• Simon Lawrence
    52
    The Working Safer Vision included improvement objectives for reduction of fatal and serious workplace injuries. Without getting too deep into the minutiae of where we are now, raw data from the Worksafe website on work related fatalities shows no significant improvement in the simple number of deaths. 2013: 57, 2014 44, 2015: 45, 2016: 50, 2017: 50. But the baseline and ongoing stats for the Vision is adjusted using a mind-boggling formula to achieve a rate called "Age-Standardised Rate per 100,000 Person Years". This is consistent with international practice. Using this, NZ has already achieved the goal for 2020 (albeit with a sign of a worsening rate as we speak).

    Contrast that with the so-called National Road Toll. It has always been the case that agencies, including the Police, steadfastly refuse to use adjustments for more population, more cars and more kilometres. We are emotionally told that "This year's deaths are the highest since Year X, (when we were all driving Austins and the Auckland Harbour Bridge had 4 lanes)". The underlying rationale, I suspect, is that we are being rallied to support "the cause". We must never let sissy things like population adjusted rates deflect our evangelistic purpose. "Onward against the odds!" "We shall overcome!"

    Internationally, road death comparisons are available that use rates like road fatalities per 100,000 population, per 100,000 motor vehicles, per billion kms. NZ is included in the lists. I'm sure all the relevant agencies would have those figures over a long period of time, which may, in fact show NZ is improving. (I haven't tried to find out yet). But they don't talk about them publicly. We just get dismal adverts showing drunk drivers dying in ditches, and exhortations which include the implied critiscism that we are all toads on roads.

    What does the Forum think? Should we stay with the emotional thing, or should we get real? Either way, why can't road deaths and work deaths be treated the same way?
  • Andrew
    60
    I would firstly like to see Worksafe figures reconcile with ACC work claim fatalities
    2014 = 111
    2015 = 104
    2016 = 103
    2017 = 119
    2018 = 85

    (as for police stats - they arent interested. Its all about their funding and promotion. Which is why people get ticketed in a supermarket carpark for not wearing a seatbelt. A verbal warning would likely have had an equal preventative impact. As for teh 4km speed tolerance which for some reason doesnt exist over holidays. Whiffs of revenue gathering waft in the air)
  • Simon Lawrence
    52
    I was talking about work related fatalities and serious non-fatal injuries. ACC figures may include long term health issues, which are specifically acknowledged in the Working Safer paper as hugely more than immediate deaths. But not in included in the goals. They acknowledge that. Can you check that out?
  • Simon Lawrence
    52
    That was a reply to Andrew. Sorry, still working this app out.
  • Paul Reyneke
    18
    I wholeheartedly agree with you Simon. It is in a sense the same as the myth-busting post Peter B started. We make up stuff to support our point-of-view … and call it ‘safety’

    I think it originates from the very old-fashioned belief that you can scare people into submission. If we are told our road toll is increasing, I won’t drive under the influence/speed, etc.

    This, in turn, is the legacy of the all-too-prevalent belief in classical conditioning. This theory originates from Pavlov (born in 1849 ... yes, NOT 1949!) and Skinner (born in 1904) and states that you can change behavior with reward and punishment.

    This is, sadly a very common misconception and we perpetuate this all too often. I cannot believe we still cling to a theory from the 1930’s that has so many times proven to be wrong. We are NOT Pavlov’s dogs, we are masters of manipulation. I don’t change my behaviour because the stats are good or bad. I drive under the influence/too fast because … fill in the blank … it has nothing to do with the stats!
  • Aaron Marshall
    13
    I wholeheartedly agree with you Simon. It is in a sense the same as the myth-busting post Peter B started. We make up stuff to support our point-of-view … and call it ‘safety’Paul Reyneke

    "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics" comes to mind there.

    This outright lying (and that is what it is), along with unrealistic goals makes a mockery of Land Transport's methodology.

    If you're going to use statistics, then they need to be unemotional, and undebateable.
  • Simon Lawrence
    52
    If anyone's interested, I did more research on this and published a post to various media. It goes into more detail about the Working Safer Vision and also some available World Health Organisation data on road deaths per 100,000 population.

    For road deaths, out of 188 countries, NZ is 29th, but after you're out of the top 30-40, most countries are those still developing roads and safety laws, so 29th isn't anything to be proud of. Most western European countries have far lower rates than us. But you might be surprised to know who is worse than NZ. The USA, for example, has a lot higher rate than us. We are on a par with Italy. But if you've ever driven in Italy, you won't be using that as boasting rights.

    Here is a link to my analysis: http://public.safetybase.co.nz/accident-statistics-adjusted-data/
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