Comments

  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    Because our current economics system drives businesss to continously "improve" efficiency of work using financial profit maximisation as its main KPI.MattD2

    And would that change if company officers potentially could face Corporate Manslaughter charges?

    It could be that improvements may be implementation of existing clauses of legislation or regulations. It could also be that improvements may require changes to existing or creation of new legislation or regulations.

    I don't take a punitive approach since experience has shown me it achieves little - generally it creates a negative effect.
    KeithH

    The problem with not taking a punitive approach Keith is evident in the appalling driving standards you'll witness daily on our roads, quite apart from speeding, sit and watch an intersection controlled by stop signs and see how many fail to come to a complete stop and check the intersecting road is clear in both directions, or the number of folk yapping on cell phones or updating their social media.
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    Keith, I have to think "We" is all of us, as many have said, we can't impose "safety" on those below, we can't eradicate "stupid" and very few are working with unlimited budgets. Sheri makes some very valid points about giving workers the tools to do their own risk assessments but owners/directors/managers need education, support and encouragement to do what they can. And that may well mean,ceasing operations, and listening to their staff, particularly departing staff.

    Part of the solution has to be a better funded regulator, ring fencing the fines that they successfully impose.has to be a part of that, but like the health system, more boots on the ground than bums on chairs in the PR department will achieve more tangible results.So some increase in funding will be needed.

    Finally, I firmly believe Parliament needs to revisit the ACC legislation, it is one of the differences between NZ and other roughly similar jurisdictions, exactly what any changes (if any) should take place are the province of due process, but the ACC legislation isn't the same animal that was originally proposed or enacted.
  • Safety Shoes
    There isn't one Rob, but neither is there a requirement for an open ended value for given PPe
  • Safety Shoes
    Some interesting approaches to providing PPE. Can someone please point me in the direction of the HSWA Regulations that say it is legal to ask employees to contribute (money) to providing PPE when PPE is required - Maybe I've missed itRobb

    Their employer has done a risk assessment, decided on the basis of that to require their employees to wear safety shoes and decided on some options that will meet their requirements and will provide any of these options FOC to employees- there by meeting HSWA requirements.

    If for whatever reason said employee wants something different, employer contributes up to their level, $200(say) and employee pays the difference. If said employee feels that employers $200 boots don't provide a sufficient level of safety, then their option to raise the matter with their H&S Rep, etc. but can't see "I don't like the supplied style, colour etc" working, but sizing could be an issue which could see the employer paying full amount (if boots had to be specially made, or to cater for a disability etc).
  • Where can I study health and safety law?

    You misunderstood my meaning Matt, we have laws that control drivers behaviour on our roads, these laws are frequently ignored by drivers who think they know best. In effect, doing their own risk assessment. ie I can drive and talk on my cell phone, I can exceed the posted speed limit by 50Km, No one uses this road that I am about to intersect therefore I don't need to stop at this compulsory stop sign.
    In the case you cite, the beak sided with the driver, probably should have been appealed by the Police Traffic Prosecutor, but that's their call.
    My point is, even now, there are folk out there who will try and do less if they can get away with it, hence their question "is there a legal requirement for me to incur cost by having to do this"
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    I think individuals should be able to choose whether they want to take the bike or scooter or even walk. I wouldn't be focusing on whether work is liable if someone gets hurt while biking / walking to and from places for work. You get covered by ACC anyway.Yonny Yeung

    And there's the problem right there, not picking on you Yonny, but that comment is exactly why I believe ACC is a flawed concept.
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    ACC is very generous. If you die reasonable funeral costs are covered and if you have dependants they get cash for quite some time.If you don't die you get 80% of your lost earnings plus a truck load thrown at you to get you rehabilitated.Andrew

    A lot less generous than when it was initially introduced,Andrew. And the right to sue is the main difference between here and every where else that is killing less workers as a percentage of total workforce, it is my belief that either that has to change, or we consider Corporate Manslaughter as an alternative. The Jurisdictions that have tried it have had very few successful prosecutions, but maybe because it is a possible consequence, it resonates with BODs Owners, Managers and Staff for that matter.

    Thing is, we keep doing what we're doing, folk walk out their front door in the morning and never return, or they spend months in hospital/rehab etc and return home damaged.

    I refuse to believe that we can't do better
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    Tweak two. Two different things. ACC = compo for loss of earnings. Prosecution = bringing people to account. There is already a mechanism for that. But it is expensive to run a prosecution. More money spent by worksafe on prosecutions = less money for inspectors on the ground.Andrew

    Four dedicated liaison staff from seconded from WS to advise/ work with Police isn't going to cost much, easily covered by cutting back thinly disguised Political Party advertising masquerading as information on a number subjects. Bigger fines will help fund more inspectors, As a response to Pike River, we largely imported Austrialia's H&S laws and Regulator system, with the caveat we have put less boots on the ground, so it would seem that is part of the solution.

