• White Island Volcanic Eruption and Dialogue About Risk
    A video has been released of visitor walking about an hour before the eruption. They are wearing respirators, hard hats and boots.

    I'll be deferring any further comment until more facts are known. 86tq3i84c9dzylhy.jpg
  • Support for innovation from HR
    I shall apply the adage - step back from the keyboard before hitting the enter key. 'Nuff said!
  • Who should be included in H&S committee meetings?
    If nothing else look upon it as a learning opportunity for your reps - they can learn off each other.

    But to get value, make sure there is some activity/outcomes expected from the Rep
  • PEACE and LOVE
    A further update. I've been ramping up the "V" and the "E".

    Had another catch up with the physio and seems I had a few wee fractures as well. But the view is I can avoid surgery and advance rehab plan by at least a month or two from date of injury. Important to avoid surgery as this would reset the rehab clock back to zero from date of surgery - thus lengthening incapacity time.

    I'm pretty well sold on PEACE and LOVE as a injury/rehab approach.

    This will be going into my injury management toolbox for our employees. First aiders and managers will be updated. I hope ACC case managers are well aware of it as this will now be my expected approach with any "light duty / return to work" plan they want to set up. The weakness being that by the time ACC get to case manage the employee will already have missed out on the initial PEACE stages.

    Credit to the Doctor and Physio (and MRI people) who are aware of and back PEACE and LOVE. Hopefully as the message gets out we'll see less and less time of work due to musculoskeletal injuries.
  • From compliance to care
    An excellent example of why a compliance approach is nonsence.

    Seat belt laws have been around for nearly 55 years. If this company hasn't got the seat belt message by now they won't have had any other "look after your employees" messages either.

    All that has been achieved is a very thin veneer of "safety compliance" has been applied over a rotting carcass of employer attitudes
  • From compliance to care
    This, and Tanias research thread is making my head spin. Is this really a "new" thing.

    Jeez, we've been providing things like employee health insurance, EAP, supported return to work for non-work injuries and the like since just about forever. Have a relative die? We'll send flowers. Or killed by a deranged Australian - time off work on pay no questions asked.

    "Doing the right thing" has always been the guiding philosophy - do that and you will, by default, comply.
  • Golden Rules, Non-negotiables
    Interesting example.

    Is that a safety " non negotiable" or essentially just a process requirement.

    Much like, say, in manufacture "Put the red conductor wire on the positive post". This doesn't give you an opportunity to put a black wire on, or leave the red wire off. Its just a simple task that must be done which contributes to a known outcome.
  • Ethics of Online Shopping
    Increased worker protections are good - but come with a cost.

    We are introducing more robotics and automation into the business as our human costs are pushed up by compliance (eg holiday pay, ACC, minimum wage, living wage, compulsory leave entitlements etc)

    I won't say whether I think these are good or bad. But what they do is push you towards automation where the time to get a return on capital invested reduces substantially.

    The positives on automation is they dont take holidays, don't get sick, are pretty much always ready to work, dont complain and hardly ever hurt themselves (and with good buying don't hurt people).

    And the interesting thing is where workers are required with this new technology, we don't need as high a skill level
  • Carbon monoxide exposure - worker health monitoring
    I'm a little surprised with your results. We have operators working inside and in containers and our environment exposure monitoring found they were well under the WES (our results attached for you below)

    If you are over the WES I'm not sure I would be wanting external testing - mainly from a timing perspective. You really need to know a person is over the limit and consequently potentially affected by that exposure. No point having a person driving around experiencing dizziness or nausea while you wait for some kind of health check up.

    And if you do a health check, what is it going to tell you. Either the person has an excessive amount of gas in their system - redundant information because knowing you are over the WES you ought to be putting in steps to manage that exposure. Or the person doesn't have an excessive amount of gas in their system - again redundant information because this still doesnt absolve you from the requirement to manage exposure.

    I'd be inclined to put in place management controls; re do the environment exposure test and then as a back up do a test (no idea off hand what that might be) to check gas levels in body.

