Comments

  • HSNO and GHS classifications
    With our recent visit from worksafe they asked if we knew of the inventory (yes) if we used it (no). And that was the end of it. We do keep our own inventory of all substances though.

    I quite like the compatibility part of the inventory. But as a tool I find that's about as useful as it is. Internally we can pin our substance (and we have loads - hence I'm not keen on running 2 different systems) down to a particular individual work area. And our workers in those areas have direct access to resources like the SDS for those substance as well as information on how we manage that risk in that area. There are also linkages to environment monitoring as well as employee health checks. I just prefer keeping things as simple as possible.

    As an aside one of the biggest challenges I find is keeping up with all the SDS's. Wish there was a simpler way. (And I am getting a bit frustrated that SDS's seem to be following a generic template. For example I have two substrance one a liquid and one a particle. Both talk about dust inhalation)
  • Occupational Health Monitoring - Employees Who Want to Opt Out
    Hmmm. Seems to me we have lost sight of what monitoring is really all about. Which is essentially the very, VERY last link in our chain of risk management where we are trying to look for a failure in our systems which is at employee expense. Its even a link past PPE - which ought really be the very last link when all else has failed

    I'm appalled anyone would chastise, monitor, move or put any kind of pressure on an employee who didn't adhere to health monitoring expectations.

    It is our responsibility to put in place systems that do not harm people. End of story. We should be checking those system - not the people. If for example we are doing chemical health testing its too late. A positive result tells us our systems have failed and oh well the employee has cancer. That's not good enough.

    We need to be doing environment testing first and foremost to make sure our employees aren't being exposed to anything dangerous. If we find they are we should work hard to improve our risk management. That is, putting in proper controls.

    We've just completed our annual health monitoring. I don't get the employees to fill in anything. Though the Assessors do. If someone said to me "I don't want my health monitored" i'd have had zero problem with that and wouldn't waste a moment more of my time on it. I have reasonable confidence we are doing what we can to prevent harm in the first place and always looking at improvements. ( I did actually have one person say he wasn't going to get his hearing monitored - because he already has it done as part of his own personal health care. And I'm fine with that)

    As an aside, I had a call a while back from ACC asking if I had any hearing check test on an ex employee. Apparently he was claiming for work related noise induced hearing loss. I was able to bring up a hearing check from 25 years ago which showed he had hearing loss at the time and it was likely due to him being in a foreign army and using heavy artillery. Might have saved myself an ACC claim. But if it was our fault I would have worn the cost.
  • Machinery reluctance?
    Some machine shops are disgraceful. Dirty filthy things with little apparent care for the work environment or the machine. So it is quite obvious there will be some employers who won't look at safety because its just not in their DNA.

    On the other hand there are other employers where you could eat your lunch off their machine shop floor and safety is just part of their overall approach to the business and machines.

    Often the issues with machinery is that the original purchase is capital intensive. So people hang onto them for as long as possible. Bringing them up to current safety expectations / standards is also expensive so it, in part became a cost issue.

    Cost can be a major issue, with business costs increasing every year and customer expectations on price also adding pressure along with international competition. Margins get squeezed and something has to give. So I suspect there are also some employers who would like to take their safety more seriously but the cost of upgrading safety, when put aside the ongoing viability of a business and all the responsibilities to staff etc that entails is a major consideration.

    However, if we like it or not increases in Minimum Wage have a good flow on affect to machinery. As it becomes more expensive to hire a machine operator a replacement piece of kit, with modern safety features and greater efficiency becomes more attractive. To the point now that you can retire two machines and operators and replace with one machine and operator - often with an operator needing even less skill.
  • Forklift Operators Certificate

    They do. And heres the proof! t6pzd690ud27o5b4.jpg
  • Telarc Audits - Re-write your SMS to follow ISO 450001 format
    Time to push back on these leeches. All they seem to do is create extra work at extra cost with zero actual benefit to on the ground safety. While lining their own moral free pockets at the same time.

    (Confirms my basic operating principle that the more you write down the more you will get tripped up on)
  • Forklift Operators Certificate

    I know. Hard to believe eh!. There's even a provider who will, for $150 - $300 provide you with "WorkSafe NZ Certification". Every day the Health and Safety Gravy Train gets longer.
  • Forklift Operators Certificate
    We have 2 approaches. If we need a forklift operator to work in the yard (which we deem to be a public place due to gates being open and the place open for people to walk into) then we require an F Endorsement of the Drivers Licence.

    If the Operator is only going to be inside the building then the Operators Certificate is the only thing required. Certificate also apples to those operating outside with the F Endorsement..

