• My struggle to engage our workers and change the culture
    Focus on improving work, rather than identifying safety issues. Most people are happy to talk about making their job better. Remove frustrations, difficulties, pressures they face due to inefficiencies etc and then the safety improvements will come naturally enough. Most incidents are people trying to get the job done in some less than ideal situation. Fix that, no incident. See some of the recommendations on the safety book thread
  • Effective sign - Speed limit
    I will defer to the likes of @Karl Bridges on the psychology of this, but it seems to me a bad idea to normalise seeing children in the road that you don't have to react to.
  • is a spider bite a work related LTI?
    My standard response to these - why does it matter how you classify it?
    If it is likely to be a not-infrequent issue in your work environment, put some appropriate mitigations in place, as per Sheri's comment above. If it isn't, don't. All based on what is reasonably practicable risk reduction, of course.
    If it's a discussion about classification to meet some arbitrary corporate reporting requirement, spend the time and effort making that system is value adding instead of arguing over which box to report it in.
  • Rebecca Macfie on Pike River, ten years on
    Hi Peter, some examples:
    Psychology and social psychology - understanding why and how people make decisions (we have started to make some good moves in this area)
    Systems engineering / systems thinking - how complex systems interact and the breakdown of direct cause and effect with increasing complexity
    Engineering - lessons to be leant from process safety and safety in design
    Risk management - understanding stochastic models and how that impacts on risk exposure
    Statistics - recognising why most of what we measure and track has almost no predictive value
    Leadership and management theory - for (hopefully) obvious reasons

    That's not exhaustive, though. This is what I wrote when thinking about this in my book:
    A top quality safety professional is conversant with organisational culture; organisational psychology; individual psychology; motivational theories; basic medical requirements; an understanding of chemicals and their effects; probability and risk theory; ergonomics; engineering techniques across all disciplines; operational activities across a range of industries; the process impact of temperature and pressure; legislation and regulation; communication techniques and influencing skills from workface to board and everywhere in between; statistical analysis and a whole host of other complexities
  • Rebecca Macfie on Pike River, ten years on
    One of the concerns I have about the safety industry is that it is too insular. We don't spend enough time listening to, and working with, people from other disciplines. As a journalist looking in from the outside, have you seen anything that you think we would particularly benefit from?
  • When to Stop Recording Contractors LTI Days
    I have to ask the question - why does it matter?
    He has had a serious injury. Presumably, you have done what you can from a learning and understanding perspective and implemented any improvements you can. Does it make any difference to how you operate whether he is off for 2 weeks or 12?
  • FENZ (Covid-19 Fire Safety Evac Schemes) Amendment Regs 2020
    Thanks Ross - I had no idea this was in place and we're linked into various channels, including directly to the MBIE and all of government response to the pandemic.
    We have abandoned it (sorry - not the question you asked!). We focus on the potential of the incidents that occur and the lessons we learn from investigating them. There are so many pitfalls with TRIFR and, even worse, LTIFR. The main one being that it drives people to spend all their time manipulating categories to stop things being recordable, rather than focusing on what happened, caring for whoever was hurt and how to improve.
  • Tag Testing
    This might help a little It is worth noting that testing and tagging is not a mandatory legal requirement, which most people are unaware of. It's about risk management, not blindly following pre-set intervals.
  • Laying charges against officers: a useful strategy?
    There is also a significant difference between directors of small organisations who are very hands-on and those of larger businesses that are operating a genuine governance model. I believe the officer duties were intended to emphasise the latter, but the Australian experience has been almost entirely owner-operator type convictions. I imagine these are easier to make stick.
    I would rather see an educational strategy first. Looking at most boards, there is a significant lack of people with detailed operational knowledge, let alone specific safety knowledge and, related to @Sheri Greenwell's comment above, almost every board went to lawyers to understand their obligations, rather than safety specialist to understand how to get better. The IoD guide has a very good set of questions for officers to ask, but no real guide as to what a good answer looks like.
  • Mental Health / Wellbeing Policy
    We have used this model as the basis for our wellbeing approach - it has been very well received so far and is a finalist in the Diversity Works awards
  • Legality on company ToolBox Meetings
    I assume you mean "not a legal requirement" rather than "not legal"?
    Some previous discussion here
    There are requirements for making people aware of hazards etc. A toolbox talk is one way of meeting some of these obligations, so it is a bit more complex than whether it is or is not a legal requirement.
  • What value do we put on a life?
    It's a very interesting question and far too complex for simple numbers that governments try to put on things.
    Risk is highly subjective. If we put a multi-million dollar cost per life when thinking about medicines for example, things get very costly. Latest figures (2017) gave about 25000 new cancer patients in NZ. Admittedly not all will be at risk of death, but you could suggest that untreated, they may all be. At $4m per life that is $100bn which is four times the health budget - just for cancer patients (this is obviously over-simplistic). You can do similar numbers looking at the NZTA spend against 350 fatalities per year. Individual projects stack up, perhaps, but a higher level view may not.
    But if you look at a probabilistic analysis, a widely used 'broadly acceptable' limit for workers is 1 in 100,000 risk of fatality per year. A cost benefit analysis would suggest $4m is too low. In my view, anyway, but as I say, it is very subjective.
  • Dr Joanne Crawford on links between musculoskeletal & psychosocial risks
    Hi Joanne
    I'm interested in the direction of causality - it's easy to see how MSDs could lead to mental wellness issues, particularly if they are chronic, but less obvious how it might work in the other direction. Is there definitive causation, rather than just correlation and does it work both ways?
    Also (bonus question), what impact do you imagine the double whammy of covid-19 stress and poorly designed home-based workstations may have - how should people manage that with their workers returning to the office?
  • H&S Health Check
    Hi Amy
    Find someone who knows what they're talking about and invite them in for a fact finding discussion and then a review of effectiveness. Once they know what you do and what you intend, they can select a framework to do it. Any worthwhile auditor will be able to draw on a range of sources plus their own experience to give you an indication of what you're doing well and where you could juice things up a bit. In my previous role I developed this process although here it has been co-opted by the asset management team. The first two steps mean that the actual review is targeted on what you need rather than wasted spending time reviewing a list that some committee thought up without any context.
  • Grant Nicholson on Covid-19 and the law
    What is the balance to be struck between the risk to our individual employees, which may be extremely low given the likelihood of transmission in their area/job, and that of the broader community which may be much larger, when we're considering what is reasonably practicable?
  • Hillary Bennett on responding to mental harm as we do to physical harm
    Hi Hillary
    We are often asked to demonstrate progress for the initiatives we put in place.
    How can we measure improvements (or not) in mental health?
  • Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    Thanks everybody - great questions.
  • Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    I enjoy the ambiguity and grey areas. There is no right answer, despite the way many people have approached safety as a compliance issue. I guess this is a nice way to close the strategy discussion as well. There is no right strategy. Some are more successful than others, but often you won't know until later. It's messy, it's uncertain, it's complex. A lot of people struggle with that because they like certainty but I would be very bored, very fast in a certain world. Safety captures that complex stuff really well and that keeps me challenged.
  • Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    @Jon re frequency rates
    I have replaced it with a simple graph of incidents occurring broken down by potential harm. Those which were high potential get a detailed review in the monthly report. It’s a rolling graph so we can see if they’re increasing or not without putting a number to it, because I’m interested in direction of travel not absolute numbers. I’m also tracking effectiveness for critical risk controls. I changed our reporting template with a Board paper explaining the rationale and there was no pushback. I’m also looking now at ways to get better information coming through from the field and reporting on that – see the sensemaker tool from Cognitive Edge as an example.