• Requirements for contractors

    I used to work as a project engineer before I got into H&S. It was a while ago but we also used to write project standards, part of which included referencing the required legislative standards and added 'and any other relevant national or regional standards'. It is great that you are thinking of setting company standards over and above the relevant legislative standards. Your mechanical notes do seem to reflect some of the ASNZS 4024 1801 standard though. FYI the ASNZS 4024 1204 is the elctrical equivalent. We did specify electrical cabinet rating depending on the environment, for example, IP65 for dusty environments however, I think that may now be covered in more recent standards but am not sure. I am also 99% sure there are standards around sheathing of wiring as well. Another thing we used to specify was labelling of all wiring and breakers etc in electrical cabinets. Fault finding in complex machinery where the wiring isn't labeled is definately not fun speaking from experience, and is extremely time consuming.

    My suggestion would be to look what the different applicable standards are over and above the legislated standards so that you are not doubling up and note them in your company standards as well, as not all standards are incorporated into law i.e. if you don't specify them then the contractor/supplier does not need to comply with them. I would also specify that 'sign off by a registered engineer confirming compliance to the relevant standards and legislation is required' at various stages possibly depending on the size of the job. You may or may not want to follow the PS1 to PS4 process with smaller jobs.

    I don't know if that was helpful or not, you probably already have a lot of this in your projects standards anyway but thought I would mention.

    It also sounds like some contractors may need to be held to account more for their works and I don't see any reason why the local contractors on the smaller jobs shouldn't be held to the same project standards. I know it is always a battle with the smaller contractors who are not used to working with project standards but as you have noted, safety suffers if they don't meet the standards you require.

