• Government Website - Hazardous Substances Calculator
    I am currently running 11 hazardous substances inventories in the WorkSafe Hazardous Substances Calculator. It’s easy to use and maintain once you know how. What I like about it is that it identifies incompatible substances and it outlines what the health risks are. Generic controls are stated (with a reference point to the Regs) and it also informs you if a hazardous area needs to be established.

    As well, a controls report can be printed and an inventory can be downloaded into an excel spreadsheet. One of the latest features is that you can enter the expiry dates of Safety Data Sheets which is very useful when 100s of Safety Data Sheets are kept.

    And, the price is right……’s free.
  • Safety Apps
    There's heaps of safety apps out there. Check out Onside ( Although it is aimed at the rural market it is a useful safety app in a range of workplaces. Has a risk register and an accident/incident reporting function. Can geofence a property and sign visitors/ contractors in and out.
  • Truck loading/unloading areas
    Every day of the week trucks are loaded and unloaded at ‘unsafe’ sites where there are unsafe conditions and unsafe behaviours. Some sites are untidy junkyards, some have low overhead wires, some are congested and others have people wandering around. Plant and equipment is often shonky. There are unguarded machinery and substandard forklifts and loaders. Some unloading areas are down private shared lanes and paper roads where people remove barriers and where kids scoot and skateboard through as a shortcut on their way to school. My observation is that the further out of a city you go the more ‘relaxed’ the site is.

    I like to ensure that drivers know that they are in control of their work area and if a driver reports an unsafe site I will follow it up. The follow up is a ‘PR’ exercise. And, with the aid of my two ears, two eyes and one mouth usually results in a simple one/two-page shared document. The document covers the 3 Cs (overlapping duties) and outlines the driver’s safety responsibilities and the sites safety responsibilities. Done professionally most people appreciate the visit.

    Believe me there’s still a HUUGE amount of work to be done in this space.
  • Hazard vs Risk Video

    Hi Amanda
    I found the same problem a few years ago so I put together my own PowerPoint to describe the difference between a hazard and a risk. I used the example of a shark in the water followed by three scenarios:
    1. Shark in water and people sunning themselves on a sandy beach
    2. Shark in water and kids paddling in knee/waist depth breakers
    3. Shark in water right beside a group of surfers

    The shark was the hazard, but each group of people were exposed to a different level of risk. Kept it simple and created some great discussion.

    Hope this helps.
  • Charging PCBU 2 for induction into PCBU 1 site
    The mercenary side of health and safety - one of the reasons that health and safety is a damaged brand.
  • Expiry Dates on Training
    The provision of information, supervision, training and instruction is an ongoing process. However I can't help but wonder if the 'required' refresher training time frames are commercially driven.........................just saying.
  • H&S is "strangling business": how best to respond?
    The best way to avoid having H & S strangle a business is to integrate it into the organisations operations. Do that, and it will no longer be seen as a cost, instead, it will become part of what they do.
  • Near Miss Reporting
    I avoid the term near-miss when talking to workers and opt for near-hit or near-accident. To avoid the reporting of trivia I use the word 'meaningful' as opposed to 'meaningless'.
  • Contractor Pre qualification /approval systems
    I work for a group of trucking companies with over 200 trucks on the road (city and rural) and we deliver and pick up at 100's of sites. The work we do is mostly short duration (either drop off or pick up goods or livestock). We get pre-qualified by 100's of organisations paper-based and electronic and swap 100's of documents - none of which makes the job any safer. The key document is the risk assessment for the job (SOP/SWM for swinging containers, operating a crane truck, pick up/deliver livestock, spread fertiliser, pick up deliver bulk commodities, cart logs, spray agrichemicals etc). Very few organisations ask for these and it's rare for the three C's principles to be followed. If the value of the work is less than the cost of the pre-qual system I politely decline.
  • Signing For Attendance At Toolbox Meetings
    I keep a record of who attended in the Toolbox meeting in the minutes - means further down the track a worker can't pretend that they didn't know about something that was discussed. I get the workers who didn't attend the Toolbox meeting to read the minutes and sign that they have read them. Don't like the sign off bit but it helps with accountability.
  • H&S Committtee Objectives
    Useful information - appreciated. I work for a group of trucking companies, mostly rural. One of my lead measures is to have a set number of safety conversations with our professional drivers. Keep a spreadsheet. Ask:
    What's your number 1 risk?
    Do you think that our H & S is fit for purpose?
    Any suggestions for improvement?
    Once we get past the good-natured banter, get some great responses.
  • Mythbusters - NZ version

    You are correct and I often wonder, if WorkSafe only require 2 documents, why would they produce a 50 page document entitled Writing for Health and Safety - "These guidelines help you to write health and safety documents for your workplace"

    Mixed messages?

    I'm all for keeping documentation to a minimum and reducing safety clutter however I've been around long enough to know the importance of keeping good records - lots of them.
  • E-scooters: am I right to be worried?
    I always thought that a 'footpath' was designed and designated for foot traffic (i.e. people walking or running). But that's sooo last century. Introducing silent scooters that can travel at 27kph doesn't seem to mitigate the risks (to people walking) to 'as low as reasonably practicable' - you know what I mean. But I don't suppose that a 'footpath' is a workplace. Or is it?
  • Critical Risk definition
    The definition that I use for critical risk is:
    ‘If the controls fail, there is the potential for either a fatality or a permanent disability.’
  • Health and Safety an organisational discipline of its own
    Following a large merger my national health and safety role moved from operations/business development and came under HR. I concluded that health and safety didn’t belong there, nor did I.

    My experience was that when health and safety came under HR it became more bureaucratic and placed more emphasis on statistics rather than what was going on in the business.

    My current role is stand-alone, working in operations and reporting to a Board. It’s the best place to be for a health and safety professional who wants to understand the business from a grass roots perspective, keep people safe and integrate safety into all aspects of the organisation.
  • Lone worker monitoring solution
    The two types of lone work that are the highest level of risk for our organisation are truck drivers operating self-loading logging trucks and fertiliser trucks working in remote areas that are steep and with no phone nor RT coverage. We've looked at rollover devices and man down devices but opted for a small portable device called a Spot Gen 3. They work off satellites and have a check in mode, can use a customised message and also have an SOS button. They also have a tracking system based on google maps. Hope this helps.
  • Introduce yourself here!
    Hi there, I’m Graham Neate. My involvement in health and safety began in 1993 after the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 came in to effect. Have seen safety systems evolve from simple, effective, practical safety procedures to the large paper-based monsters that we work with today. Have worked in a range of safety roles at an operational and national level. Specialist area #farmsafety. Currently working as Group Health and Safety Manager for a group of Mid Canterbury trucking companies and agricultural contractors.