News release - 12 June 2023
Construction industry groups frustrated by government delays: Wood’s office offers no explanation
Construction industry bosses are becoming increasingly frustrated over government delays in finalising health and safety regulations covering staff who work in their sectors.
The complaints centre around the Plant, Structures and Hazardous Work regulations, part of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Scaffolding Access and Rigging Association, chief executive officer, Tina Wieczorek, says the existing regulations are years out of date.
This creates significant risks to anyone working in the crane, scaffolding, roofing and elevated work platform sectors, as well as many others.
She says the new regulations, designed to reduce work-related harm, were first drafted in mid-2019 but still haven’t been finalised.
Nor can government say with certainty when they will be gazetted, she says.
“Meanwhile we have thousands of construction staff in cranes, up scaffolding, on roofs and and using elevating work platforms every day, all working in potentially risky environments and who deserve the most up to date regulations to ensure their safety.
“Government doesn’t seem in a rush to get the new safety regs in place.”
Wieczorek’s concerns are backed by the Roofing Association, Hire Industry Association, Cranes Association, Forklift Industry Association and the Elevating Work Platform Association.
They all agree the new regulations need to be consulted on urgently and gazetted as soon as possible to avoid any further undue risk to workers.
“But we’ve been told nothing’s likely to happen until at least March next year,” Wieczorek said.
“Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, we don’t have an accident in the meantime that the new regs would have prevented.”
None of the associations knows why the proposed regulations have been delayed for so long, despite repeated requests for that information.
“Even our OIA requests to transport minister Michael Wood’s office haven’t shed any light on that,” Wieczorek says.
They say industry is largely in agreement about how the new regulations should be designed, so there’s not much of a sticking point there.
Once gazetted, the new regulations will update the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to ensure it is better aligned with current industry practice.
“It might seem odd for an industry group to call for regulations to be introduced quickly, but we are concerned for the safety of our staff,” Wieczorek said.
“Government needs to act on this, and act quickly to keep people safe.”
For more information and to arrange interviews with the leaders of the Associations mentioned in this release, contact Daniel Paul (021) 400 993.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Sky Tower, we've dusted off some old photos from inside the CANZ archives for everyone to see. These were the submission photos for Job of the year in '98.
View the photos from the Job below
This morning I attended an event run by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, with keynote speaker Hon Michael Wood.
Minister Wood is the Minister responsible for the Plant & Structures Legislation and therefore I took the opportunity to ask him why it's delayed and when we can expect it. Check it out here -->
Here's a rundown of the rest of the event.
Minister Wood set the scene by urging us to remember this is very much still at time of transition in New Zealand, with borders only having been fully open for four weeks.
New Zealand is still reconnecting with the world, transitioning out of pandemic settings and reopening for business.
The government recognises that the rates of productivity in New Zealand are low and is focussed on addressing this issue. This is viewed as fundamental to the long term strategic growth for the economy. Minister Wood made it clear that the government sees moving to a low carbon economy as being hand in glove with this initiative.
Good quality freight and infrastructure lead to a low carbon economy. Indeed, the Minister stated that there are no successful thriving cities across the world, who's transport plan that involves increasing the number of cars coming into its city centre.
Minister Wood then ran through each of his portfolios - key points summary below:
Plant & Structure Regulations - the Minister advised:
Q. What is causing the delay?
A. The sheer complexity of the legislation and the work required to make sure it’s good legislation. Also a choke point when it comes to the people needed at parliament dealing with this legislation.
Q. When will we see the draft out for final public consultation - is the government committed to getting this done before the end of its term?
A. The final draft for consultation is expected out in the next couple of months.
Well, what a conference!
Thank you to everyone for coming together for this amazing event. We had the largest ever crane event held in NZ and can’t wait until next year!
Congratulations to the winners of the Crane Awards 2022:
Trainee of the Year – Catherine Dudson
Trainer of the Year – Leverage Training
PTE Trainer of the Year – Major Oak Safety Training Ltd
Training Company of the Year – NZ Crane Hire
People’s Choice Award – Smith Crane & Construction Ltd Pacifica Building Tower Crane Demob / TC 2 Removal
Leader of the Year - Stuart Hindley
Lift of the Year – HEB Construction & Smith Crane & Construction Ltd - Peacocke Bridge Pier Installation
Project of the Year - Smith Crane & Construction Ltd - Turitea Wind Farm
You can check out the photos from the conference here
We know our members work across many sectors, but the construction industry is a big part of what we do.
