• Tag Testing
    Like a WOF, it is only good for the day the test was carried out. What we are seeing is perceived safety. Just because it has a PAT tag on it , most people perception is that it is safe to use and don't give a second thought to a visual inspection etc. Testing will not cover anyone's ass if they do not ensure electrical safety.
  • SDS - is this crap advice on the specific types of PPE needed even legal?
    The manufacturer of the substance has no idea how you will use / store / work with the chemical and therefore they cannot tell you what PPE is required. If the chemical is automatically decanted and used without a person being exposed in anyway shape or form then what is the PPE requirement? On the other hand, if the product is being sprayed onto a surface and the user can be exposed then a completely different level of protection is required. A SDS is base information and the risk assessment (have a look at COSHH regulations from HSE in UK) is where the controls should be determined, relative to the way the chemical is used etc.
  • The Silliness of Zero Harm
    Getting back to the point of Zero Harm, the ethos of the statement is that we aspire not to harm anyone. Zero harm (as well as zero defect) is is not about thinking that we do not have risks - we all face risks every day, we need to manage those risks to prevent the unintended outcome. No company sets out to harm anyone, so saying we aspire not to harm people is true. No company (with or without a Zero Harm commitment) intends for any hazard to be realised.
  • Developing a strategy for H&S
    Surely the Strategy has to be detached from the day to day actions to achieve it? These are 2 very different aspects. The strategy is the "what" (i.e. what H&S will look like in the organisation) and the actions are the "how" , that is how the strategy aims are translated into everyday actions. Bear in mind that more strategies fail due to poor execution rather than poor strategy and that there are always more good ideas than time to execute them. Most companies dread this exercise because it is too big, takes too much time and will invariably fail due to everything else that we have to do on a daily basis taking over and the strategy not being implemented.

    My tuppence worth - the strategy lays out the lagging indicators (that say where we are now, where we want to be and by when) and the plan deals with the lead indicators that form the actions that will drive the lagging indicators from current state to future state (strategy aim). The key to success is allocating the time to actually do things that will change the needle on the strategy aims.
  • A question from a newbie
    Have a look at Just Culture - well documented by James Reason. This is a great mechanism to determine if the person was truly at fault or if it was a system induced fault.
  • Do H&S-related roles in NZ pay enough to attract the best people into the business?
    If you would like to understand motivations , read Maslow's hierarchy of needs (a quick google search will bring up a wealth of info). Like any support service in industry, and any job, you are only worth what an employer is able (and willing) to pay. There are also factors such as the local economy, supply and demand etc etc that will determine the pay that a role attracts. You can pay a lot and get someone short of 'the best' - pay and competence are not necessarily proportional.
  • Paracetamol in First Aid Kits
    First aiders are not allow to prescribe medication (regardless of a signed waiver or not) so save yourself the hassle and don’t supply any medication.
  • Near Miss Reporting
    I explain a near miss as an incident that didn't realise it's full potential. To expand - if something happens and it had the (real) potential to harm someone then it is a near miss. If something happens and a person is injured then it is an incident. The distinction between an incident and a near miss is the presence (or lack of) injury.
    To illustrate in a more real life way - someone dropping a hammer from a ladder when someone is in the immediate vicinity , and the person on the ground suffers no harm, is a near miss. Had the person been in a different position or the hammer fallen in a different direction then an incident could have occurred. This, to me, is a real near miss (or near hit as some people refer to it).
    Hope this helps!
  • H&S is "strangling business": how best to respond?
    Ask Mike to validate his argument with evidence. He will show you rules that the business themselves have put it place.......... who is to blame for that , if not the businesses themselves?
  • Institutionalisation and Entrenched Behaviours
    Start looking at the organisation. Entrenched behaviours are not by choice for the majority of people - they are systematic of the organisation. Behaviours are driven by the demands (often conflicting) placed on an individual by the organisation and when the demands are competing , something will have to give. For example - non-reporting of incidents is often linked not to the unwillingness to report (who doesn't want to prevent someone else from getting hurt?) but to the organisations response to the reporting of incidents. Ask people "What will happen if you report an incident" rather than "Why don't you report incidents"/ - the truth will come out.
  • What should we use this Forum for?
    Weekly update would be good to highlight issues being discussed / questions being posed.