Workplace safety
Haumarutanga wāhi mahi

NZDF workplace safety

Workplace safety is about ensuring systems are in place to manage risk and prevent harm in the workplace and as a result of work.

The NZDF wants to ensure no one suffers a serious preventable work-related injury or illness while working for the armed forces. While there may be times when our people are required to operate in hazardous environments of extreme risk due to the nature of military operations, the NZDF will strive to eliminate risks - and where risks cannot be eliminated entirely, they will be managed and reduced so far as is reasonably practicable.

The NZDF is committed to providing a healthy and safe work environment for all military and civilian workers, contractors and other persons. It has a Safety Management System which is based on the four pillars of governance and leadership, risk management, assurance and training, and promotion and engagement.

We aim for everyone to be responsible for safety in everything they do. This means leaders fulfilling their safety responsibilities and workers taking responsibility for their own safety and that of others. The NZDF also encourage participation from all workers through reporting, feedback opportunities, safety committees and engaging with safety information. All workers receive health and safety training starting at induction and with ongoing safety promotion throughout employment.

The Health and Safety at Work Act (2015) underpins our policies and practices along with the Defence Act (1990), Defence Force Orders and other regulations and orders. Our core values of Courage | Tū kaha, Commitment | Tū tika, Comradeship | Tū tira, and Integrity | Tū māia reinforce our safety framework.

Identifying safety risks within the workplace

As a Defence Force, a safe workplace supports our operational effectiveness.

Our wellbeing - physical, mental, spiritual and social - also benefits from a safe workplace, and by extension so do family and whānau wellbeing.

Given the importance of safety in the workplace, the NZDF conducts risk assessments by scoping, identifying, analysing and treating any risks. Treating can mean eliminating the risk altogether, or minimising it if elimination isn't possible.

The NZDF also encourages workers to report safety events and concerns using our Safety Event Management Tool (found on the Safety page of the ILP).  This is so the NZDF can review risks and ensure they are adequately managed.

Respectful conduct

Everyone has the right to feel safe within their work place.

The NZDF promotes a professional workplace where everyone feels safe, and can go about their work upholding the values of dignity and respect. Diversity is embraced and we have clear expectations that our people will not engage in behaviours such as harassment, bullying, discrimination or bias against gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture or religious background in the workplace.

Health and safety support within NZDF

All workers within NZDF have access to Base/Camp safety advisors, health and welfare professionals, and each Service has a safety directorate. NZDF workers also have access to Unit Health and Safety Coordinators, and Health and Safety Representatives.

The NZDF Directorate of Safety can also provide advice on safety matters.

Additional resources