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Safety First: Our PPE Stories on World Day for Safety and Health at Work


Today, as we observe World Day for Safety and Health at Work, we wanted to highlight WM New Zealand's commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of its employees.

This year's theme, "Acting Together to Build a Positive Safety and Health Culture," underscores the collective responsibility of everyone—from workers to leaders and influencers—to foster safer work environments.

At WM New Zealand, safety is a foundational value. Our guiding principle, Safety - Haumarutanga, embodies our commitment: "Safety first in everything we do." We ensure that our team members go home safe every day, care for each other and our communities, and prioritise health and well-being in all our operations.

Here, we highlight three examples of the PPE outfits our workers use to maintain safety and health on the job.


Ashley – Senior Project Engineer, Electric Vehicles

Ashley’s work involves the construction and maintenance of high-voltage electric trucks, handling 700-volt DC battery packs where the threat of arc flash incidents is ever-present.

For this high-stakes role, Ashley utilises:

  • Arc flash suit (“bombsuit”): Designed to protect against explosive energy and severe burns resulting from arc flash incidents.
  • High voltage gloves: Featuring three layers to guard against electrocution.

Ashley highlights the necessity of this PPE when performing disconnections or working inside battery packs, stressing the importance of mental readiness for such high-risk tasks.

Siale – Waste Auditor

In his role as a waste auditor, Siale meticulously sorts rubbish from supermarkets and malls into distinct categories such as food scraps, miscellaneous items, and various types of bags. The inherent risks in this work, including exposure to hazardous substances and falling objects, necessitate comprehensive protective measures.

Siale's PPE includes:

  • Safety boots: Providing essential protection against falling objects.
  • Protective dress: Shielding arms and eyes from debris.
  • Safety glasses: Safeguarding his vision from particulate matter.
  • Masks: Filtering out dust and airborne particles.
  • Gloves: Preventing cuts and punctures from sharp objects.
  • Hi-vis vest: Enhancing visibility to ensure a safe working environment.

Torrence – Bin Maintainer

Torrence’s responsibilities include repairing and customizing bins for customers, a task that involves welding and handling potentially hazardous materials. The risks of burns and inhalation of toxic fumes are significant.

To mitigate these dangers, Torrence employs:

  • Leather welding jacket: Offering robust protection against burns.
  • 3M PAPR helmet: Equipped with a ventilation system to prevent the inhalation of welding fumes, ensuring he breathes clean air.