New health and safety rules will hopefully mean that builders will think less about rushing things and more about their safety, a Wellington builder says.

Legislation coming in today puts an onus on everyone in a business – from the staff to the directors – to take their share of responsibility for preventing accidents in their workplaces.

Construction is one of the deadliest industries in New Zealand and Brian Maridale​ of Maridale Construction says falls are one of the industry’s greatest risks.

“We’ve just got to be more aware but our company’s always been pretty good, we haven’t had any serious accidents.”

But he says health and safety measures are also costly and there is considerable pressure on builders to keep costs down. “People start taking short cuts.”

Trade association Certified Builders has been running a series of health and safety seminars, and chief executive Grant Florence said there had been an overwhelming response from builders and tradespeople keen to get up to speed.

But given the industry’s traditionally slow response to change, he was still concerned.

“About one third of builders aren’t affiliated with a major trade association that provides education and training for its members on industry matters such as health and safety, which leaves a significant gap,” Florence said.

“While health and safety is often seen as a compliance burden on businesses, it’s a very necessary one, especially for the building and construction industry.”

via: Catherine Harris,