See the latest update from Infometrics (economics consultancy) which provides an update on building work put into place and how this is tracking overall.
In celebration of International Women's Day 2022, click here to read our feature article on the amazing kiwi women who are "breaking the bias" in the crane industry.
The Crane Association of New Zealand is proud to announce a new Christmas colouring competition for kids in the crane industry! We have some awesome prizes up for grabs! Details on how to enter are below.
All you have to do is:
1. Print off the colouring competition for your kiddos (click the button below)
2. Get them colouring!
3. Email completed entries by 26th November to firstname.lastname@example.org
or mail it to us at the address at the bottom of this email
It's a great way to get your kids involved in cranes and a particularly great activity for those still in lockdown.
We'll announce the winners in the December newsletter.
Good luck kids!
Click below to download the colouring in competition
CANZ is pleased to announce that an agreement between CICA and CANZ was signed last month.
This agreement laid out the terms to allow CANZ to bring the CrewSafe Operator Competency system to New Zealand.
CrewSafe is the standardised VOC assessment tool for the Australian crane industry, which will be tailored for New Zealand machines and qualifications before it is rolled out here.
CrewSafe provides machine-specific, impartial, peer assessment with documented evidence of competency. This will set the standard for the New Zealand industry.
Watch the signing of the agreement, featuring Brandon Hitch CICA CEO, Jan Coton CANZ President and Sarah Toase of CANZ. Hear for yourself how this system will benefit your business.
Watch below the webinar with Pam Mitchell from HASANZ
Please see below official communication from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi) regarding permits being revoked for travel on Auckland Harbour Bridge. This is for vehicles over 60 tonne who have previously been permitted to travel at 10-20km per hour. This is a permanent revocation of permits.
The Crane Association of New Zealand is setting up a zoom call for members to join early next week, to enable direct Q&A with Waka Kotahi.
OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION REGARDING HARBOUR BRIDGE VEHICLE RESTRICTIONS
As part of regular monitoring and management of the Auckland Harbour Bridge to ensure that we protect the life of the structure, Waka Kotahi is advising that vehicles over 60 tonne that have previously been permitted with speed restrictions of 10km and 20km per hour are now required to use the alternate Western Ring Route and avoid the bridge.
Waka Kotahi is writing to all impacted permit holders to advise that their permits to cross the bridge are revoked and that they will be issued with new permits to exclusively use the Western Ring Route. There are currently around 750 permits of this kind.
The Western Ring Route has been designed for these types of vehicles to provide an alternate route to the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
There are no restrictions for normal non-permitted vehicles and heavy vehicles that operate at standard axle limits as well as busses who can continue to use the bridge without a permit. The Auckland Harbour Bridge is still safe to use, and these restrictions are designed to ensure the long-term operation of the structure.
Reviews of overweight vehicle data from the Weigh-in-Motion systems on the Northern Motorway have confirmed these types of overweight vehicles (vehicles over 60 tonne with speed restrictions of 10km and 20km per hour) have been crossing the bridge at speeds higher than the permitted allowance in the 50 km/hr to 70 km/hr range.
These increased speeds create higher impact load effects and the resulting increased risk of fatigue.
The Waka Kotahi long-term plan for the Auckland Harbour Bridge focuses on managing the main structure and extension clip-on bridges so that the bridge continues to provide the connectivity needed to cater for travel across the harbour. We are pleased that the regular monitoring processes we have in place are working and that we able to implement these restrictions at the appropriate time which means that there is no impact to general traffic using the bridge.
While the Auckland Harbour Bridge has been strengthened on several occasions in the past, further strengthening is no longer possible. This means that maintaining the structural integrity of the bridge now requires these restrictions.
Careful and ongoing strategic management of the bridge will ensure its prolonged life as a critical link, with these load restrictions.