• Safety documentation saves lives - a continuation of the safeguard debate
    @Dan Davis's reference to Cynefin (pronounced 'Kunevin' thanks to the gorgeous Welsh language) is a great one. My own experience with H&S problem solving is the confusion between Complex and Complicated problem solving (e.g. my iPhone is complicated and requires an expert to fix it; the construction site next door to my office is complex and requires a diversity of knowledge and thinking to solve problems which arise).
    If we accept that most of the world of work is more complex than complicated, then it is probably useful to have access to means of learning/problem solving in this space.

    I have found learning about both Human and Organisational Performance (HOP) and Design Thinking useful to help me understand how we might co-design solutions with those who do the work to solve complex problems.
  • Work-as-imagined vs work-as-done: examples
    I remember encountering a fire engineering contractor who had provided a 'beautiful' safe system of work for replacing a sensor head. This written system of work included the use of an elevated work platform; the contractor, however, had come armed with a ladder.

    It was a 5 minute job and the ladder was the perfect tool for the job. The contractor told me that "the paperwork couldn't mention a ladder, because ladders are banned on most sites".

    I just got him to quickly amend the paperwork in pen, so it resembled what he was actually going to do and away he went. Problem was, the paperwork took longer than the job did!
  • Safety documentation saves lives - a continuation of the safeguard debate
    So what I am thinking about a lot are the four types of safety work carried out by safety professionals defined by Drew Rae and David Provan in their 2019 safety science paper 'Safety work versus the safety of work' and referred to in their more recent study (along with Sidney Dekker) 'An ethnography of the safety professional's dilemma: Safety work or the safety of work?':

    -Demonstrated safety work - Satisfying stakeholder demands for safety
    -Social safety work - Re-enforcing the organisation's commitment to safety
    -Administrative safety work - Complying with safety requirements
    -Physical safety work - Changing the work environment for safety

    The latter study shows that safety professionals tend to focus on 'blunt end safety work' (demonstrated, social, and administrative safety work), for many reasons, which is where the majority of safety documentation is produced. The same study shows that 'sharp end safety work' (physical safety work) is where a safety professional's work should be prioritised, however it is worth noting that the most effective application of physical safety work aligns with managing safety risk using the 'hierarchy of controls' and shows that paperwork (administrative controls) are the least effective remedy to improving the 'safety of work'.

    Bottom line is:

    -'Blunt end safety work' is important to an organisation but shouldn't be disproportionate to the 'Sharp end safety work'.
    -Safety professionals require a degree of separation and autonomy from the internal management pressures to prioritise 'blunt end safety work' and ensure they are sufficiently connected to the organisation's operational work and the safety of that work.
    -Safety professionals need to better leverage current safety science knowledge in the application of their work to achieve this.
  • Introduce yourself here!

    I am Jon Harper-Slade, GM Skills and Competency at CHASNZ (Construction Health and Safety New Zealand Trust), the peak body for Health and Safety in the New Zealand Building and Construction Industry. Check us out at or feel free to PM me at .
  • Safeplus Health and Safety Performance Tool
    For the building and construction industry, the proposed Tōtika Scheme (cross recognition scheme for pre-qualification) has identified a Safe+ audit (not the self assessment) as an accepted alternative to a pre-qualification assessment for small, lower risk businesses.

    You can see the detail, and provide feedback as part of our wider consultation process here:
  • Expiry Dates on Training
    The time periods selected for 'refresher' training are arbitrary and certainly not connected to any evidence base I am familiar with (happy to be educated here if anyone can find anything).

    CHASNZ is currently working with the building and construction industry and the training sector (through our Training Advisory Group) to provide:

    -consistent cross recognition for foundational H&S safety training to remove some of the current barriers to site entry
    -training mapped to competency standards set by industry (ConstructSafe Frameworks)
  • Seeking feedback on safety differently guideline for SME's
    I'm keen to have a look :-)
  • Contractor Pre qualification /approval systems
    We would really love to hear about your experiences with pre-qualification and get your feedback on our proposed solution to fix this issue.

    Please visit

    You can look at our Tōtika documents, answer some simple questions about your pre-qualification experiences, and leave feedback on the proposed way forwards.

    Although initially this is an intended cross recognition solution for NZ building and construction, once implemented it could have the potential to be a cross industry solution for NZ.
  • Contractor Pre qualification /approval systems
    Hi All,
    I have read this thread with great interest. It is clear that the current situation around pre-qualification is unacceptable and not necessary helping anybody. Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ) have discussed this issue at a recent board meeting. The board have asked me to start a process that will establish an Industry Task Group to understand and resolve the issues surrounding pre-qualification. This will be a collaborative approach, where the viewpoints across industry will be listened to and considered.
    Is anyone out there familiar with the UK Safety Systems in Procurement approach (SSIP)?
    I would be interested in what people's views are on a potentially similar cross recognition scheme in New Zealand.