• HOP vs all incidents are preventable.
    Unfortunately there are still high powered safety consultancies promoting outdated, non evidence based and frankly damaging concepts such as zero harm and injury frequency rate reporting.
  • Workers who blame themselves
    I would have to take your money because from my discussions with them there was no apparent H&S strategy or system at all.
  • The boundaries - a professional perspective
    I would have thought that a probabilistic risk assessment approach would have been fairly easy for a health and safety professional to calculate in this situation - backed up by data from competent experts.

    But broadly if you look at White Island we know that it has a major eruption every four to seven years (I think). What you could calculate is the probability that there are people on the island at the time of an eruption and base your risk and controls strategy on this.

    What has changed essentially over the past decade is the probability of people being on the island in any given day.

    Fifty years ago it was only the odd scientist or fisherman landing there - so you could calculate a daily visitors per day probability of x (say annual visitors /365).
    Then the probability of an eruption on any given day (y) would be 1 / days between eruptions (say - 365 x 5years)

    The probability of anyone being on the island the same day as an eruption is xy.

    For example if the 1980 annual persons on the island was 50 and if the 2020 count was 5,000 (I dont now what it actually was) the the risk of somebody being on the island the same day of an eruption in 1980 would be .008% and 1% respectively.

    That 1% risk would certainly change your control strategy around island visitors I would have thought as if you apply quantified ALARP principles then you would always be turning people away from this kind of risk if you had no actual control over lowering it.
  • Workers who blame themselves
    Hi Peter, bit of a long story but one that should be shared. Nearly 12 months ago my oldest son was badly injured in a workplace accident. He was 21 at the time and was injured by having concentrated caustic soda coming into contact with his calf. This caused a third degree burn, 12 days in Middlemore burns unit with skin grafts, three months off work and then ultimately causing him to leave the industry because he could no longer do the job he had trained for.

    There was certainly a large element of him blaming himself for the injury and being fearful that he was causing problems for his employer. Basically his response was to want to just quietly get on with his life in another form.

    Certainly very frustrating for his parents given the fact that his employer displayed no care for him when or after he was injured, he ended up on the day hosing himself down with water (rather than any neutralisng agent) having to drive himself (with their knowledge) from north Auckland to Middlemore - all the time with the chemical oxidising on his leg. The subsequent response from Worksafe was extremely poor with only a phone call to himself and his employer as part of their investigation which was then put in the "dealt with" basket. The employer didn't even visit him in hospital or at home afterwards and didn't find it in their heart to top up their minimum wage worker for the 80% ACC accident cover while he was away. All the costs of this have been born by the worker, his family and the NZ taxpayer through ACC. The employer has had zero cost impact and was not taken to task for their very clear deficiencies leading up to and post the event.

    The employer in my view fell well short of its HSWA duties (as did the regulator) in every respect and still to this day I would think is allowing its workers to walk around wet stairs and surfaces carrying concentrated caustic soda in open containers.

    Workers, and in particular young ones have no agency and little advocacy in these types of situation and are not supported by a failed system. Despite myself, a seasoned health and safety professional, talking to him about his rights and that there would be no possible comeback on him personally, there was still a tangible fear of having to go through a process where his employer could be found wanting - and what this would mean for him in a tight knit and small industry.
  • LTIFR in New Zealand
    Hi Brendon - I would be interested in who is asking you for LTIFR information. As indicated above its something we are trying to strongly discourage, however boards and procurement in NZ hasn't generally made the transition away yet.
    There are plenty of good papers that show why it isn't a good safety measure including:

    Acsi. (2019). The Future of Health and Safety Reporting A Framework for Companies. (Page 16)
    Safe Work Australia. (2017). Measuring and Reporting on Work Health and Safety.
    Hallowell, M., Quashne, M., Salas, R., Jones, M., MacLean, B., Quin, E. (2020). The Statistical Invalidity of TRIR as a Measure of Safety Performance.
    Bhandari, S., Hallowell, M., Scheve, C., Upton, J., Alruqi, W., Quaschne M., (2022). Assessing the Quality of Safety-Focused Leadership Engagements.
    Donald K, Martin, Black A.
    Preventing Serious Injuries and Fatalities (SIFs): A New Study Reveals Precursors and Paradigms

    Having said all this - I understand that sometimes you are put in a position where you just have to supply what you have been asked for. The best source of these kinds of stats used to be the ASX100 Citi reports. Happy to send through the most recent one to you - which I think was 2018 if that is useful. Just send me your email through
  • "Bow Tie" analysis
    Hi Rebecca - we put a simple bow tie together to represent the construction industry controls under different alert levels. You can download it free on this page.
  • Temperature Checks for Covid-19 at work
    What we now know is that temperature checking is not effective in screening for COVID-19 including Delta Variant. There is lots of research to back this up - here's one such study

    It creates additional workload, complexity and has the potential to create a culture of fear and intimidation for many workers - particularly if the worksite already has other issues in this area.

