This website has been set up to provide basic information on the dangers of using solvents in the workplace and how to protect yourself from exposure. The information is provided as a guideline only and not as a replacement for professional advice.

The Glove Up campaign was started in response to the death of, and as a dedication to, our son Jason Gibson.

Jason passed away on the 12th of November 2003 aged 29 of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia.

For 2½ years Jason’s Mother (Annette) along with his Wife (Sonia) researched the cause of his death. Through this research ACC came to the final conclusion that his (Leukemia) death was classed as “Industrial Death through Solvents”.

Our Aim is to have our GLOVE UP sign on all Carcinogens rated category 1, as this has been proven to create Cancer in Humans.


  • 26 February 2020 Silicosis guidance translated into Tagalog
    We’ve been regularly updating businesses about what we and other New Zealand Government agencies are doing following the emergence in Australia of accelerated silicosis. This includes updating and producing new guidance, and translating some guides into Te Reo Māori, Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional, Hindi, Samoan and Tongan.
    We’ve recently published translations into Tagalog (Filipino). You can find the Tagalog translation of the following guides:
    Silica dust in the workplace
    8 key things for workers to know: Controlling silica dust in the workplace
  • 26 February 2020 Workplace preparedness for novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
    New Zealand’s Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the situation regarding a new type of coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
    In this context, minimising the spread of infectious diseases in the workplace is all the more important to keep staff safe and well at work… more
  • 26 February 2020 Keeping safe working in the sun  
    The Cancer Society of New Zealand has produced an animated video about how to apply sunscreen.
    The Health Promotion Agency/Te Hiringa Hauora has also relaunched its sun safety campaign #DumbBurn, aimed at encouraging young people to avoid getting sunburnt. Have a look at the campaign on Facebook.
    We also have guidance for businesses on protecting workers from solar UV radiation, and for workers on keeping safe in the sun.
  • 26 February 2020 – New noise control video
    Noise at work can be harmful to hearing, but hearing loss is preventable if you adopt noise control measures.
    Check out our new video on noise vibration control which adds to our noise management video series. We also have lots of information on our website about ways you can manage noise risks, including isolation, absorption, acoustic enclosures, reducing impact noise and damping.  Watch Work Safe video.
  • 18 September 2019What New Zealanders don’t know about cancer
    Annually, an estimated 750-900 people die from work-related health issues in New Zealand. Approximately 250 deaths are work-related lung cancers, 90 deaths are from asbestos-related mesothelioma, and 25 breast cancer deaths can be linked to the ill effects of shift work….read more
  • 29 August 2019Latest WorkSafe news updates: 
    We recently published our Worker Exposure Survey report, the results of which will help establish the prevalence of a wide range of occupational risk factors across industry groups and occupations.
    This is a significant step in establishing evidence of current occupational exposures for New Zealand workers. The current levels of reported exposures also demonstrate the importance of businesses and workers doing more to manage and monitor risk to worker health.
    read more
  • 9 August 2019Latest WorkSafe news updates: 
    WorkSafe has completed an important part of its ongoing investigation into the Northwood gas explosion and is able to give residents in the area an assurance that they can continue to use reticulated gas safely….read more
  • 16 April 2019Latest WorkSafe news updates: 
    From 1 June if you are over the thresholds for class 6 (toxic) and class 8 (corrosive) substances, you’ll need to have established a hazardous substance location (HSL)….read more
  • 13 February 2019Latest WorkSafe news updates: 
    We have recently updated our worker and business respiratory protective equipment (RPE) guidance. This guidance, along with a respiratory selection tool, is now available through our new RPE page….read more
  • 4 February 2019Latest WorkSafe news updates: 
    Two similar health and safety failings within three months have cost Rotorua timber company Claymark Limited over $680,000 in fines, reparations and costs….read more
  • 12 July 2018 Latest WorkSafe news updates: 
    Keeping you in the know about hazardous substances – training and recording of hazardous substances – storing toxic and corrosive substances – reducing ammonia leaks – Asbestos found in Bunsen burner gauze mats and more…read more
  • 19 February 2018 Playing down workplace incidents doesn’t pay: Company fined $98,000 after worker left with skull fracture after a May 2016 incident left the worker with a skull fracture and head injuries requiring surgery and four days hospitalisation. The company failed to notify WorkSafe of the incident at the time, and then tried to downplay its severity when it did finally notify WorkSafe.When asked for a description of the injury, Trade Depot noted “probable concussion from impact” with no reference to extensive bleeding, fractures, surgery and hospitalisation.The incident also put at risk a 14-year-old on unpaid work experience, who was assisting the victim with moving the plasterboard……read more
