Pasifika health and safety education initiative to celebrate 15 years in 2021

A WorkSafe initiative designed for Pasifika workers will celebrate a new milestone this year.

PMN News reports the Puataunofo ‘Come Home Safely’ programme, focused on delivering health and safety messages to Pacific workers, will enter its fifteenth year in 2021.

WorkSafe’s National Advisor for the programme Hans Key says he has seen Puataunofo grow from strength to strength.

“Puataunofo is delivered by Pacific people, for Pacific people. Every workshop is tailored specifically to the business, is delivered using Pacific languages and it reflects Pacific values of family and collective wellbeing, allowing us to connect with our audience.”

The programme was established in 2006 to improve the health and safety of Pacific manufacturing workers in Manukau, as the most severe harm to these workers occur in the South Auckland area.

According to ACC data from 2015 to 2018, claims by Pacific workers for serious injuries grew from 13,744 to 15,418.

In 2019, Puataunofo was relaunched with extra resourcing from WorkSafe.

Despite Covid-19 restrictions in 2020, the Puataunofo team were able to deliver 75 workshops across Auckland and in other centres across the country.

Hans Key says the feedback he has received from businesses and those involved in the project has been positive.

“What we have heard is that participants not only engage with the health and safety messages delivered in the workshops, but also understand those messages are not only important for them, but for their families and wider communities too,” he says.

“We look forward to continuing to make a positive change and encouraging workers and businesses to rethink their health and safety responsibilities in 2021.”