    At best it has a small deterrent effect on those who may be not 100% well and think they may be picked up by a temperature check and therefore stay at home.
  • Grad Dip in OHS Mgmt at SIT
    Hello Melissa - I am just completing it so would be happy to answer questions.
  • ACC to retire Habit at Work
    Hi - CHASNZ has been liaising with ACC on this issue recently and we understand the technical reasons why Habit at Work cannot be maintained.
    Given the construction sector has the highest number of and cost associated with lumber and shoulder sprains and strains we are very motivated to work on the issue of reducing muscular skeletal type injuries and developing modern effective and evidence based preventative strategies that reduce these types of injuries. This would include investment in the development of the next generation of tools and advice that although will firstly be targeted at Construction, will be freely available to all.
    I realise this won't help those needing the information right now - but I can confirm it is a priority workstream for CHASNZ.
  • Mental health during the pandemic - new resources
    Just to let everyone know that the Mates in Construction website and 0800 number has opened for the whole construction industry in New Zealand. Please go to
  • Data literacy for safety professionals
    Hi Peter - I don't know if you have heard about Project Whakatipu, which is the construction industry data lake and predictive analytics initiative. Happy to talk to you about it if of interest. Basic concept is the accumulation of traditional safety data from industry, people data and operational data - then to create a data asset to investigate non traditional safety drivers and build prescriptive models for improvement.
  • Contractor Pre qualification /approval systems
    Hello everyone - CHASNZ has been working on behalf of the construction industry to remove duplication and standardise the approach to pre-qualification.

    We are now consulting with wider industry on a potential new model for the construction industry, however this was also designed with other industries in mind in the future. Feel free to distribute the following link: and the associated documents.

    We will be holding town hall meetings in July and engaging with stakeholders directly, including pre-qualification companies.

    It is a genuine consultation and we are keen to hear if there are better ways of achieving the end result of having suppliers/contractors choose their right pre-qualification service that fits the requirements for all their clients. We also want clients (buyers of pre-qual services) to have visibility of all contractors who have been pre-qualified regardless of who did it.

    We are not advocating creating a new pre-qualification scheme, this is a cross recognition scheme, with a centralised information repository and independent audit of the pre-qualification providers to an established standard so everyone is clear what good looks like.

    We are also suggesting that those already part of a recognised and audited scheme such as ISO 45001 should not require a further pre-qualification.

    There is also a survey on the web page with four simple questions around the perceived value and cost of the current pre-qualification process that we would appreciate your assistance in filling out and distributing further.
  • Draft Construction Lag Indicators for Consultation
    Sorry everyone - we have had a major with our website. If you could go to it should work from there
  • Draft Construction Lag Indicators for Consultation
    hi Wayne - good to hear from you. The Vertical leaders team who developed the measures you refer to were part of the working group for this piece of work. This set of definitions represent the whole construction industry including civil and residential - and take the work done by vertical to the next level.
  • A strange request
    Totally agree Peter - implementing a safety management system does not make you compliant with the H&S act as many peddlers of HSMS documentation and systems would like you to believe.

    I was working for a client (in a previous life) who were very compliance orientated - being in the financial services sector. They strenuously wanted to know what documentation they needed to fill out to be compliant with the HASAWA and thought of it in the same vein as complying with Anti Money Laundering legislation etc. I grew frustrated and told them that to be compliant with the act they had to do what they needed to, to avoid putting somebody in hospital or the morgue. Queue embarrassing silence and shuffling of feet - obviously not the answer they wanted.
  • Critical Risk definition
    Critical Risk stems from activities regularly undertaken by a PCBU that if not adequately controlled could result in a significant injury or fatality.
  • Turbans & Hardhats
    This has been dealt with in the UK and the US - where there is specific protection from prosecution from both HSE and OSHA where wear hard hats are not worn for religious reasons.
  • Sources of reliable information
    Hi Chris - I dumped the OSHA fatal database for 10 years and coded it by industry and hazard type. Happy to send it through to you if it helps.
  • TRIFR etc
    I have seen both 200 k and 1m . 1m is the OSHA standard, and pretty much the internationally accepted standard - which means you can source industry comparisons from their website to benchmark if that's what you want to do. The Citi spotlight report (closer to home and includes NZ companies but mainly aussie ASX 100) also uses 1m - they adjust for companies the report using 200 k. I think business leaders forum in NZ was using 200 k for some reason as when I was reporting Fonterra data to them we had to adjust down from 1m.

    If you are only using internally to understand relative improvement year on year then it doesn't really matter. If you are trying to benchmark then its better to use 1m or you run the risk of comparing different stats and thinking you are better or worse than you are. The Spotlight report is pretty good - OSHA stats are very comprehensive.