  • 5 Dec, 2017 – Navy veteran who won compensation battle after linking his Parkinson’s to chemical exposure speaks out for first time: A New Zealand navy veteran who won a compensation battle after successfully linking his Parkinson’s disease to chemical exposure in the 1960s has spoken out for the first time about the fumes he likened to solvent abuse…….read more
  • 8 November 2017 It’s time – new focus on safely managing hazardous substances:  On 1 December the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 will come into force. The aim is to reduce both the immediate harm to people and longer-term illness caused by hazardous substances in the workplace… more
  • 27 October 2017 – WorkSafe says businesses must learn from their health and safety mistakes and ensure changes are effective and address the risks in the workplace. The warning comes after The Tasman Tanning Company was sentenced today in the Wanganui District Court just five years after they were fined for similar health and safety breaches….read more
  • 26 October 2017 – WorkSafe New Zealand is reminding workplaces to ensure their workers are using their health and safety equipment correctly. This comment follows the sentencing of McKee-Fehl Constructors Limited today in Wellington District Court. WorkSafe prosecuted McKee-Fehl…read more
  • 28 August 2017 – Nine Manukau precast concrete companies are better equipped to protect nearly 1,000 staff from potential airborne hazards at work, thanks to a WorkSafe New Zealand initiative… more
  • 23 August 2017 – Businesses must immediately take action to manage their known risks – identifying and listing them is not enough, says WorkSafe New Zealand….read more
  • 15 August 2017 – Two workplace injuries in two days and no notification – companies fined ….read more
  • 10 August 2017 – Worker burnt after risks not managed: Failure to adequately assess and control the risks of working near live electricity left a trainee worker with serious burns, says WorkSafe ….read more
  • Certified Safety Management system; Clarification: In the last email, we did not make clear that the requirement to have a certified safety management system applies to licenced businesses doing Class A removal work. If you do Class B work, this ….read more
  • Identify and address fall from heights hazards; providing the right tools for the job is paramount for workers working at height to avoid life-changing injuries, says WorkSafe New Zealand….read more
  • If you are one of the 150,000 businesses across New Zealand that manufacture, use, handle and store hazardous substances in the workplace, or transport them, we encourage you to subscribe to receive the WorkSafe hazardous substances email updates….read more
  • The Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations will come into force in December, aimed at reducing both immediate harm and longer-term illness caused by the work-related use of hazardous substances. Read the Hazardous Substances Regulations legislationread more
  • Lack of systems at the heart of a worker’s death.  WorkSafe New Zealand says businesses must actively identify and control risks that could kill or maim their workers.
    read more
  • Two students injured during an April 2016 school production of Sweeney Todd.  WorkSafe New Zealand has accepted an enforceable undertaking from the St Kentigern Trust Board following an incident in which two students were injured during an April 2016 school production of Sweeney Todd.
    read more
  • $33,750 fine and $22,069.60 reparation to injured worker for a timber supply company s poor safety systems.  Effective health and safety systems and practices in the workplace are essential to prevent harm to people while they work, says WorkSafe New Zealand.  This was highlighted at the sentencing of landscaping and outdoor timber supplier TW Transport Ltd today (10 March), after an employee lost two fingers while using an unsafe rotating blade saw to cut timber….read more
  • Experienced farmers figure high in vehicle-related farm death toll – WorkSafe’s data from 2015 shows that experienced farmers carrying out routine jobs with vehicles are getting caught out. In 2015, there were 19 fatalities on farms – 16 of those involved vehicles. In over 50% of the incidents, farmers were aged over 55 and…
    read more
  • Company director sentenced to home detention with the death of an employee who was buried in trench collapse along with his company Steelcon Construction Limited receiving fines and reparation orders totaling more than $175,000…
    read more
  • Worker left with a life of constant pain after being impaled and hang on a steel hook resulting with AFFCO fined $30,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $25,000 for failing in its duties…read more
  • Worker left with permanent disability and Te Awamutu company, John Austin Limited, being fined and ordered to pay reparation totaling more than $100.000…read more
  • Worksafe New Zealand urged all to Keep Calm and Keep Safe after hearing about far fetched requirements claims from sporting organisations and companies…read more
  • Even Territorial Authorities are subject to prosecution with charges being laid against the Hamilton City Council are the death of a zoo keeper…read more
  • First day on the job death leads to $180k fine/reparation for Gisborne-based logging transport operator…read more
  • WorkSafe’s first work-related health update – It’s a sobering thought that workers in New Zealand are ten times more likely to die of a work-related disease than from a work-related injury. Tens of thousands of people also have severe health issues because of their work.  For more information and links to very useful workplace resources click here
  • After a spike in cases of leptospirosis in Northland, farmers are being urged to take care around animals and to vaccinate their livestock…read more
  • Hamilton flooring company fined after employee suffers serious burns an fined $33,125 and ordered to pay reparations totalling $24,482.88…read more


