• Mental Health in the Construction Industry - Research Update-
    Andy - I'll send out to my network and hopefully get some activity through there. Keep up the good work, and look forward to reading your findings.
  • Turbans & Hardhats
    This relates to one of 5 articles of faith for a Sikh, along with other things that may have safety implications... such as the Karha (steel bracelet). If a Sikh wanted to work in the electrical industry, and insisted on wearing a steel bracelet I'm sure we'd all have certain task restrictions that would apply (no live work, no work near HV cabinets and so on). So it should be for not wearing a hard hat (no working on sites that require hard hats, no work under suspended loads or overhead activity). At no point should we insist on them removing the turban, but at no point should they request an exemption in return.

    Ideally we could look at how we could re-engineer activities onsite so that nobody needed a hard-hat, but practicalities are not on our side.

    The way I've dealt with this in the past is to make it clear to new employees/contractors that hard hats are a compulsory item of PPE in certain areas. If they do not wish to, or can not wear one, then they cannot work in those areas. Whether that means that employment is untenable in that situation is another discussion entirely.
  • Is 'human error' ever acceptable as a cause?
    People make mistakes, or decide on a course of action, inside of a context. This context is based on experiences, organisational pressures, what they can interpret from their environment, and a hundred other variables. The decision usually seems like the right one at the time, and with the power of hindsight, we can see that it was incorrect or inappropriate. When we use language like "human error", we automatically place our focus on the person involved, and that they were at the source of the failure. In reality, the person is just another cog in the machine, where the machine itself has not been designed perfectly. We could focus on the error, or the reasons that the error was made. I know which one is more likely to result in improvements
  • Please explain
    Aside from some operational and environmental assumptions being made in that statement, I almost guarantee they shut down operations for the period they were in there, however they also aren't in a habit of making exemptions from their PPE policy as it just leads to statements from workers like "I wasn't wearing my PPE because I couldn't see anyone operating"! Agree or disagree, but sometimes you just have to use the policy as it's written (which wasn't written with this situation in mind).
  • Mental health and emergency services
    I don't think it's the hierarchy itself that is the problem. There has been a lot of research been done into the conditions that lead to bullying behaviours, as these behaviours don't occur in a vacuum. There is an organizational context, but I don't think it's the hierarchy itself - rather the high work demands combined with low resources, unbalanced power dynamics along with some individual factors. Bullying is then seen as the symptom of work design dysfunction and stress from within the organizational system. Chat with the team at Massey's Healthy Work Group, as they are leading NZ research in this area.
  • Effective and Engaging H&S Induction Videos
    We recently used Omnicron to film and create our induction videos which we then combined with e-learning that we build inhouse. Really great team to work with, but still fairly traditional and not fully utilizing all the technology that is available out there (AR/VR etc).
  • What should we use this Forum for?
    I have to admit, I also forgot about the forum as the value is found in the conversations - which are only as useful as they are relevant. If I'm not involved in a value-adding conversation, then it's easy to put to the side as unimportant. I would love to see a greater sharing of learnings where the benefit of the learning may be important outside of our own organization. We rely on worksafe to provide pan-industry alerts, but this only happens when they are aware of it... I wonder how much we miss by not sharing our learnings ourselves (or for that matter, and possibly more importantly, our successes)
  • Please explain
    From the notes, it looks like it was held at the Downer yard in Porirua, which has a high amount of traffic. There is also a requirement for all staff and visitors to wear high-viz in the warehouse (which is where the photos were taken).