• HSR Training
    Is an HSR the same as a health and safety committee volunteer? We put 6 HSRs (including managers, supervisors, staff liaison and union rep) thru NZQA when it first came in. All 6 are still with us and attend committee meetings. We don't have a health and safety committee as such, we encourage everyone on site to be a health and safety advocate. We have employee of the month award a $50 paknsav voucher, one of the criteria for nomination is health and safety advocacy. I run 3 monthly health and safety meetings anyone is welcome to attend,do not get much uptake on volunteers but what I tend to do is bring workers in who have identified a new hazard or one that we are not managing well and have them tell us about what prompted there concerns and we can address what corrective actions were put in place, this seems to go down well with staff being mentioned in the meeting minutes and having others read about what they did. Staff turnover amongst our process workers is also high using health and safety resources to fund NZQA for volunteers work is better utilised elsewhere. Like getting maintenance or machine setters NZQA health and safety training.
  • Worksafe Snapshot Assessment

    Wow emailing everything is a new one on me! Though because we have 6monthly MPI audits keeping health and safety documentation current and filed is 2nd nature around here.

    We too had a similar experience a couple of years ago when an inspector issued an Improvement notice for what they said was an entanglement/entrapment hazard in an exposed conveyor. We brought in a engineer who determined that the conveyor belt was in fact a 6inch long weigh belt with a low torque drive, stopped by hand pressure and a test instrument failed to be marked when inserted in the nip point. Notice subsequently withdrawn.
  • Safety Intervention Outcome Manufacturing
    We replaced manual deboning with mechanical deboning which increased production throughput by 75% though it was sad to see some 40 knife hands made redundant
  • Worksafe Snapshot Assessment
    Worksafe inspector said it is their policy to no longer send out reports when no faults are found, makes sense from a legal perspective should a notifiable event occur shortly thereafter.

    We were given the heads up that going forward Worksafes focus is on transport, mobile plant and freezer work - reportedly transport/mobile plant contribute to 70% of all injuries
  • Dr Joanne Crawford on links between musculoskeletal & psychosocial risks
    re: tennis/golfers elbow - yes they are aware of reporting procedures they are happy to use it but really reluctant to do so if they have an underlying health problem. Unfortunately much of the cleaning is scrubbing lots of small and finicky parts attached to large manufacturing machines so yes a lot of twisting motions of the wrist/elbow, task rotation occurs but as much of the cleaning job is scrubbing the only variation from the rotation is scrubbing large pieces of equipment versus small parts
  • Covid: Mental Harm
    Note quite a number of unexplained deaths since the start of level 4, where the article says no other person is sought in relation to the death and the matter has been referred to the coroner - suicide is very real - remember too that covid came at the end of xmas/summer where many spent in anticipation of making up the loss during the year, loss of financial independence, or uncertainty of continued financial independence and/or responsibility for the financial independence of your workforce/suppliers will put many into a deep abyss -heart-breaking the death of the young pukekohe mad butcher and the ripple on effects for his family and community. In our workplace we are seeing many hit all the red buttons for psychosocial factors e.g. major disruption to social/work integration/support/status, loneliness, altered workplace conditions and for some bereavement all of this manifests in depressed, anxious, acting out, heightened emotions in our workers...many will not share or seek help for fear of putting there job in jeopardy we have had almost 99% attendance throughout this and this is an abnormally for us.
  • Covid. S6 Controlling Risk
    Astounding the number of people/business who continue to fail in critical thinking or any understanding of risk assessing chance of getting infected with covid 19. Height of stupidity is NZ post. During level 3 I went to buy packaging for 2 local parcels and 1 packaged international parcel. They had removed tables and pens where you package your items so that people do not linger. Instead I cued up to purchase said items. Then went out to the car to package and write address. Came back in and cued again to get them weighed and posted. Then was told they couldn't take my parcel to Australia as planes are not flying so they are not taking any international mail. I said what do you mean planes are not flying freight is still going back and forth, only by boat I was told, so home I went with jacket trying to send to grandaughter in OZ. Checked their website no mention of not taking international mail or boats. Phoned another post office the next day, dropped granddaughters jacket off there and today, two days later glad to see tracking shows it on a plane to Australia. Me thinks things are going to get more stupid before we see light at the end of the tunnel - just my thoughts and frustrations pleased to say senior management and HR where I work are now saying business as usual.