From Tony Gibson of Gibson Decorators – (Jason’s Father)

The Wednesday before Jason passed away he came to my home and complained of Hayfever like symptoms. The night prior he ran to the top of the summit road and back where he told me he had a nose bleed. I said to him at the time maybe he should go and get a lead test (as he was a painter) as he had been doing some lead paint removal. The next day he went to the doctor and had a blood test taken. The following day, Friday at 4pm in the afternoon,he received a phone call from his doctor stating he should go to the hospital immediately as he had blood cancer.

The following Wednesday morning Jason passed away, 6 days after being diagnosed with Leukemia. He suffered 5 massive brain hemorrhages. As you can imagine we were shocked as we had been told prior to his death he had an 85% chance of recovery.

Since then I have made it my mission to find the reasons behind my son’s death.This is one of the reasons for this website.

In relating back to an incident where he had been working for an industrial painter a short time prior to his death:

Jason had pulled up at my home to collect his daughter. As he opened the door to his van he fell on the ground. I asked him, “Had he been drinking?”. He said, “No, I have been spraying the inside of brewery tanks with two pot paints”. He was some 25 feet away from me at that particular time and I could smell the toxins. I said he should not have his daughter in the van with him. I then went to the vehicle, looked in it and the vehicle was empty. The stench of solvents was coming from him through his pores as he perspired and not the van as I had thought.

Unbeknown to me at the time, I was to pass this vital information to OSH after the death of my son.

Since then I have realised the extent of the risk we take when using solvents – not just in the painting industry but all industries that use solvents. However, it is important to note that in 1989 the Cancer Research Association classified the whole of the painting industry as a category 1 carcinogen. Unfortunately for my boy this information was not passed on to the polytechnics when he was trained.

The statistics today show 1000 people die of emissions every year in New Zealand and a further 1700 people die every year from work related diseases. This, on average, means 50 people every week are dying UNNECESSARILY. With the proper education I feel this number can reduce dramatically – AWARENESS is the key.

Just some of the important facts to me are:

  • 4 years ago when my son died, 1 in 3 New Zealanders were affected by cancer. Today’s statistics are now 1 in 3 are dying of Cancer. CANCER is New Zealand’s biggest KILLER!
  • Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia is a particular pattern of chromosomal damage proven to be caused by solvents – Toluene and Xylene to name two.
  • Skin Contact – Solvents can be detected in the body within 30 seconds of skin contact.

Hence our Glove Up Campaign. I believe the most important solutions are to be able to identify your hazards – i.e. Solvents (eg. Benzene), Herbicides, etc etc and by correct labeling and Carcinogen Ratings.

Jason’s case is perhaps similar, or not, to yours. This is why the information in this website is not only directed at Painters and their industry but to Everyone. Upon reading the statistics and all the information we have on this site you may be able to relate it to your situation and hopefully have some further education or knowledge on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from exposure.

My Wife and I want to help, and to educate others so if there is someone else you can share the information on this site with, please do. We intend to keep a register of all solvent affected people as a reference for future statistics (see the Affected Persons Register on this website).

Remember it can be prevented.
Jason Gibson - died from workplace chemical poisoning
In Loving Memory
Jason Gibson
1974 – 2003

This introduction has been compiled by Leeanna (Jason’s Sister) and their Father.

We would like to thank our sponsors:

  • Trevor and Lyn Bills
  • Signs Display
  • Barry and Helen O’Brien
  • Nellies Bar & Grill, Mosgiel

We would also like to thank our supporters:

  • Resene Paints
  • Collision Repair Association
  • Decorative Supplies

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