    ACC barely covers anything, and folk are ticked and flicked off as soon as possible. One big difference between every NZ and other jurisdiction that we can compare stats with, is the lack of a right to sue. I have long held the view that this encouraged a laissez-faire approach to both Health & Safety and Product Safety. In Australia, a dodgy product will get recalled ASAP, here much slower, to move.
    Prosecution for H&S violation, and suing for compensation would wind up being two different processes, one not neccesairly dependent on the other .

    Here is something that is relatively untried - more prosecution / fines of workers.Andrew
    I wouldn't disagree, but stats show WS's prosecutions slowly waning of managers/owners/directors, and the level of fine that could be leveled at a worker will be in the thousands, rather than the sort of level that makes a board of Directors take a more proactive approach to H&S.,
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    OK so what levers would I tweak, from direct observation, most larger SMEs are doing/trying to do the right thing. So more education/support for small SMEs that currently are winging it where they can, tweak One would help with that.

    Tweak One, more Inspectors on the ground for Worksafe, WS-Police Liaison Officers appointed for each main center, every serious harm accident investigated and where applicable a prosecution brought..

    Tweak two, Where a serious harm/Workplace death has occurred, the ACC Legislation be amended to give the deceased nearest and dearest the opportunity to sue for damages, The one big gripe of families thrown into disarray by Dad, or Son not coming home again ever, is no-one is held accountable and they don't get their day in court.

    Tweak three: Go hard and fast on the Workplace Codes Of Practice promised by the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, sentencing guidelines and plain language interpretations.
  • Old Safeguard Magazines
    Another free to a good home, not quite the collection Phillipa has accumulated, but:
    2015-152 July/Aug
    2015-153 Sept/Oct
    2015-154 Nov/Dec
    2016-155 Jan/Feb
    2016-156 Mar/Apr
    2016-157 May/Jun
    2016-158 July/Aug
    2016-159 Sept/Oct
    2016-160 Nov/Dec
    2017-161 Jan/Feb
    2017-162 Mar/Apr
    2017-163 May/Jun
    2017-164 Jul/Aug
    2017-165 Sept/Oct
    2017-166 Nov/Dec
    2018-167 Jan/Feb
    2018-168 Mar/Apr
    2018-169 May/Jun
    2018-170 Jul/Aug
    2018-171 Sept/Oct
    2018-172 Nov/Dec
    2019-173 Jan/Feb
    2019-174 Mar/Apr
    2019-175 May/Jun
    2019-176 Jul/Aug
    2019-177 Sept/Oct
    2019-178 Nov/Dec

    Pickup Lyttelton, if you want to cover the courier cost will sort that out for you, prefer to get rid of the lot in one go.
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    Doing that might also have some impacts out in the wide world too Sheri, wouldn't hurt to knock another 50-75 off the Road Toll, could help with drowning toll and other outdoor pursuits- I'm not a "cotton wool" fan, just a fan of looking at the risks involved and planing how to reduce them, and what self rescue is going to look like/require
  • Fair Pay Agreements - opportunity?
    If they were actually doing what they said they were doing/going to do, that might have been the case, but they weren't.
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    Didn't say eliminate Aaron, limit was the word used and it sounds like your company is doing all the right things to limit unfortunate events, unfortunately some aren't.

    Pre employment testing could reveal a predisposition to risky behavour, just as pre employment drug testing could indicate some risky extra curricular habits
  • Where can I study health and safety law?
    We ought not be doing what we do because the law says so.

    But I am stunned OP can be studying a Grad Dip and the law isn't mentioned at all in the course.
    Andrew

    Sadly, there are still dinosaurs out there who will ask "is there a legal requirement to do this or that", so personally I favour a prescriptive approach to a minimum standard, embellish all you want after achieving that..

    I look at it this way, the road rules could say, do a H&S assessment and then drive at the speed that your assessment tells you you will arrive safely- not really going to work is it (although in the absence of traffic enforcement, that is what happens frequently)
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    Yes we have considerably added to the possible pool of absolute numbers and the fact is, that is in effect trending down.
    What isn't trending down is the number of serious harm accidents, that has been constantly climbing over time- so we're not doing that well.

    Given that 33 of the 52 workplace deaths were 'vehicle accidents' there is a sizeable overlap.