  • Working through COVID 19
    Action or no action. In my workplace that workers behavior would be considered a breach of govt. And company guidelines it could be dealt with by way of any of the following or combination of one on one training disciplinary action incl. Prohibited from returning to work place. It is an essential industry have to do everything possible to protect the services ability to kp supply going
  • Hand held infra red thermometer use
    Expectations that lie in the silence between words says it all. Yes we have a risk management program of which hygiene and movement is key so that product safety/quality is not compromiaed by workers direct or indirect actions.. E. G failure to follow standard hand wash process or hanging with people outside their bubbles put product at risk if large % of experienced process workers are quarantined so covid food safety plan fits there and alll practicable steps have to be taken to prevent that hence more wash stations separate access egress for solicial distancing and temperature checks ect. We find the thermo test is always 2-4 degrees lower than ear thernometer so if thermo reads 32-34celcius the ear temp is taken. There is another guideline been released on people from different bubbles sharing transport to work or work transport that MPI now requires us to manage
  • Impact of pandemic on your H&S practice
    amended my earlier answer from 50% to 95% Covid all driven by HR and managmnet
  • Advice for One of 'Those' Processes (you never thought you'd need to ask about)
    Omg I had not even thought about doing that, it was bad enough writing up new procedures with added access/egress points..we just have earthquake down here it was enough of a jolt to send picture off the wall and for me to stand up from my desk and consider getting under it..but then it stopped..whew roll on 4 day weekend
  • Hand held infra red thermometer use
    We here are in our third week of doing it for all workers, visitors and contractors though we have limited the number of visitors on site and using drop boxes for those who need to come in daily e.g. courier/lab collections and contractors to outside normal operating hours to reduce number of persons on site at any one time. We had occupational nurses conduct the training for key staff (first aiders/health and safety, supervisors) carrying out the tests and PPE requirements are mask, gloves, safety glasses. No entry is permitted to anyone who has not consented. We have erected a shipping container at the front entrance with separation distances. Staff reach the 2 meter mark distance from the assessor where they hand sanatise and are asked flu symptom questions, contact with covid 19 persons, and other than work and their bubble where else have they been. If no concerns raised by the questions they come forward to the 1 meter mark where their temperature is taken with a hand held infa-red, anyone with a temperature of >34 degrees is then subject to ear thermometer test. Anyone turned away at the 1 or 2 meter mark moves to individual isolation areas from which they then leave the site and are contact by HR. Yes privacy is an issue as there is often only 2 meters between you and the person lined up behind you. We process 150 workers daily at this site, 500 at another site who have just installed a walk through scanner, one of which goes in here next week. Over the 3 weeks as a result of the screening three staff turned away were then directed by medical practioners for a covid 19 test, persons in their bubbles were immediately stood down, a worker whose husband in transport came home with the symptoms and was subsequently tested for covid 19, 6 staff off for 14 days because of contact with covid- 19 persons suspected or otherwise. Another business in our industry lost 40% of their workforce for 14 days as a result of the matamata cluster. The data we have collated over that 3 weeks is invaluable and is giving us pointers to look out for with anyone suspected of covid. On top of all of this government requirements have seen us have to installed two separate access/egress points and 6 hand basins plus physical barriers between workers. The local GP with whom we have a contract with to send our workers too is not seeing any of our workers for the foreseeable future. Re: the privacy issues, workers/union have been fully supportive of the new protocols to keep them and their families safe. The business considers that the above regime will be the new normal going forward. We were required to do all of this by government and industry guidelines in order to have in place a registered Covid-19 Food Safety Plan. Has my work load increased hell yes. Has these changes been driven by HS no. By HR and Food Safety Industry, yes.
  • Impact of pandemic on your H&S practice
    workload 50% covid-19.. sanitizer and face mask stock getting low..suppliers trying best they can to supply and are now saying that ones in use can be reused! Likely we will introduce shift work and cut production lines back to basic commodities for consumer market and this will limit number of staff we have on site each shift.
