• Milestone - one thousand members
    Congratulations Peter and Team Safeguard. It's not a small thing to curate a high-quality forum!
  • Road safety: fix the driver vs fix the driving environment
    Hi All,

    Queenstown's Mayor wants to insist that the rental car companies 'should take responsibility for road deaths' by training "tourists" (nebulous term that basically means someone with a foreign drivers licence) on how to drive, AND not hiring cars to people that they think are jet-lagged or incapable of driving on NZ's road (subjective criteria imposed by people who have no training in how to make that judgement).

    Below is a summary of my response I wrote based on my experience of being both an HSE consultant for transport companies and having spent time as a volunteer ambulance officer dealing with MVA's (it didn't go down well).

    1. There is no point in demanding that rental car companies stop hiring cars to tourists based on subjective criteria. It's up to the NZTA to determine 'Who" can go on our roads and the NZPolice to enforce that decision.
    2. Kiwi's crash just as much as tourists and the stats for the Southern South island show that three key causes of serious trauma for drivers with a NZ Licence are impairment (drugs or alcohol), speed (not driving to the conditions) and poor road design. See "Statistical analysis of tourist crashes in southern New Zealand."
    3. Rhys Gardner: Chief executive officer at Codriver Group Limited has developed virtual reality driver training that is currently been tested in rental car companies around New Zealand. However, this doesn't affect "tourists" who buy their own vehicle and then crash.

    What does all this mean?

    I'm a Safety II fangirl, so I'm going to be on the side of better-designed roads and 'space-aged' technology in cars that would prevent drivers from driving impaired and cause the vehicle to pull over or slow down if the driver is driving inappropriately according to the weather and road conditions.

    I'm sure I'm going to be dodging tomatoes over this view and accused by liberals of imposing 'Nanny State' technology on their right to drive their vehicle the way they want to....and die a predictable death.
  • Lone worker monitoring solution
    I usually get my clients to use a combination of the 'Get Home Safe' App and Garmin 'In Reach Explorer'. This is a GPS with an SOS tracking function that's not far off military-grade and is surprisingly cost-effective. It also has messaging to email and mobile phone through satellite capability so you can Bluetooth the device to mobile if you need to.

    This is not the perfect solution for everyone; however, and based on a presenter that I heard speak at the Southern Safety Show (Invercargill) and my own experience I think you need to consider the following:

    1. What is the risk category that your worker is in?
    An accountant doing a site visit will not face the same STICKY (Stuff That Can Kill You) that a transmission line worker will. The line worker may require an on body product that can tell if the person has collapsed or taken a fall.

    2. The availability of mobile and other communication networks
    Understand the coverage available and how reliable it is

    3. Response time required. Do you need 24-hour monitoring from a call centre such as St John to ensure there is a prompt response?
    What is the typical work schedule? Is it 24/7 or emergency response only?
  • Is Sexual Harassment and Bullying a Hazard? HSE vs HR vs Employment Law
    I ask my client's to use the term target (or alleged target). It's more neutral, tries to stay out of the victim/persecutor model, attempts to focus on the behaviour rather than labelling the individual and I've found it a better term to use when working with the person who has been accused of doing the behaviour.
  • The Silliness of Zero Harm
    I think the concept of Zero Harm is redundant and I cringe every time our 'Business Leaders' throw the phrase out there.

    I've seen this mindset drive event reporting underground, especially when contractual penalties are tied to the 'zeroness'.

    The phrase also leads to assumptions that humans can 'control' their environment and only bad/stupid get themselves hurt. This inevitably ties people into a vicious cycle of victim/ persecutor/ enabler or the great name - blame - shame game.

    Work is complex, human's are complex and trying to prevent events with aspirational slogans like 'zero harm' doesn't seem to help much.
  • Magnetic Fall Protection Barrier
    Hi Michael,

    I'm not an industrial engineer; however, I doubt there is a magnetic option that would meet the requirements for fall restraint or edge protection.

    However, you may find this article from Capital Safety useful technical article - Capital Safety
    heavy duty transportation equipment such as loaders, trucks and other machinery. FALL PROTECTION FOR THE MINING INDUSTRY
  • Worksite traffic management
    Hi Mike,

    There is some good stuff in Worksafe's WORKPLACE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: Fact Sheet, and 'The Absolutely Essential Health and Safety Toolkit (Manufacturing)' p. 13 Although, it's a shame that all the links in the document are broken due to the reconfiguring of the Worksafe website, it would have been nice if Worksafe had known how to index its old site and maintain links so you could search them ***sigh***

    Safe Work Australia has 'Workplace traffic management guidance material' which is my personal 'Go To'

    Even though it's really marketing material, 'Plant Services' has an excellent floor marking 'colours' guide based on Lean/Agile manufacturing principles. See

    Also, check out it talks about what they do in the USA for various bits of plant i.e. bench saws (sadly it's al in feet).
  • Using "days since last accident" signs
    I saw politically incorrect sign misappropriation that said 'This Work Centre has been accident-free. since... Joe left.'

    It made me giggle.

    For the record, no I'm not a fan of lagging indicator celebration. Yes, the site management needs to acknowledge that they hired, trained and supervised Joe, so they had a part in the problem
  • H&S Committtee Objectives
    Hi Rebecca,

    If you are looking for some themes, have a look at
    OSPRI's health and safety, security and environment strategy


    Health, Safety and Wellbeing Strategy 2017-2022, And Health, Safety and Wellbeing Annual Plan


    Download Sodexo's 'Better Together' eBook = comprehensive guide to sustainable safety culture. (This site also has some awesome blog posts worth reading).


