Simon Bridges’ comments on health & safety are ignorant and irresponsible

12 March 2020 · Clint Van Marrewijk

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SaferMe a leading health and safety software provider is criticising National leader Simon Bridges’ for his threat to remove health and safety regulations.

In a promise to create a “bonfire of regulations” Bridges suggested health and safety regulations could be removed as they were a “burden” on New Zealand businesses.

But SaferMe CEO Clint van Marrewijk says this is a fallacy.

There is a wealth of international evidence showing a clear link between health and safety performance and financial performance.​ ​Companies that have healthy and safe employees and exceed the standards set by regulators are the companies that perform the best financially, not the other way around.

The PriceWaterhouseCoopers 2008 report “Building the Case for Wellbeing​"​, and a 2017 study from the University of California titled “Earnings expectations and employee safety” were prime examples that had shown this link, he said.

Van Marrewijk slammed the comments as irresponsible given New Zealand’s poor work safety record. As an example, NZ's construction industry fatalities per 100,000 workers are double that of Australia, and 4 times higher than the UK.

We need to stay-the-course and support businesses to keep working hard to develop competency in this area, not strip back responsibilities​.

Van Marrewijk said he’d like to see Bridges stop pandering, retract his comments, and instead adopt a leadership stance focused on improving safety outcomes for New Zealanders.

SaferMe works with a network of health and safety consultants in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK to make workers safer through technology. The company is headquartered in Wellington.

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