    It's also interesting to think about the fact that this is where a moments inattention, or other human failings can have drastic consequences. While we can endeavor to train, and make people aware of these, it does little to stop basic mistakes.
    Aaron Marshall
    Would be interesting to break those down into those caused by Driver Fatigue, Mechanical Failure, Substance Abuse, Driver Distraction via cell phone- those we could do something about, and there is of course the "stupid" factor that we can only limit by through pre employment vetting. That will be tough in the current era of plenty of work vs a lack of workers to do that work.
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    the concept of killing workers cannot be a discussion because the outcome of the investigation may highlight some other reasoning for the fatality.Don Ramsay

    Not intended to be a discussion on the concept of workers dying or getting seriously injured in a given workplace accident Don. more a question of what is it going to take to see these statistics trending down?

    I have my views about what's required, but I'd like to draw out some other opinions. Of course, for specific deaths/accidents, there will be specific issues involved, but broadly/generally, what is it going to take to see the trends heading downward. While I agree with the Andrews, that some accidents are caused by "stupid" saying we're at an irreducible minimum now, seems wrong to me.
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    That is an interesting perspective on port operations, and inter-company lines of control Sheri.

    So, your theory is, let's just accept that every year 50-60 people are going to trundle off to work,and not come home, they are just collateral damage, the cost of doing business and most likely they brought it on themselves- as you say no one can fix stupid

    Anyone else think the same, or do you think there are some stones left unturned?
    Steve H

    Missing the point people, talking about what needs to happen to reduce the workplace death rate this country has, which hasn't changed appreciably in the last twenty plus years. We had a change of H&S legislation following Pike River, a new H&S Regulator- from my perspective, nothing has changed.

    It is the culture of the workers that has to change.Andrew P

    Possibly, because at the end of the day we have over-engineered solutions so individuals no longer think. Or they lack motivation to be responsible for their own actions. They are perhaps lazy and just sit back and rely on all the safety devices around them.

    Or really. It might be because we cant fix stupid. (without bankrupting ourselves in the process)
    Andrew

    The Andrews lay the blame for the fifty to sixty workplace deaths on the workers involved (or are you singling out just port workers guys?). Certainly some workplace deaths may be due to Darwin's Laws Of Natural Selection in operation, but surly it's drawing a long bow to infer they all are, and what about the rising number of serious harm accidents in workplaces?[Remembering that I am talking all workplaces, not just Ports]
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    Perhaps we are in "the last mile"

    You know. where you put reasonable resources into something and you get 90% there. But to extract that last 10% is extremely difficult and the return on investment may not be there.
    Andrew

    We've been a long time in that last mile Andrew, and for the record, I am talking about workplace deaths and serious accidents generally, the latest one (that I am aware of), just happened to be a port worker. Doesn't really matter what the workplace was, dead is dead whatever way you slice and dice it.

    So, your theory is, let's just accept that every year 50-60 people are going to trundle off to work,and not come home, they are just collateral damage, the cost of doing business and most likely they brought it on themselves- as you say no one can fix stupid

    Anyone else think the same, or do you think there are some stones left unturned?
  • Why Are We Still Killing Our Workers?
    Workers per annum, each year on average 50-60 workers die in a workplace accident
    Its a bit early to say "we are killing our workers". No doubt in the fullness of time there will be an enquiry and causes of death will be determined.Andrew
    We had one following Pike River, out with the old and we'll setup this new model.

    It's had enough time to bed in, at least a tiny bit- it hasn't changed the average number of deaths per year, the only thing that's changed is the the number of serious accidents, that's trending up.
    So my question/challenge is, what does it take to change this?
    .
    Arguably,hell it's only 50-60 deaths per year, back in the bad old days, we managed to take out 20-30 people on a holiday weekend, but after 1973 enough was enough. We spent money on better roads, we trained drivers a little better, we started to be able to buy safer cars. We spent money on advertising about the dangers of drunk driving. We started to use speed cameras and red light cameras to encourage safer driving.

    All of these things, despite a doubling(almost) of the population, more and more vehicles using the roads, have meant that you have a greater chance of making it home alive after a holiday weekend road trip now, than you did in the early 1970's.

    So why can't we replicate this success in the workplace?
  • Work Should Not Hurt
    True Chris, spent a bit of time on building sites and seen lot's of guys worn out and broken before they are particularly old.The resources that you've linked to are a start, but lots of conversation needs to be had about doing things smarter, rather than handraulically.

    The points about van layout are well made, while we were roaming around testing and tagging, about 30% of our workload included tradies and their gear in vans and site huts- the better laid out ones were a joy to do, the dump and run brigade, yeah nah, no so much.