    I hope this was a little helpful anyway.
  • RCD & Test and Tag
    unfortunately I have come up against similar responses but on different H&S issues. Trying to convince management/directors that, although that point is not written in law, not following best practice with no feasible alternative is in effect still contraventing the HSWA, is difficult.
  • Asbestos: a state of denial?
    thanks for the tips. We are planning a big clean out of the workshop I have the most concerns about thus will keep an eye out on what is 'discovered'.
  • Asbestos: a state of denial?
    that is awesome that the young ones are leading the way. Great job Fletchers! In my previous H&S job I worked for a company supplying and installing timber stairs to the construction industry and Fletchers was certainly one of the companies I preferred to deal with due to their proactive and continuous improvement approach to H&S. Sites were generally well managed and the odd time I raised a concern it was dealt with immediately.
  • Asbestos: a state of denial?
    totally agree, education is definitely the key but I also find it is hard to educate someone on something they don't want to know about. I find a lot of the older technicians already think they know and think it is all over the top until they get sick but then it is too late. I think targeting the young in their training in all industries on h&s and the hazards specific to their industries to slowly make change is the key. My thoughts anyway.
  • Health & safety incomes
    agree, very low rate. Rates I have seen in job hunting have ranged from $30-$40 per hour which considering the survey stats is still low.
  • Asbestos: a state of denial?
    Thanks for your reply. I agree, the technicians should be wearing respirators. Glad that you as an ex Service Technician understood the hazard and planned accordingly. Unfortunately our technicians themselves and management don't believe it is an issue and don't want to plan or wear respirators. It is a culture issue that I am hoping to change over time and have started with arranging H&S training for management and hazardous substances training for key staff thus fingers crossed. It would indeed be good to hear what other workshops do. We also have a trucks division thus maintaining high use and wear vehicles i.e. more likely to come in contact with brake and other dusts.
  • Health & safety incomes
    My experiences with pay haven't been too good either, thank goodness not minimum wage offers though but certainly always less than $100k. I do understand that it is linked to qualifications hence why I am working towards a level 7 H&S Grad Dip but do have a level 3 H&S qualification as well as a BE(mech) and ME(management). I sort of fell into H&S helping out the family business but found I liked using my technical knowledge to help others hence continued with it. Also I guess the opportunities and competition for jobs is different in different areas of the country. The family business was at the opposite end of the country from where I live and difficult to maintain the job thus I started looking closer to home limiting my search to the area I live as my family (and me :smile: ) are settled here i.e. am not willing to move for work but have still been quite gob smacked at the high salaries some earn as seen in the SafeGuard survey and conversely some of the poor rates offered that I have seen when job hunting.
  • Asbestos: a state of denial?
    Interesting topic. The company I work for is a large automotive sales and repair company with multiple sites. We have had asbestos assessments done and only one site contains asbestos for which we do have the plan on file but seeing normally speaking we are not a building company we would only need to worry about it if we do any building modifications. What I did find interesting though is for my Grad Dip studies recently I have been looking into asbestos in auto parts. My research uncovered that asbestos was in the past widely used in mutliple auto parts due to its good heat resistant and insulating properties however is now largely prohibited in Europe and Japan (<0.1%) although in Japan they can still export asbestos but in the USA it is still legal to manufacture parts with asbestos. There are strict rules around it in the USA but it is still allowed. We specify to suppliers that parts are to be asbestos free to protect our technicians doing the servicing where dust from worn brake pads for example could be inhaled. When I checked a box containing new brake pads, and the product info sheet that came with it, there was no information at all about what the brake pads were made of. The info sheet explained how to install the pads but nothing more. Better information on/with products would be very helpful.
  • Risk perception - new study
    Cognitive bias is an interesting topic. I see it on a daily basis working in health and safety. Perceived risk does indeed very much depend on a person's background, what they are used to, and the context in which they find themselves. It is a slow process to change peoples risk perceptions but by keeping on chipping away at it, and challenge the norms, we will hopefully improve health and safety outcomes long-term in all areas.
  • Crane Inspections
    I had a similar issue at my last workplace but I couldn't get management on board unfortunately but I did find a recommended schedule depending on hours of operation on the Monocrane website as follows:
    I hope it helps.
  • SSSP - Have we lost our way
    Totally agree Tony Walton and thanks for the recommendation, will have a look.
  • SSSP - Have we lost our way
    I can so relate to a lot of the comments, especiialy Linley Kerr's. I totally understand Don Ramsye's frustartion but we also as a sub contractor have been continuously asked for more and more detail and been asked to change the wording of our documents etc. Our SSSP is 46 pages long and that is not including what we have referred to as an Appendix covering Covid 19 protocols. It does seem to be a tick box excercise for some but actually appreciate feedback as it means our SSSP has been read which is great. An issue I find a lot is getting 100+ page documents from head contractors that are site specific however not work specific. What I mean by this is that we are often asked to sign off that we will abide by these documents when there are pages of procedures for the Site Manager that are not relavant to us and pages of our legal obligations which we should all know by now anyway. Also there is a lot of paperwork that comes from head contractors where we have to get our guys to read and sign. I udnerstand the reason for this however, we attend many sites in a day for short durations and thus due to the shear quantity I know they won't read it so what we do is I read the documents and pass on info only where it differes from our procedures which works I guess so this is a minor issue but not ideal as they are signing that they have read it. The covid 19 protocols is a good example of another issue I encounter, CHASNZ and Site Safe have done a great job of writiing protocols however we quite often get documents stating we must abide by the CHASNZ documents which is great as this is what our procedures are based on but it is then followed with 50 pages of protocls from the head contractor reitterating the CHASNZ protocols instead of just adding protols that differ from the CHASNZ protocols only. My husband is a marine engineer and they use the permit to work system and sub contractors that go on board when the boat is in dock have to see the person on site/boat responsible for health and safety and get inducted and do a task analysis on boarding the boat. The reason I like this method is not only that it reduces the paperwork but it also puts health and safety where it should be, right up front, and forces the worker to think critically about their own safety which of course does still have to be backed up by their company procedures.