Mental health at work – increase of stress

A report from Business NZ and Southern Cross has found increased levels of stress in 31% of NZ workplaces (with 57% noting no change). The Wellness in the Workplace 2017 report shows there is real value in addressing wellness issues: a typical employee’s absence costs employers from $600 to $1,000 a year (adding up to about $1.5 billion across the NZ economy in 2016). Time lost due to absence averages about 4.4 days per employee in 2016 (or around 6.5 million days per year). Productivity is also lost through “presenteeism”, with over 40% of staff turning up to work when they are unwell. The central lesson from the research is summarised neatly on page five: “While there has been a strong focus on safety issues for employees due to recent health and safety legislation, relatively less attention has been placed on health issues for staff”. There is also a good summary, in infographic form, of five steps that workplaces can take to improve wellness. You can download the report here.

The basics – Civil Defence Emergencies

The Ministry of Civil Defence provides advice on preparing for emergencies at work here: As part of this, they explain the building owners’ obligations under the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 1992 (which can be accessed here: The law requires tenants and employers to develop procedures (multi-risk preparedness – not just for fire) for the prevention of harm, as well as for identifying and managing hazards. To help with this, WorkSafe NZ has a factsheet to help you assess whether you are prepared. See There is a series of templates to help with preparations here: The Civil Defence web pages also have a guide to the preparation of a civil defence cabinet, along with information on hazard assessment. See: