Frequently asked questions

SafePlus is a new, voluntary, health and safety performance improvement toolkit for businesses. It defines what good health and safety looks like, above and beyond minimum legal compliance. SafePlus is a performance improvement initiative that is different from traditional compliance audit type products. It can be used to assess businesses’ health and safety performance and provide them with tailored recommendations on what they need to do to improve. It also provides businesses with tailored advice and best practice guidance on how they can implement such recommendations. The aim of SafePlus is to help make sure everyone in your workplace gets home healthy and safe.

SafePlus is a joint initiative developed by WorkSafe New Zealand, ACC and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

New Zealand has an unacceptably high rate of serious workplace injury, illness and fatality. The social and economic cost of people being killed and hurt in New Zealand workplaces is conservatively estimated at $3.5 billion each year, and inflicts an enormous emotional toll on the people affected. SafePlus will contribute to the Government commitment to reducing workplace fatalities and injuries by 25% by 2020.

No, the performance requirements for SafePlus are different and focused on ‘what good health and safety looks like’ and what is needed to support continuous improvement in performance. The assessment approach is also different to WSMP and WSD as it uses a behavioural evaluation assessment approach, rather than an audit focus on documented policies and procedures.

Unlike Workplace Safety Management Practices (WSMP) and Workplace Safety Discounts (WSD) a SafePlus assessment is not linked to a levy discount. ACC is moving to a model where levy discounts reflect workplace safety outcomes. While there is no direct discount for the SafePlus assessment, the implementation of recommendations from an assessment which improves your workplace safety outcomes may well have an effect on your levy. For example through the Experience Rating Programme, which you can find out about here(external link)

For the first time in New Zealand, SafePlus provides a credible, nationally recognised and authoritative definition of what good health and safety looks like – over and above minimum legal compliance – and provides advice and guidance on how to improve. SafePlus is a performance improvement initiative that is different from traditional compliance audit type products. It can be used to assess businesses’ health and safety performance and provide them with tailored recommendations on what they need to do to improve. It also provides businesses with tailored advice and best practice guidance on how they can implement these recommendations – to help make sure everyone gets home healthy and safe.

The SafePlus Onsite Assessment and Advisory Service uses a behavioural based approach which focuses on culture, behaviours, values, practices, people, perceptions. and attitudes – the elements that drive health and safety performance. This is completely different from a number of other products that look at document management systems, and primarily focus on written policies and procedures.

No. SafePlus defines good health and safety and provides advice and guidance. It is designed as practical ‘how to’ guidance which has been tested with businesses and co-designed with the health and safety sector.

Following their Onsite Assessment, businesses will receive an Illustration of Performance received to give them confidence and enable them to measure their improvements over time. SafePlus is delivered by independent assessors, but developed and endorsed by government.

Online Guidance and Resources – Free 

Onsite Assessment and Advisory Service – Costs are set by the independent Accredited Assessors and will vary depending on provider, scope of assessments and advice, business size and complexity, the critical risks being looked at and the sampling approach being taken in a specific business. For more information and guidance on scoping and sampling, which directly impacts on cost, see the Q&As for Businesses and Onsite Assessment and Advisory Services Guide for Business 

Online Self-Assessment tool – Free (available mid 2018)

Independent Accredited Assessors are available nationwide and some have sector specific and generalist experience. A public register is available for you to view Accredited Assessors offering services in your area. Alternatively you may be referred to an Accredited Assessor based on their reputation and expertise or existing professional relationship with them.

Visit the Accredited Assessor page to find out how to become an Accredited Assessor.

Worker benefits

  • Helps reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents and illness.
  • Supports worker behaviour change.
  • Reduces the financial burden and social impact of health and safety failure.
  • Improves confidence that they’ll be safe and healthy at work.
  • Lets them know their employer takes health and safety seriously and has their best interests in mind.
  • Supports the workforce professional development of health and safety practitioners and managers in a business.

Business benefits 

  • Helps reduce workers’ time off work, reducing your costs.
  • Improves productivity due to safer, healthier, happier workers.
  • Helps avoid the consequences and cost of workplace accidents.
  • Boosts your reputation as an employer of choice.
  • Gives you confidence that you’re following a credible, Government-approved standard.
  • Provides an independent and qualified view of current health and safety performance.
  • Tailors guidance and advice to support continuous improvement.
  • Shows leadership in health and safety within industry and wider community.

More detailed questions and answers, as well as a general fact sheet available here:

Questions and answers for businesses (PDF 417 KB)

Questions and answers for assessors (PDF 353 KB)

SafePlus fact sheet (PDF 234 KB)