The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) scheme, alongside the workplace health system, is being challenged by one critic.
Mental health advocate Graham Roper is claiming that the joint ACC and WorkSafe NZ action plan 2016-2019 provides little to no evidence of how to achieve stated objectives related to the reduction of psycho-social risks and health-related safety risks.
“Evidence to date suggests that these focus areas are neglected,” he noted.
Roper highlighted that psycho-social risks and health-related safety risks happen across all sectors and at best accounts for an estimated 100-200 deaths a year and serious harm happening to one in five workers at some point in their lives.
“I acknowledge that I have a potential conflict of interest in challenging these two organisations, as the founder of a Psychological First Aid program specifically designed to meet at least a part of the stated objectives,” he said. “However, it was the development of the program, which enabled a focused, in-depth understanding of the key issues.”
Roper suggested the Ministry of Health’s information on mental health is incomplete or confusing. He also commented on WorkSafe’s lack of action to bullying related serious harm reports.
For any of the targets to be met, both organisations must engage in implementation strategies that are accessible and easily understood by the whole community, he added.