• Cycling to vs cycling at work
    I did not expect this question to generate so much response. It was a one-off question about a one-off trip, and is not going to be worth writing up a company procedure for, unless it starts to become more common. However, I've been talking offline, reviewing what's been said here, and looking further where I can. These are my thoughts are all that feedback:
    !) The benefits for cycling more and driving less are huge - mental health, physical health, direct cost, indirect environmental cost, etc. The Waka Kotahi information above stresses this a lot.
    2) The risk factors are the same for a car. Driver error, other vehicle error, road and traffic conditions. I've looked up the accident rate and it's slightly higher per km for cyclists than drivers, and the likelihood of injury is greater. But the mitigation is the same - driver training and being aware of the risks. Where is our risk appetite? If we are too worried to allow cycle use in company time, why do we allow car use? The line is arbitrary. As per Chris H above, we aren't in the business of fixing hazards associated with NZ roads.
    3) Other factors such as maintenance of the bicycle, whether it is suitable for carrying any required cargo, and whether the clients will have a positive impression. We allow private vehicle use for some instances, and stipulate that the vehicle must be presentable, suitable and well maintained. The same extends to bicycles.
    4) Insurance. This could be considered commercial use. But a bicycle is insured under house and contents, rather than as a vehicle so doesn't have a commercial use clause. If there is an accident while riding a bicycle on company time, would the riders vehicle third party insurance cover damage to any other vehicles or property. There have been a lot of bicycle thefts covered in the newspaper recently. Would the bicycle be insured against theft while at the client's site? I am not an expert on this level of insurance but am happy for anyone here to answer, although it doesn't really fall into our H&S lane.
  • Cycling to vs cycling at work
    For a start I wouldn't be encouraging people to cycle to work.Andrew
    By encourage - we have provided bike sheds and showers so that people feel more comfortable about riding to work. And we take part in the Aotearoa bike challenge month Love to Ride challenge as one activity in the 'Be Active' part of the 5 ways to mental health stress and wellness initiative. So we enable cycling to work, and encourage a healthy and resilient lifestyle.

    All sweaty and hair a mess with cycle clipsAndrew
    As i said, this site is only a few blocks away.

    As from there do the risk assessment. Personally. Id err on metal vs metal rather than metal vs a squishy thing.Andrew
    The consequences are greater, but the exposure is very small- likelihood being made up of exposure and chance of the risk happening. There are a lot of higher risks deemed 'as low as reasonable practical'.

    What is the company culture in terms of sustainability?Jane
    Sustainability is a project I'm working on, moving from just claiming to be in favour of it to having policies and 'walking the talk'. Watch this space, but there are bigger challenges to close out first.

    Thanks for the debate though, it's helping me get my head around the issues.
  • Career advice in the world of health and safety
    Hi Riki,

    My advice has always been to always apply up. Apply for a job that you're underqualified / under experienced for, and then grow into it. Employers are more likely to choose an applicant with ambition and a lower starting salary than one with less drive and a higher starting salary.

  • The Privacy Act - a Vacuum of Understanding
    Some DHBs have been telling me that they need an assurance that only vaccinated contractors go to their site but are also reserving the right to request full name, date of birth, date and type of vaccination and other personal information for any staff that might be going to their site in the future.
    I've said yes to the assurance, but no to the other request.
    The wording similarity between each DHB makes me think they either all have the same lawyer or they are cutting and pasting from the Act but getting it out of context.
    Other non-health clients have made similar demands.
  • Health And Safety At Work Reform
    It says on the website in the links that submissions closed 04 October 2019. Will there be more consultation?
  • SOPs and Competency Assessments
    One SOP format I saw had a why column, with both Quality and Health and Safety notes in it. There was an instruction such as "place guards over the edges", and a why column saying "because they are sharp and you'll cut yourself!" I might implement that on the next SWMS I write up.
  • EAP Providers
    We recently changed providers, after several complaints from staff that the existing service had not met their needs. They had cancelled and changed appointments at the last minute, and then not handled the complaint well.

    The change process involved reference checks with other clients of the provider, as well as interviewing the providers to determine their processes and capabilities around service provision and complaint handling. But it is a difficult call to make due to the confidential nature of the service being provided.

    However, we are very happy with the new service and the staff feedback that we have had has been good.
  • The Long Arm Of The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
    I've always told employers that if we are sending staff overseas, but they are still paid from New Zealand, then we were still paying ACC levies. These staff were then expected by ACC to be protected by an equivalent or better H&S management system and legislation as was required here.

    I may have been technically incorrect, but I was convincing enough to then be required to set up site safety plans and other systems for them while working and staying overseas.
  • Resilience - focus on people or the system of work?
    We are setting up a 3 pillar system of stress management:
    1) reducing and managing stressors at a system level (i.e. managing workload and overtime),
    2) improving resilience and mental wellness at a personal level (5 ways to mental wellness), and
    3) having a safety net when things go wrong, that includes Employee Assistance Service, emotional first aid training for managers and personal stress management plan training.

    One company I worked at had a stress management policy of "providing free massages on a Thursday." While that was nice, it didn't address any systemic issues or build staff resilience.
  • Telarc Audits - Re-write your SMS to follow ISO 450001 format
    Nothing in the ISO standards, but some of the other standards I've had to "work with" and be be audited to listed specific documents that had to exist. The auditor spent their time writing down the reference number of the document without ever reading the contents. They are the guys that need the cross referenced index in a specific manual.
  • Frivolous Friday Mk2 AKA The Dead Horse?
    - Beat the dead horse with a trumpet. Same result but it will be slightly more entertaining.

    - Before anyone finds out that it's dead, sell raffle tickets to win a free horse. No one will complain about the horse being dead, except the guy that won, so you give him his money back. 500 tickets at $5 is $2495 profit.
  • Telarc Audits - Re-write your SMS to follow ISO 450001 format
    I agree with Sherri and Craig as well.
    I've always provided an appendix look up table between the manual and different standards that it covers - especially true for QMS manuals that have had to cover off ISO, CCC (China), UL (USA) and other standards and keep multiple different auditors happy. They just had to look up the cross reference to get to the correct chapter.
    Don't go fixing it if it ain't broke.
    There's nothing in the standard saying how the manual has to be laid out.
  • How to reduce 'safety clutter'?
    Paper folders with pieces of paper that have to be kept up to date across multiple sites
  • Using "days since last accident" signs
    How about a "days since last safety improvement" sign? It has been zero days since there was a positive safety suggestion. It has been three days since the last near miss was reported. It has been a week since the last group wellness activity. It has been three weeks since the last H&S committee meeting. Focus on the lead indicators.