  • SDS - is this crap advice on the specific types of PPE needed even legal?
    I'm finding SDS's less and less helpful

    Got one today for Hydrocloric acid 1.0n. In Section 2 it says its not a hazardous substance or mixture. Wear gloves and glasses as appropriate.

    Section 4 says if, for example, skin contact then flush with fresh water for 15 minutes. Its not sounding so non-hazardous to me now.

    Then I get to Section 8 if theres insufficient ventilation then wear a respirator with a vapor filter (EN 141), nitrile rubber gloves, safety glasses and chemical resistant protective clothing.

    So this stuff must be pretty hazardous after all.
  • 1st week ACC
    We often get pinged by IRD for not putting injured workers on secondary tax when they are on a return to work programme while getting compo. Like Steve, I reckon it is madness - tax should be at usual rate otherwise it is a disincentive to keep working (See my Peace and Love thread).

    But what really gets my goat is ACC still insist on experience rating us for time lost when a work related injured worker comes back on light duties.
  • Ethics of Online Shopping
    Talking of statistics, according to NZISM "New Zealand still sits in the lowest quartile of OECD countries, with numbers of deaths per 100,000 workers up to five times that of the UK." So perhaps we shouldn't be buying local and instead going to Amazon

    Article here :

    Also looks like Amazon is great at "creating" jobs, and it looks like their growth is sustainable.


    Maybe Amazon UK is the place to shop.
  • PEACE and LOVE
    Right time for an update on my personal experiences of this approach. Not medical advice - just something that might help you with rehab, Return-to-works and malingerers.

    Protect= I got this bit right from the start. Had a first aid kit on hand was able to apply strapping straight away
    Elevate= This was easy. A chance to lie on the couch for an afternoon. Perfect!
    Avoid Anti-inflammatories (and Ice). = Did this fine. Already knew about not taking antiflams so the lack of ice was a new thing. Seemed fine
    Compression. Got me a wetsuit material type compression thing, Compresses and gives support. Great!
    Educate = thought I was already reasonably well educated. This time I learnt about not taking pain killers (4 panadol was it) and listening for pain responses. Works very well. Except when asleep

    Load = got into this straight away and increased over time. Seems to be the useful thing to do
    Optimism. Managed this fine until I had to accept I had to withdraw from an event and loose half my entry fee. That hurt!.
    Vascular work. = Just getting into this now. And very pleased to be moving a bit faster again.
    E = Exercise. I did this pretty much straight away. A wee walk, then onwards to a long walk. Now on a bike

    Being fit before an injury appears to be vital in rehab response
    There are two mind sets. Be positive or be negative. Positive is so much better.
    Stay off the drugs. Your body will let you know stuff
    Get moving - don't be a slouch.

    I'm happy with progress and so is physio.
  • Ethics of Online Shopping
    Hmmm. Am I allowed to say the person in the photo appears to be carrying a few extra kilos which would be detrimental to spine health and may not be in great physical condition for the job she applied for.

    This is not a new problem. In a previous life we had problems with Librarians when we introduced scan technology for issuing books. How many times does a CheckOut Operator in a supermarket scan in an hour?

    On the plus side, interesting to see the introduction of robots. When making ethical decisions we should also be aware that some people are only capable of "low paid" jobs and as we increase the costs of business the return on investment when making a robot capital purchase becomes more appealing. Which then leaves the "low paid' worker with no job.

    As an aside I always find statistics interesting. Like Amazon has twice the injury rate relative to the warehouse industry. And then you probe a bit further. Apparently Amazon workers are simply discarded once they have an injury and easily replaced. This would be at odds with Eastvales unemployment rates which are said to be 3.2% against the USA average of 3.9%. When you have such low unemployment it is not easy to simply replace lost staff. So something doesnt add up. (Nz's unemployment is around 4.2% and we are close to hiring people with 4 limbs and a heartbeat as the minimum qualification)
  • workplace carpark - reversing into the space, forwards out
    Sadly, I do have the stats. And I say "sadly" because my life is too short to be worrying about people "shinning" them selves on a tow bar in a car park.

