at Work Strategy I announced late last year to drive sustainable, system-wide improvements.

“It is particularly encouraging to see two successful applicants, CHASNZ and Beca, working together to find modern safety solutions for the construction sector that is experiencing its worst fatality rate in a decade, with 11 deaths already this year,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.

In 2018 there were around 37,000 construction injury claims received by ACC. The injury prevention grants will help Beca and CHASNZ tackle this problem with an immersive virtual reality health and safety induction for the vertical construction industry, that is supported by advanced analytic techniques and better data collection.


  • This is the first of two funding rounds this year for the workplace injury prevention grants.
  • There were 92 applicants in this funding round that prioritised proposals that strengthened leadership in our high-risk sectors.
  • ACC supports the Government’s Health and Safety at Work Strategy through its injury prevention investments, injury management and rehabilitation services and levy product.
  • The total number of work-related injury claims in 2018 was 240,481.
  • The ACC grants are particularly focused on five high risk sectors that currently represent half of all severe workplace injuries:
    • Agriculture
    • Construction
    • Forestry
    • Manufacturing
    • Healthcare and social assistance
  • The ACC workplace injury prevention grants are in addition to the $15 million per annum investment in WorkSafe NZ to support their injury prevention programmes.

More information here:

Grant Recipients:

Beca (with governance by CHASNZ) - 0.26 million

To develop immersive virtual reality induction programme for the vertical construction sector.

Construction Health and Safety NZ – 1.5 million

To develop advanced predictive analytic techniques and better data collection (combining health and safety data with operational data) to inform strategies and solutions, as part of Project Whakatipu.

DHBs – 1.5million

To conduct research projects to better understand a 600+ supply chain. This includes a Safe 365 technology smartphone app for employees to enable tracking of health risks, hazards, observations, culture, training record, and incidents.

Food and Grocery Council – 1.5 million

To establish a new Health and Safety sector leadership group to design injury prevention initiatives in the food and grocery retail and supply chain.

Forestry Industry Safety Council - 1.5 million

To research, design and delivery of a range of intervention programmes and training for use of machines on slopes.