• Employing the hearing-impaired
    The 'legal' test is how you can "reasonably accommodate" a person. While health and safety can over-ride this, I think Joseph and Darren have given good advice on how this could be practicably met.
  • When is an LTI not an LTI if that is even possible?
    Hi Keith,
    Hopefully this is not all about LTI stats and trying to reduce them! They are largely meaningless.

    GPs always advocate for their patients. I agree with Stuart that you need an independent view of an occ health specialist. We do this regularly and quite successfully. Also if your organisation has written policy on this as you indicate, then that employee would appear to be in breach of that policy.

    Also agree with Stuart that ACC take a claimant's word as gospel, until it is proven otherwise. Which is difficult. An example would be a person claiming a workplace incident, when upon investigation it was found the day of injury was when they were on annual leave. I have seen this once.
  • Vehicle Inductions
    If the provider of the vehicles are worth their salt then they should provide induction for new vehicles bought off them. Online induction works well, generally.
  • SOP Reviews
    Myself, as the Health & Safety Manager
  • SOP Reviews
    We have a similar number of SOPs and realised some time ago that when you get than number they stop getting read. So as well as having a good document review system, also try and get them down to no more than one page SOPs consisting of mandatory controls, if necessary supported by a larger 'technical document.' Works well for us and engagement improved considerably.
    Also nothing wrong with having an SOP on how to write a good SOP.
  • Should risk registers be signed off by workers?
    The important thing is that workers are engaged in the risk identification and assessment and safety planning processes, not signing the document. We used to do that but realised following investigations that most didn't understand the process but signed anyway. It's a bit of a cop out for the organisation. As risks changed then tools such as a JSA and toolbox talk become important as the work is to commence, and workers have another opportunity to engage at that point.
  • Audit Priming?
    Thats one of the failings of the current audit, priming the receiving location up for the audit. We do it, although we have a separate internal assessment process which all locations are to do annually. Hopefully the very long awaited changes to the AEP will help rectify this. SafePlus for example is a much more effective audit and much more tailored to the risk profile of the organisation.
  • ACC Accredited Employer Programme
    ACC have been promising a review for years now, and these reviews have occurred. But they have gone nowhere. I was interviewed a couple of months ago - yes another review and another interview - and while no promises were given they may be considering SafePlus or similar as an alternative, which in my opinion would be a smart move. A change of audit process however does evidently require a legislative change, so I don't anticipate any change while I'm still around. In the meantime we have to put up with this mostly irrelevant audit.
  • Safety Shoes
    You are legally obliged to supply and pay for the PPE, no matter if workers are permanent, temporary or casual. You shouldn't give allowances as you won't know that people use it for proper footwear. We don't seek partial reimbursement if people leave, it's just part of the cost of the work and having a safe workforce.
  • Do you take it personally?
    No, I don't. If you're confident in your systems and processes you shouldn't. Perhaps their Manager could. Well done on reducing incidents and injury, but have you reduced risk?
  • Contracting out of safety responsibilities
    Obviously you can't contract out, but you can make "reasonable arrangements" with the agreement of the other party, or parties.
  • Use Trailers In Your Business?
    Trailers are used heavily in our work and we haven't had a great safety record with them. A few years ago we formalised some safe operating procedures and standards, including training and assessment. While there was some improvement we continue to have events, some potentially very serious. As we speak we have a company going to locations in DOC undertaking assessments and inspections of trailers and the vehicles that tow them and coaching staff. We are also undertaking work on loads and towing capacity, especially as several are used for towing vessels. Inadequate maintenance has been an issue, along with staff knowledge of coupling and loading capacity. The company we are using is Natural Instincts - highly recommended.
  • Incident category ratios
    Hmmm, interesting Keith. We have a reasonably mature critical risk programme so are aware these are high impact low frequency, and that near misses and unsafe acts are largely viewed as lag indicators. However my view is that it depends how you use the information. If it's just for reporting then yes, they are a lag. However if you use the information from near misses and unsafe acts to identify weaknesses in the safety system or safety procedures so they can prevent future incidents, they are leading. This is how we see them, hence identifying that some of the best learnings are coming from these near misses. I certainly don't agree that near misses and unsafe acts don't have a serious influence on the cause of critical risk incidents.
  • Incident category ratios
    51% of our incidents over last 12 months have been near misses or unsafe acts. We'd love more.

    As you know it's more about what you should aim for. Heinrich's pyramid (some 90 years old now!), and the modified Bird pyramid is a good start. Even though there is a lot of debate around these and in particular the numbers they use, the principles in my view are sound. The more reported near misses the merrier - they are free lessons after all. If your organisation can get around the negative view that reporting incidents is a failure rather than an opportunity, and people truly see the benefits of near miss reporting, then it will improve. We found a significant increase in near miss / unsafe act reporting once we campaigned on the benefits. Every couple of months we share incident learnings across the organisation, and the last report showed that all of our learnings were from near miss / no injury incidents as these were the high risk potential incidents over that period, something we would not have found a few years ago.
  • Use of Mini-SDSs
    Yes we use mini SDSs for our 20 or so most used substances. These are easier for staff to read and understand.
  • "Bow Tie" analysis
    Hi Rebecca, yes we have used bowtie now for several years. Bowties are centric to our Critical Risk Standard to identifying and them implementing critical risk controls. We use Bowtie XP available through
  • Display boards with "Number of days since last LTI"
    Oh gawd, I thought these were an artefact from a bygone era!
  • Bowtie Tool(s)
    Tony, yes there is a charge of course, depending what level of the software you want (basic through to advanced). The information you ask for is on their website.
  • Bowtie Tool(s)
    We use the same tool that Stuart advises - bowtiexp, through RPS . They provide pretty good support and I think have established a small office in NZ. I like the tool and has been of considerable value to us as a central part of our critical risk programme, although we only scratch the surface of what it can be used for.
  • Time to abandon the risk matrix?
    Not many people are skilled at undertaking risk assessments - it's a specialist area. Risk assessments are open to manipulation to get the result that one wants. Often like minded people do the assessment, and therefore know the outcome they are after, and of course will arrive at that. Good risk assessments need social process so you get multiple views in the room.
    So in my view it doesn't really matter if and what sort of matrix they use, as long as what they use is in the organisational context.