    The stats show just one incident - and that's the one with the bike rack on the back.

    I have confidence in the stats because I encourage every incident to be reported - but that's on the basis I won't challenge an ACC claim if the incident has "gone in the book". And some of our folks would be very quick to lodge an ACC claim and take a week off work for a skinned shin.

    Sadly, I also have little sympathy for people that do shin themselves. Really, at some point people need to be responsible for their own awareness and environment and think about walking around a car a bit more.

    But in this "zero harm" day in age I also know I am a bit of a dinosaur, so I know I'd be expected to spend shareholder funds on putting those little wheel stop bumper things in the car park 1m out from the kerb so the reversing cars tyre would hit this and thus prevent the car from encroaching on the footpath zone. At $300 per car park I could sleep easier at night knowing some twits shin is now nicely protected.

    Actually $300 wouldn't cover it. $100 for the Stop, $500 for a consultation process, $100 for the engineering reports on the drive substrate to ensure it met standards, $100 for the labour to install, $100 for fixing materials, $100 for the safety register to be updated and $100 for the subsequent audits to ensure the stop continued to meet Standard.
  • Golden Rules, Non-negotiables
    I'm a contrarian here. And will go out on a limb.

    People are nearly ALWAYS the problem.

    You just have to be able to identify who the problem makers are.

    (But we need a separate thread for discussion on this view)
  • Golden Rules, Non-negotiables
    No. A few reasons for that. We essentially hire people who have the competencies to do the job. Eg forklift operators who can see (thus negating the need for others to wear high viz)

    That said, we can not always hire for a 100% skill match so we have to train to bridge that gap. If it was a safety critical gap then we, generally, wouldn't hire. (Eg we wouldn't hire a blind fork lift operator).

    And when it comes to lists (like a list of behaviours) we broadly limit it to around the five most important ones. Otherwise you end up with a list of 100 behaviors - and no-one can do all 100 so a long list just becomes distraction and noise.

    Within our broad culture we also expect every person who sees/has a problem to raise it, and raise it early when its little so it can be solved. People see this in action in our safety advocates (not "reps"!) meeting minutes where every single issue raised, no matter how "trivial" will have a resolution. We accept some may not like that resolution - but at least the issue is always addressed.
  • Golden Rules, Non-negotiables
    As an aside we have changed all our Position/Job Descriptions so that they no longer list skills or tasks. The focus is now on required behaviors we expect to be able to observe in carrying out a job. The basic premise being skills we can teach - but its "behaviours" where the real problems lie.
  • Safety Audits - are they useful?
    Seems to me there are three main types of audit
    First is the totally random one where an auditor comes in unannounced, assess what is actually happening against required standards and people have a genuine desire to learn from and improve the gaps. No badge, no fuss. Just a genuine desire to gather independent information with a focus on improvement

    Then there is the "My bonus rests on a pass" or "we want to signal to our peers how great we are" type audits where, oh my gosh the business on the prescribed day is able to show the auditor all the great things that are done to meet the standards. Great big badges are at stake here.

    And then there is the "what can I do today to create an income" type audit where someone creates a standard, sets about implementing those standards with lots of conversations and chocolate fish then brings the auditor in and tutt tutts on the results and then spends the next year improving things off the checklist while in the mean time the rest of the business simply gets on with with producing widgets. No badge here - just a participation certificate.

    The "badge" seems to be the most prevalent type audit. And the "badge", goes into the collection with others like the "Zero Harm" badge and a few others I shan't name for fear of being flamed.

    But its all good because audits keep people busy and employed and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Golden Rules, Non-negotiables
    There should be zero "non-negotiables"

    Employers and employees are required to deal with each other in good faith. This means they both must treat each other with trust and confidence and deal with each other in an active and constructive manner. And this requires communication.

    Blanket rules and non - negotiable's are totally at odds with these requirements.

    As an aside I so often see the platitude "safety is non-negotiable" while at the same time see numerous safety related clauses in employment agreements.