Roading contractors around New Zealand have downed tools this morning to reflect on health and safety.

The on-the-job deaths of three Rotorua men in Pikowai in February and of another man at a roading construction site in Wellington's Ngauranga Gorge were the catalysts for the pause, the NZ Transport Agency said in a statement.

The "Pause for Health and Safety Day" involved all agency staff and industry workers pausing work from 8am to 12pm to focus on creating safer working environments and eradicating workplace accidents.

NZTA general manager of safety, health and environment Greg Lazzaro said the deaths were devastating for families, work colleagues, communities, firms and the wider construction industry.


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He said health and safety was the industry's top priority and strict policies were in place.

"We must all take actions to prevent accidents, which injure people while they are at work and we must never be complacent."

He said downing tools was an established practice for the industry to refocus their people on health and safety.

Higgins contractors Haki Hika, David Eparaima and Dudley Soul Raroa were clearing a culvert on State Highway 2 near Pikowai when they were killed in a crash involving four trucks.

One person has been charged.

Last month a 25-year-old Fulton Hogan worker was killed after being struck by a work vehicle while carrying out resurfacing work on State Highway 1 at Wellington.