  • Position descriptions
    Hi Jim,

    Congratulations! It's exciting to establish your own rules of engagement for your role, although I'm also guessing it seems a little overwhelming at the same time!

    1. If you are focusing on compliance, review and general monitoring 20 hours should be enough, although having a clause that there may be additional hours due to unforeseen circumstances (think Worksafe visit or notifiable incident) could blow that at. Also, remember to schedule in your own professional development and training. If you are maxed out, this will be the first thing to go.

    2. Reporting to the CFO can be good and bad, on the one hand, you are talking directly who signs off on money stuff, so you can start canvassing early for next year's budget. On the other hand, the CFO may have limited bandwidth for HSE issues (Or simply be MIA) during a budget review or end of year process). You need to be quite strategic about this.

    As far as job descriptions go, take a look at INSHPO's 'A Global Framework for Practice' look at pg. 16, there is a useful table of skills and competencies that you can put into your JD

    3. As far as trying to start up full-blown HSE committees while you are still new to your job, I'd recommend starting small and establishing your 'friendly' stakeholder group first.
    a) Establish HSR's for each site
    b) Get the Operation/ Site Manager on board (do a proper project plan that explains who will be involved, how they will be trained and the time commitment).
    c) set up a communications plan to roll out the plan to workers who might be interested
    d) hold elections.....

    You may find the following useful:


    UK govt Guide 'How to set up your H & S Committee' NB this does not use the same words as our legislation, however, it has some excellent ideas on 'How To...'
  • Worker Participation and Engagement
    Hi Tracy,

    I love Trello too, although, I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to worker engagement.

    The two most important tools I've used when working with geographically distant teams are at the end of every meeting we do two things:
    1. Have an 'Open Mic' session - this is where people share things that haven't been talked about or weren't on the agenda that they think the team needs to know.
    2. Ask each person what the key thing they learnt this week was. This has been invaluable for sharing organic knowledge between geographic locations and working out where skill gaps are/ what may have been missed in inductions and OJT.

    I also make an effort to talk one on one with each person at least once a month, if not in person via skype where I can 'eyeball' them.

    According to writers folklore, Ernest Hemingway wrote the saddest story ever written in six words:
    "For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never worn." Here's my take on worker engagement in nine words.

    1. I noticed this.....
    Point out something that the person has done that was above and beyond. Basically, you are saying you matter to me and what you do matters to the organisation.

    2. Tell me more....
    If someone gives you feedback give them space to tell you everything.

    3. And, what else?
    This really is an informal 'open mic' where you give people an opportunity to share anything else that might be winding them up.... in the hope that you can proactively manage it before it becomes a real issue.

    Please note I'm a hardcore Safety II girl, who also likes appreciative inquiry and NLP. This may not work for you, but it's worth having a go. Managing geographically diverse teams has it's unique set challenges and you never quite know what's going to come at you next!
  • Dodging LTIs
    @Craig Marriott your blog and David's work sum it all up perfectly!
  • SafePlus Accreditation
    I really like the online assessment tool and will be using it with my clients. However; I feel the 'paid for' version is a massive fail. I've had some interesting discussions with Safe+ advocates who insist on giving me a detailed description of what behavioural based safety audits vs ISO accreditation is. I normally smile sweetly and walk off because yes, I do know what behavioural based safety is and don't need a 101.

    The problem is that business owners really have no idea about the technical nuances of auditing, accreditation and behavioural based safety. There appears to be no feasibility study or return on investment stats to make a business case for the paid process. Instead, the answer is 'Do it cause it will make you safer... it's a nice/good thing to do" (palm to forehead).

    Whoever came up with the 'paid' Safe+ version seems to lack an understanding of how business works and how to deliver an effective marketing/ branding/ communication strategy that backs the product up.

    I know I'm probably going to get metaphorical rotten tomatoes thrown at me for saying this.....however; I feel sorry for the consultants that paid to get accredited....I think they purchased a white elephant.
  • Dodging LTIs
    I agree with Tania, I think too often we forget about the psychological effects of an incident and how isolating recovery and rehabilitation can be. There is a great article on the Ministry of Health website that discusses it When someone you know has been through a traumatic experience

    Obviously, this needs to be addressed on a case by case basis and suitably qualified professionals need to be involved (I'm definitely not a psychologist or a physiotherapist).

    That said, the LTI data fascination and associated KPI's / Level of service agreement penalties drive me insane. It's third in my line of 'Why are we still doing this?" list:
    1. Tender processes that drive inappropriate behaviour
    2. Arbitrary Pre Qual processes
    3. Contractual penalties for LTI's
  • 3 questions arising from Sept/Oct edition of Safeguard
    Q: Peta Miller and Rebecca Michalak say that, rather than trying to boost mental 'resilience' in individuals, the primary effort should go into designing psychosocially healthy work environments. Do you agree? Why, or why not?

    I agree, at the HASANZ conference Geoff McDonald stated his distaste in regards to ‘reliance’ and it’s almost combative/victim/persecutor themes.

    I heard analogy used by Mark Tapsell form ‘The Zone’ where he told the story of a fishbowl with a bright young fish in a clear water. Silos, ego’s, workarounds, and bureaucracy pollute the water.

    If you ask a five-year-old what to do about it, they will say change the water. Ask the average HR/HSE person what to do and they will say make the fish more resilient. Sadly, putting SCUBA gear on the fish, basting it in anti-toxin gel or telling it to go to another fishbowl isn’t going to solve the problem.

    I like the five-year-old, keep it simple approach and start with a solid working environment and culture rather than deal with formal complaints, personal grievances and cases of unjustified dismissals.