New star rating system builds safer businesses

  • Kate Wilkinson
  • Judith Collins
Labour ACC

ACC Minister Judith Collins and Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson today announced the Government’s plans to introduce a Safety Star Rating system to make the good safety records of businesses more visible.

Ms Collins says the voluntary system, currently being developed by ACC and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will encourage injury prevention and more effective workplace health and safety practice.

“The Safety Star Rating system will build on the best characteristics of the kiwi way – pride, competitiveness, transparency, quality and excellence – to highlight businesses’ safety records,” Ms Collins says.

“It will be available to all employers and self-employed people who want to join, and will use existing compliance data together with online training programmes to make it easy for all New Zealand businesses to apply for a rating.

“A star-rating will increase visibility of a business’ safety record. This will show evidence of a safe working environment for current and prospective employees, and will be an advantage for businesses when tendering for future work.”

Ms Wilkinson says the rating system is another important step in reducing the number of workplace accidents and deaths in New Zealand.

“People have a right to know that when they leave for work in the morning, they will be coming home safe and well at the end of the day,” Ms Wilkinson says.

“Businesses will be able to market their safety record when tenders are let and consumers will have greater confidence in companies with a high safety rating.”

The Safety Star Rating System will be introduced in three stages:

  1. From April 2013, the system will be extended to employers using existing Workplace Safety Management Practices (WSMP) and the Accredited Employer Programme (AEP)
  1. By mid-2013 the Workplace Safety Discounts (WSD) programme will be expanded to all small businesses. WSD offers employers a 10 per cent discount on the work levy for three years if they complete a health and safety training course and self-assessment of their workplace
  1. By late-2013 an e-learning program will be launched to enable all other employers and the self-employed to be eligible for a Safety Star Rating and WSD.

The Safety Star Rating system is one of a series of initiatives to strengthen workplace safety detailed in the upcoming Business Growth Agenda report on Skilled and Safe Workplaces which will be released this month.

Both Ministers say the initiative will help the Government achieve its goal of a 25 per cent reduction in workplace services injury and fatalities by 2020.