Comments

  • Measurement of H&S performance
    That's what we do here Productive paid time, unproductive paid time, then time off for sickness, work accidents, non-work accidents. I don't drill lower as the number would be so small as to render it meaningless.
  • Measurement of H&S performance
    400?????
    I'm audited right up the wing wang with ISO, financial and other international standards etc etc and I dont think I could add up 400 in total among that lot let alone just HSE measures
  • Bright ideas to engage our... older gentlemen workers in H&S

    I disagree. Not everyone is engaged in H&S. Nor do they need to be. That's not to say that if they want an opportunity to be involved in "H&S" then they should be allowed that opportunity.

    What they do need to be, is focused on how to do their job productively. And once that is established,how to be even more productive.

    If we have done our job properly we will have engineered risk management controls that allow a person to do that job without serious harm - so really the person doesn't need to think about safety.

    This is particularly so of your older gentleman who probably just wants to do a job with the least amount of hassle as possible.

    To have a "need" to be engaged in H&S suggests that H&S is a separate task. It ought not be. It should be something that just gets wrapped up within the total context of a job.
  • Bright ideas to engage our... older gentlemen workers in H&S
    I'm a person who partly meets the description in this thread topic so eminently qualified to comment.

    The first issue that needs to be addressed is the assumption that "older gentlemen" ought to be engaged in H&S.

    This is an extremely fragile assumption.
  • HS Reps - Allowance / Payment for services
    No payment here either.

    Though we do have an agreement whereby if I make a commitment and fail to deliver on time then I buy cake for the next meeting.
  • Incident Management, Risk Management and Engineering Priorities
    Sarah - as above.

    Keeping it simple why not open up your "incident"Spread sheet and add two columns. 1 x "Risk rating" (stick a number in here) and the other "Controls" (stick a description in here. Get extra fancy and add a couple of extra columns "date to be done by" "person to do control" and "Date control done"
    Finally just call it your Risk Register.

    Save your "incident" register for times when some one hurt themselves, and if you want to get fancy, nearly hurt themselves.
  • Hand Sanitiser
    I had a look at that Incident Report. We shouldn't loose sight of "the girls shirt which had been saturated with a mixture of olive oil and ethyl alcohol based hand sanitizer"
  • Hand Sanitiser
    Hmm. My "Read it on the Internet so it must be true" Bullshitometer is screaming about 100%

    7.6 billion people in the world. Many using hand sanitiser many times a day and there have been ZERO verifiable cases reported of fire.

    For are those that have missed the news zero active Covid cases in the South Island and 1 active case in NZ.

    Time for us to move on.
  • Disclaimer required?
    What are you disclaiming?

    I assume you are trying to avoid any professional negligence damages.

    You might be better off setting up a Limited Liability Company. That would limit your personal exposure.,
  • Can workers refuse to declare health changes?
    As Amanda says, first port of call is the employment agreement.

    I would add there is a difference between a health declaration and getting a health assessment.

    At this point the key question, to me, seems to be "is the person displaying behaviors that suggests they may no longer be competent to do their job safely." If the answer is "no" then you don't have anything to go on. If it is "yes" then standard performance management practices apply.
  • What value do we put on a life?
    Well done OP. Its not an easy number to find.

    It is probably the best number to use in a NZ context as it is the statistical value of life, derived by Min of Transport. It is based on the social cost per fatal crash. Alternative values may be more appropriate for non-transport circumstances.

    So it is essentially the value of a life lost in an accident.

    It has been developed by Min of Transport and then used by NZ Treasury. If it is good enough for them it should be good enough for us. I can't see any good reason for faffing around trying to come up with another value. If anyone did I'd be challenging the basis for an alternative.

    Any faffing around is a purely academic exercise. We could begin, say, recognizing that the average life expectancy in NZ is 82 years so the value of life, per year is $4.7m / 82 = $57,317. Which of course it isn't as the very young and very old likely have less economic value relative to a middle aged person.

    And in a Covid context, for example why would we protect the elderly because an 85 years old is past their statistical value of any kind of return. It is still a discussion worth having if for example huge amounts of debt are racked up as a consequence of managed actions.

    Incidentally the current (Sept 2019) value is $4,918,898. If you are a data nerd check out Treasury's CBAx model.
  • Setting up for a mobile workforce
    Essentially no processes. Basically if your people have the wherewithal to get through life at home and come to work they will be able to navigate all the safety "risks" at home without the intrusion of a health and safety person giving them help. If they can't, they ought not be at home and need better direct supervision in the usual workplace. (Disclaimer - I was asked to complete a 16 page work from home document, including checklists and photographs for our Covid home workers .Needless to say it went in the bin.)

    I've just had to bring the last lot back to work this week. Quite happy sloping around in their jim jams and then creating work patterns that work well for their book reading, social networking, afternoon naps and whatever other home comforts they enjoyed.

    Biggest issue is measuring productivity, not safety. So home based work, works well for measurable process output type work. A bit early to say but I reckon 3-5 home based workers = 1 less office worker. That is - productivity, at home isnt that great over the longer term. Theres also issues around protection of IP / network security etc

    It does require a high trust model. I work with the principle that 10% of people will create 80% of your problems. Doesnt matter what the subject or issue, principle applies and has withstood the test of time. Same applies to home workers. I had my usual 10% causing the usual problems. 80% worked really well.

    I didnt entertain any conversation on power, internet or other household expenses. These would have been generated by the home occupant regardless of work. And in any case off set by commuting cost expenses. Unless the expense was exceptional I'd be more concerned about the thinking of the individual than the safety. I did reimburse office consumables such as printer ink.
  • Covid: S5 Hazard Identification

    Aaron
    I don't believe in luck. Karma yes. Luck no.