  • Coronavirus
    seems thermos scanning all workers is to become the new norm in workplaces manufacturing food for human consumption as have heard from a number of similar workplaces implementing this in there pandemic emergency procedures not only for protecting workers health but food safety as well. Training will be given to those conducting the scanning. Surprisingly workers have responded in agreement to the plan.
  • Coronavirus
    Just been informed from HR that trained first aiders will be conducting health assessment questionnaire and taking and recording temperatures with thermoscan..where are other workplaces sitting with this..seems could be a lot of false/positive readings, no consideration for outside temp. or if worker ran to work
  • 1st week ACC
    That old adage is a foreign concept too low skilled workers, who live week to week on just above minimum wage and for whom bad times are always just around the corner if not a weekly occurrence and there is no back up plan. It is not uncommon for first aid to supply weetbix/noodles to workers they are seeing who say they have not eaten today; or for HR to provide information on food banks ect. or for us to pay for their meds. prescribed when taking them to the GP for a work injury because at least then we will know they have them to take versus using the money to buy a loaf of bread or to pay kids bus fees. Trying to get them to save annual leave by requesting medicals after they have used all their sick leave just results in medicals from A+E for themselves, their partner or their children and the leave being allowed.
    Re: suspected carpal tunnel he normally averages 10-12 hr work day Mon-Fri with 1/2 day Saturday his income is such that even for a sole earner with a 2nd child on the way his working for family tax benefit is minimal and no where near enough to raise a child for one day of a week never mind 7 days. Two weeks after initial diagnosis the GP put him off work on that same diagnosis not a new diagnosis. 3 months post injury there is still no improvement he has not sought specialist treatment due to costs, we supplied a wrist splint and are currently in talks with the union about keeping him on light duties permanently in a department who only averages an 8 hr work day= less take home pay, he just wants to go back to his normal role/hours despite getting to the end of the shift and only being able to use one hand.
    As for the bursitis/wry neck the injury was only noted when I observed the worker in passing standing lob sided. In discussion it had progressively been getting worse, the worker a Philippine did not report for fear they and their family would lose their job as is said to happen in their country (and for which we have notices about the place in several languages assuring workers that this will not happen) and because they currently have residency applications being processed. The workers was in such a state they were placed in a neck brace to take the weight of the head off the neck strain, could not turn head left or right prescribed intensive anti flam followed by a week physio and the 2 weeks off work.
    On the upside in the past 5 years we have automated 70% of our processes and significantly reduced staff numbers.
  • 1st week ACC
    Interesting in both our cases I took the worker to our GP. The first one a young man employed with us 3 years as a picker in the Dispatch team was diagnosed with suspected carpal tunnel referred for physio and wrist splint. I said we could manage him with alternative duties. A week into alternative duties he took himself back off to the GP and was put off work for a week, the onus therefore fell on ACC to pay him. At this point we learnt the claim was being processed by the gradual process team. (It took 6 weeks to process and the claim was declined). The worker had no leave entitlement, is the sole income earner for his household with a 2nd child due he could not afford physio, a wrist splint and borrowed money to pay rent for the week he was put off. The 2nd worker diagnosed with bursitis and wry neck from cleaning overheads was put off work 2 wks, we paid the 1st week, ACC failed to pay the 2nd week having declined the claim as a work injury. Payroll then used leave entitlement to cover the first week paid out for ACC leaving the worker with no leave entitlement or pay for the 2nd week off work.
    In my 10 years with this business this is the first time I am encountering this with ACC, we have workers who have since left our employment still receiving ACC cover for sprain/strain injuries incurred in 2014!
  • Environment Portfolio
    My portfolio is about 25% environmental it integrates well with my health and safety role particularly legionella risk management and control, waste water treatment to reduce nitrate loading in water ways and irrigation.
  • Noise Test inside moving plant cabs
    We recently conducted 5 yearly noise survey, forklift operator and a reach truck operator were fitted with dose meters and noise levels was well below 85db
  • Loading Unloading containers
    Minimum requirement separation barriers I would imagine