The quarry industry wants the public's help to improve safety after four deaths in the sector so far this year.
The National Health and Safety Council for the mining and quarry sector says of the about 1000 quarry companies known to be operating in New Zealand, only half are registered.
This month, Worksafe NZ said new regulations would come into force from April, when all operators will be required to have a certificate of competence [CoC].
The certificate will show that a quarry manager has undertaken relevant education and training, and meets requirements for safe supervision of a quarrying operation.
Half of the four sites where deaths have occurred this year were not registered, including Heathstock Haulage in North Canterbury.
Owner Murray Taylor, 56, did not hold the required CoC and was buried beneath more than 1000 tonnes of rocks when an overhanging cliff-face gave way at the quarry in June.
In March an incident at Gordons Valley Lime killed worker Scott James Baldwin, 43. Worksafe has laid charges against that company and the matter is before the court.
Worksafe has also been investigating Tauranga's Oropi quarry after Tane Hill-Ormsby, 24, was crushed after being thrown from the rock cutter he was operating in April.
Mario Joffrey Lelinam, meanwhile, died while working at Waikaia gold mine in Southland last month.
Chris Baker, chairman of the mining/extractives sector Health and Safety Council, MinEx, admitted it had been a bad year. "We had four quarry industry fatalities in the past year and one in an alluvial gold mine. Two of those quarry fatalities occurred at small, unregistered sites."
Mr Baker said MinEx and WorkSafe had been working to identify all the smaller quarries around the country - but many were still off the radar.
"We know of around 500 registered quarries around New Zealand but there may be twice that many. These can present the most risk.
"Small unregistered quarries may be on the back of farms, forestry blocks or a rural property. While the owners may not be generating a lot of aggregate or lime, they still use machinery and sometimes explosives which demand proper health and safety practices."
[Quarries] haven't been regulated or overseen for a decade or more.
Mining spokesman for trade union E tu Ged O'Connell said the deaths were tough to swallow. They had all been classified as mining deaths, but four had been in the quarry industry.
The quarry industry had managed to wriggle out of the exhaustive legislative overhaul of the extractives industry after the Pike River disaster, he said. Instead, the focus was put solely on underground and open-cast coal mining.
"Really, with great respect to a lot of the quarry people, they wouldn't know good practice or best practice. They haven't been regulated or overseen for a decade or more. So there's some sympathy, but the sympathy rapidly disintegrates when you talk about workers' lives."
Figures released to the Herald by Worksafe show there have been 35 deaths in the workplace as at November 18, compared with 42 in 2014. There have been at least two more since then, with two Hawkes Bay farmers killed in separate incidents riding quad bikes this month.
Nine farmers have died so far this year after quad bike crashes.
Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff said the deaths proved the Government's watering down of its Health and Safety legislation classifying agriculture as a "low-risk" industry was "ridiculous".
Katie Milne of Federated Farmers said the rise in deaths from quad bikes was unfortunate. Farmers needed continued education on risks.
• Maramarua woman Veronique Bond lost her life after a truck reversed over her as she sat on her motorbike at a section of roadworks near her home in March. The truck driver, NZ Traffic Hamilton and the contract holder, Transfield Services [NZ] Ltd, have all been charged over the incident.
• Hamilton Zoo curator Samantha Kudeweh was killed by a tiger in September. Five organisations, including Worksafe, police and the Ministry for Primary Industries, are still investigating whether any charges will be laid.
• Mario Joffrey Lelina, 30, died after a high-pressure jet of hydraulic oil from a burst vehicle jack hit him in the chest at the gold mine in Waikaia, Southland, last month. He was working for earthmoving contractor Rosco Contracting. Worksafe is investigating.
• Tane Hill-Ormsby, 24, was thrown from the rock cutter he was operating after it rolled and crushed him at Tauranga's Oropi quarry in April.
• Scott James Baldwin, 43, of Timaru, died while working at Gordons Valley Lime, Waimate, in March.
• Vaughan Reid, 62, died on a farm near Takapau on December 17. He was found pinned underneath his quad bike against a fence after being out spraying weeds.
• Waipukurau man Aussie Richmond Tuhou, 69, died in December after he was injured in a quad bike accident on the Kiloran farm in Omakere he was working on at the time.
Top 5 fatal notifications by industry
2015 Agriculture: 18, Mining: 5, Forestry: 4, Electricity, Gas: 3, Arts and Recreation: 2, Total for year: 37
2014 Agriculture: 20, Transport, postal: 7, Construction: 5, Arts and Recreation: 3, Public Admin/ Safety: 3, Total for year: 42