    Some basic facts.
    - NZ was in its summer. While the northern hemisphere was in its winter "flu season"
    - NZ has a large expanse of water between us an our nearest neighbor, so we don't have people strolling over our borders spreading things.
    - While we think we are a tourist mecca / Business hub we are not. We do not have nearly the number of visitors going through our wee International airports compared with the other major infected cities.
    - we are a country of two major islands which instantly creates some physical distancing across our whole population
    - We may think Auckland is a large city . It isn't. It is sprawling and does not have nearly the population density of other cities where this virus has spread.
    - We have pretty good primary health care services with "free" public health so we do not have a population with underlying health problems that are not being treated.
    - While we have an aging population, it is not yet that old. And most of them do not smoke and thus don't have the underlying respiratory problems.
    - we are not a "close physical contact" culture. We do not get really close to our friends, family and associates.

    That is all "pre-management"

    Once the first significant management step took place mid/late March (closing our borders to people other than Nz'ers), then things really started to improve - but that improvement was off an extremely low base of illness.

    I see my original post was 28 days ago. As expected there have only been 59 new cases and 13 of them are Nz'ers who have arrived in the country. The remaining are related to clusters. All quite foreseeable and nothing to do with luck
  • H&S Health Check
    For an SME who does not hold, nor needs to hold, any certification to standards (4801, 45001 etc) I'd just pull out the old NZ4801, the ACC Self Assessment resource. Keep it simple. It is weighted towards documentation rather than behavior but with a bit of sense its not hard to mix the two.

    We are entering austere times. A bit of frugality mixed with practicality can go a long way.
  • When is noise not a hazard?
    Tony.
    Short answer is no.

    Longer answer is "yes" under possible risks but later determined by measurement that there is no risk - so you close it off.

    Given there is no risk no need to do the hearing checks - unless you want to do it as a good employer "wellness" type of thing. People loose their hearing for lots of reasons not related to work. My NIHL is due to hunting and Motorhead:)

    Now back to the noise. And I'll use our plant as an example. We have some machines that exceed the Limit when all machines are working AND they are working on heavy gauge steel. One machine or lighter gauge its under the limit. As a matter of practice that immediate area is defined as a risk zone and hearing protection is required at all times. So Hearing checks are done.

    But walk about 10m away and the noise levels start to drop away quite dramatically. The further away you are the quieter it is. (People in those outer areas don't get hearing checks). That's why I have dozens of noise measurements around the whole plant - done in "worse case" scenarios. I have a picture of all the different noise zones and apply required protection in each zone. In "quiet" zones ear plugs are provided if chosen - not on health and safety grounds, just on noise comfort grounds and being a kind employer.
  • L3 Operating Safely
    The Health Order is now published. So here is a free Safety Plan for Category 3 businesses. (Its free so don't expect perfection. My normal consulting fee is in Red Wine currency)

    Essentially business as usual with no added paper work, processes, PPE, cleaning, etc required.

    It is well past the time for the absolute bollocks to stop.
    Attachment
    Covid-19-Pandemic-Plan Safeguard (715K)
  • L3 Operating Safely
    I got my Worksafe one in the mail yesterday.

    And I'll offer the same observation to that as I would this one. There still appears to be zero consideration to S6 of the Regs. And these documents are being produced left, right and center without knowing the contents of the next Public Health Order, which as I write has still not been done.

    That said, I did fill out my Worksafe one. But only for employee imagining purposes, not for safety management - we need to be seen to be doing the right thing for employees. Essentially each section was "business as usual" which is our usual serious approach to risks that are going to realistically harm people if we didn't manage them.

    I also attached the chart I have been producing, using Min of Health data so valid and reliable, which shows, essentially zero covid in the community and thus not about to enter my workplace. So I am taking a proportional response to a zero risk.

    I don't usually read Stuff but yesterday there was a Q&A with a lawyer who said, in response to a question
    This is a good question. An employer has an obligation to provide a safe workplace for all employees, so if there was good reason to believe that someone was a risk to others, it would be reasonable to require them to remain away from work. But, in reality, because there is little evidence of community transmission, unless the person was known to have associated with someone with Covid, just breaching the rules is unlikely to be enough to really deem them a risk. If the employer sent them home in this instance, I think they would still need to pay them."

    I remain very comfortable with my approach
  • I've been thinking...........
    I agree
    And I lay part of the blame on the "zero harm" mentality.

    We seem to have entered a world where every risk (perceived or real) must be managed to the nth degree so that no one gets in the least bit hurt. And we create processes to support that position. This might be good for HS practitioners from a job creation perspective, but it surely can't be rewarding work.

    Worse yet is the herd mentality where inquisitive thought is no longer given to an issue. Instead we seem to prefer stuff that is just handed to us without question. And we meekly follow.

    Your "personal responsibility" comment is an interesting one. In the tsunami of Covid Alert 3 guidelines and protocols coming out I don't recall a bit that says "it is an employees responsibility to stay home and take appropriate action if they think they are a suspect case". Maybe its there but to be honest my eyes have glazed over after getting to page 2 of some of these documents.
  • Grant Nicholson on Covid-19 and the law
    And this: "• Section 34 of the Health and Safety at Work Act requires consultation, cooperation, and coordination of activities between duty holders. How are organisations planning to interact with customers and onsite and supply chain business partners to keep people safe? For example, what can be done to allow contact tracing by the Ministry of Health if there are COVID-19 flare ups in the future?"

    In the absence of a Public Health Order, what legal requirement is there for us to implement contact tracing?