    Logic doesn't really apply. You only sit your drivers licence once. And you only do your F endorsement once. Its always seemed a bit odd to me that that is our open road rule. But for workplaces we have decided that the Forklift Certificate should be renewed every three years - even if our operators are using the Forklift on a daily basis.

    Then I remind myself that the Forklift Certificate isn't mandatory. And that there is probably some very good coin to be made by training providers putting their own 3 year cash churn limit on it.
  • Whataiti Kino - Better Work NZ

    When something says "is supported by WorkSafe, because it's founded on the fact that when things go right, they don’t go wrong." my natural inclination is to go "Fact - Is this indeed a fact?". If it is indeed a fact then my interest is piqued and I'll follow on further.

    But in this case the statement isn't passing my sniff test. And as I pointed out the "fact" actually seems to be the opposite. So, if the first statement isn't valid and reliable why would I want to go further. So I don't.

    So I struggle to engage in anything after that.

    Good luck to them though. The proof will be in the pudding.
  • Whataiti Kino - Better Work NZ
    Most people, including the head of the union, thought Pike River was going more than all right
  • Anybody out there involved in Educational H&S
    Tampons are to be provided. Epi pens seem a logical extension. Along with all other personal health care needs.
  • "Digital" OHSMIS - Occupational Health & Safety Systems used by companies in NZ?
    I Use the OSH Module within Payglobal, Keeps all my risk, incident, HASNO, training, Committee Meeting, ACC, return to work, contractor, health assessments, environment testing etc etc data. All linked to every work area and every employee.
  • Hours of work
    No!

    An employee must be given 14 days notice by the employer if the employer requires the employee to take Annual Holidays. Which is the entitled holidays not the "accrued" - gets complicated from here!

    There is no Regulation that Requires a minimum break between shifts. (There may be some industry specific regulations or there may be something specific written in the Employment agreement)

    You do of course have to manage the risks associated with fatigue.Broad rule of thumb - the more dangerous the job the greater the need for a decent rest break between shifts. So it becomes more a person / job specific assessment.

    There are provisions for required rest and meal breaks within a work period. That's the period between starting work and finishing work. It doesn't cover the period between finishing work and starting work again.

    At the moment I have people working 74 hours across a 7 day week. They like the over time. I like the productivity. But they aren't in High Risk Areas. And it won't be for long.
  • HSR Training
    I have Safety Advocates.

    Thus avoiding the whole HSR palava.
  • Rebecca Macfie on Pike River, ten years on
    Question.
    As we know, Pike River Coal Ltd was substantially owned by NZOG. NZOG kept pouring money, disaster after disaster into Pike. And it had its own Board Members on Pike's Board.

    Do you think we will ever see the day when our legislation will hold accountable Company ownership further up the chain of ownership?

    ( I don't)
  • LTI severity rating
    I don't report LTI's - its a terrible measure. And totally pointless.

    If you have to do something I suggest a proportional response. Put absolutely minimal effort into the trivial things. And put maximum effort into things that can be realistically 'catastrophic" (however you choose to define that.)

    While I don't record LTI's I do record productive time lost. It might be through injury (work related or non work related), sickness, bereavements, general absence etc. Its mainly just an academic exercise of interest - but I loose a huge amount more productive time due to non-work injuries than I do work ones.
  • Rebecca Macfie on Pike River, ten years on
    Excellent book Rebecca. Thanks for writing it.

    It should be on everyone's bookshelf and well thumbed!

    I will try to keep my views on the utterly disgraceful actions of Pike River, NZOG, OSH and EPMU under control.
  • Welder Quals
    I'm not sure I see the relationship between the two.

    For simple qual recording most payroll systems have a Qual tab.

    Within my system I have a Qual tab but I don't use it. I prefer the "Competency" tab as it has a bring up date so I can but a review date on the relevancy of the qual..
  • Covid in the workplace
    I can only conclude that this SARS / Covid in fact is a very low risk thing.

    If it was anything other than that the various employers in the chain would be taking appropriate and significant risk management steps and MBIE would be in boots and all enforcing our legislation.
  • Covid in the workplace
    All I seem to be reading is "PPE this" and "PPE that" for this "tricky" work related risk.

    Imagine if a Worksafe Inspector came to my place. "Oh I see you have a tricky piece of dangerous plant" "That's Ok Sir, I've issued PPE"
  • Position Paper on Cannabis
    I'm not sure I would call it a "good discussion".

    I surprised myself by reading as far as
    "The council's chief executive, Stephanie O'Sullivan, said random and pre-employment drug testing was only a small part of what the council did to improve health and safety in the workplace.

    The council would undertake proactive education and the drug testing could catch something before it happened, she said.

    It might also help people recognise they had a problem."


    There is so much wrong with that, I don't know where to begin.