More than 100 rebuild leaders are gathering now at Addington Raceway in Christchurch to discuss safety leadership and learn lessons from the Pike River tragedy.

The event follows the quarterly meeting of the Canterbury Rebuild Safety Charter steering group, and has attracted representatives from the more than 70 signatories and endorsees to the Charter.

Nicholas Davidson QC, the lawyer representing the Pike River families at the Royal Commission of Inquiry will speak about safety leadership, one of the key actions of the Safety Charter.

“It is very promising to see so many industry leaders here today, demonstrating their strong support towards the Safety Charter, and to health and safety in the rebuild,”

says Steering Group Chairman and Chief Executive of Fletcher Construction, Graham Darlow.

“As the largest construction project in New Zealand, it is absolutely crucial that the industry shows leadership when it comes to keeping our people safe,”

Mr Darlow says.

“One of the very practical ways we are working towards reducing harm in the rebuild is by developing a process and tools for signatories to assess their performance against the Charter.

“This will look at their health and safety processes, and will be the first opportunity for them to see how they’re performing against others. Signatories will start using these tools from next month.

“In a highly competitive industry, it is very pleasing to see so many companies and organisations working together to rebuild safely.

“2014 will be a significant milestone in the rebuild, with construction activity due to peak later in the year. The Safety Charter Steering Group and working groups will be focused on helping signatories and endorsees meet their commitments, and will be working to lift the bar on health and safety performance,”

Mr Darlow says.

Signatories to the Safety Charter agree to ten actions, creating a consistent and collective approach to health and safety on all rebuild sites. There are now more than 70 signatories and endorsees to the Charter.

Since the launch of the Safety Charter in July this year, a Steering Group has been established to oversee the development of the Charter, and three working groups have been set up.

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