• Position Paper on Cannabis
    We legalised prostitution in 2003; I am pretty sure there has not been a proliferation of prostitutes standing in every street corner since then. The Prostitution Reform Act decriminalised prostitution and established a legal framework around the sex industry and provided protection for prostitutes from undesirables.
    The Cannabis and Legalisation Control Bill will provide a similar level of regulation around a problem that already exists. Like it or not, cannabis is and has been in our communities, our workplaces and our families for ages. A yes vote will allow us to provide a framework of control.
    We do not have a clear understanding of cannabis use because it is illegal to test, to sample or to understand what the drug is and how much is too much. No agency is permitted to perform studies on cannabis use. A no vote will keep t New Zealand organisations confused and unclear about how to manage cannabis and prevent workplaces from getting tools, services or products to know and understand what impairment is (it will remain a minefield).
  • Who influenced you?
    My dad - in 1986 he gave me (for my 14th bday) a single storey ex housing nz house, a crow bar, a chainsaw, some wise words and 48 hours to demolish the house so I could fundraise for a sporting tournament in Australia. Those words were "If it will fall on you dont cut it, if you will fall dont stand on it and most importantly, don't hurt yourself or else you will have to answer to your mother". Simple and effective.
  • wearing a harness
    I went through this about 6 months ago with our training provider. I went to them with this:
    When I read the GPG for MEWP it says the following re harness use:
    A recommended means of achieving competence for harness use is the NZQA Unit Standard 23229 – Use a Safety Harness for Personal Fall Prevention When Working at Height.

    Taking this literally, it means the recommended adequate training standard for all knuckle boom users (as they must wear a harness when using a knuckle boom) is:
    US 23229 – Use a Safety Harness
    US 23966 - Describe Types of Elevating Work Platforms (EWPs) and Legislative Requirements For Their Use
    US 23962 - Assess the Worksite, Prepare and Operate a Self-Propelled Boom Lift Elevating Work Platform (EWP)

    I asked if they train to the US23229 for harness use with their MEWP (knuckle boom) course. This is the response I got from our training provider.

    Common question that one!

    Whilst the GPG states that the recommended means of achieving competence with harness use is US23229, we don’t cover that unit standard on our standard MEWP course. There are already 10 credits (3 x units) achieved on the standard MEWP course.
    We do however, cover the correct selection, use and fitting of a harness as a matter of course.

    Some PCBU’s are taking the line and following the GPG recommendation in that they want to have their users trained in both the particular MEWP units and the 23229 unit while some are happy with just the particular MEWP units.

    I guess it is up to the individual PCBU to decide.

    So, in a round-a-bout way of answering you question – no, we don’t award US 23229 but do cover the selection, use and fitting of a harness for MEWP work.

    It appears this decision is based around a business case, not about providing adequate training. I have gone to numerous other providors, and what was said above is common practice. Its kind of frustrating that training providers offer courses that do not cover all the recommendations of an industry GPG, meaning additional courses are needed.
    We now train all MEWP knuckle boom users in
    US 23229
    US 23966
    US 23962
  • Seatbelts in Self-Propelled Mobile Mechanical Plant
    I am sure I will be corrected if I am wrong, to my knowledge there is no ‘legal’ requirement to fit seatbelts for fitting sake.
    If, however your risk assessment of the work identified operators being thrown out of the cab (and crushed) during a roll over and a known control is wearing seatbelts, then yes you have a ‘legal’ responsibility to fit them, so far as reasonably practicable.
    But…if fitting the seatbelts is not reasonably practicable, as in that the cost of installing them is grossly disproportionate to the risk, then again you don’t have a ‘legal’ responsibility to install them.
    I am guessing you have other controls in place such as trained and competent operators, operating with the doors closed, roll over protection structures (if fitted), and flat and level ground which is suitable to carry the weight of the machine. Then these combined controls make the risk of roll over low. Therefore with all these assumptions, I would suggest you probably don’t need to retrofit them.
  • Seatbelts in Self-Propelled Mobile Mechanical Plant
    It is safe to assume the seatbelt is a safety device, chances are the manufacturer spent an enormous amount of money and R&D to install it when the plant/equipment is made. I highly doubt they spend that time and money without a reason (yes I’m sure someone will pipe up and say its to cover them from litigation…but NZ is a no fault state).
    It would be an interesting argument saying you decided not to use something the maker of the plant/equipment deemed necessary.
    This applies for just about everything, if it was put there by the people/company making it, who am I to say it is not required.