Comments

  • Hand held infra red thermometer use
    Thermal Testing is a directive from high above so we are putting it in place. It's actually quite a simple process that we're adding to our 'Landing Card' process (everyone has to fill in a card each day that asks them whether they have stayed in their bubble and abided by lockdown conditions when off site - yes it works pretty well and everyone has been great with it)

    • Get permission
    • Line up (2 m apart)
    • Hand Landing Card over
    • Authorised person wearing appropriate PPE takes landing card, checks it, takes workers temp using infrared devicey thingy.
    • If 37.7 or above the worker goes into the quarantine box for 3 mins then retested.
    • If temp is still high they quarantine for ten minutes then retest.
    • If temp is still high at that point they are sent off site with the instructions to head to their nearest Covid testing service. They have to self isolate until the results come in.
    • Everything is sanitised between worker etc etc
  • KPI's
    Just a few non-specifics to throw in the mix for starters:
    • Timely and accurate reporting and recording of incidents.
    • Any reporting requirements to teams/board etc completed IFOT
    • Any training requirements completed (theirs)
    • Organisation/coordination of training for others (first aid certs etc).
    • Emergency management SoPs, contact details and trials run,
    • Compliance with other HS related tasks (Haz Subs certifications, gantry/lifting certifications, etc)
    • Improved (or if it's already awesome, then maintained) Levels of worker participation and engagement with HS

    :)
  • Coronavirus
    Seeing as COVID-19 was affecting our ability to get workers before the virus was confirmed in NZ, as a massive FM site in the middle of our busiest season, having 25% of existing staff out for over two weeks would be very, uh, inconvenient.

    We're low-key prepping, upping the communication (but not too much - #nohysterics), putting in place prevention plans and plans to protect critical role holders, ordering waaaaay more hand sanitiser, making sure extra cleans are done in high traffic/eating/sanitary areas, planning for remote work etc - Again, not so much for the illness/fatality aspect, but from the 'what do we do if 25% of our workforce is out of action for two-weeks' perspective.
  • Docu-Dramas
    I managed to (legally) download the 'Pike River' docu-drama when Prime first had it available in 2016. If anyone wants the link PM me. :)
  • Safety Policy Statements - you are committed to what?

    Nailed in in three sentences. Documentation is only useful when:
    Purposeful,
    Designed for the user (not the audit), and
    Focussed on work as done, not imagined.
  • National to promise 'common-sense' legal test for workplace safety rules
    Have to agree. It's the consultant, or maybe the interpretation of the consultant rather than the law at fault.

    I don't have a voting preference as far as parties go - but when I heard this on the news this morning (and how the media managed to combine it with National scrapping 'unfit-for-purpose' Regulations during the same story) a couple of red flags did pop up.
  • Safety Policy Statements - you are committed to what?
    Also, it seems increasing that no-one actually understands the difference between a policy and a procedure. I've lost count of the number of times a senior manager/induction company has asked for (or told someone to write) a policy on things like working at height, fatigue management, confined spaces or [enter your favourite activity here].

    Policy = governance commitment = we'll keep people safe by following the law in so far as it's reasonably practicable for us to do so.

    Procedure - operational steps taken. Sometimes they're imaginary. Sometimes they're aligned with reality.

    Either way, as Andrew said, the value of the paperwork is dependent on the actions applied.
  • Coronavirus
    Just adding to the above - this is the outline of our plan in principle. I think the only thing on there that isn't covered in previous discussions is the duplicate personnel and support plans for sick staff.

    The measles outbreak and yearly viral outbreaks gave us a good little test but we've yet to give it a proper work out. (fingers crossed we don't need it)
    Attachment
    Virus (19K)
  • H&S Committees - Alternative ideas and approaches
    Short sharp training sessions - like super short - 5 mins tops at the end of the meeting or as it's own meeting. Use videos, practicals, stories, case studies, anything except numbers and loads of words on a PowerPoint screen.

    Make it ALL about the participants. You are there to support and serve.. Spend less time talking, more time listening. Tell a story and then let them tell you how that story could happen at their place. That almost always develops into the conversation within the group about what could they do about it.

    Non PC food is also good - it's amazing how far a couple of bucks worth of chocolate fish improves engagement - I don't know if anyone has done a study on how having food in your mouth improves confidence and breaks down barriers, but I've now been to a over a year's worth of multi-department meetings (14 a month at one site) where that exact phenomenon has happened.

    In fact the regular choc fish vs fruit burst vs pineapple lump vote is always a winner and the only bummer meeting we've had recently was when someone (okay, me) left the choc fish in the car for a week and they melted together... it wasn't the worst meeting ever, but it did take the team slightly longer to warm up. The discussion on how this event could be prevented was also a bit of a hoot :)
  • Moving up the hierarchy of controls
    It also depends on who you are talking to. At the end of the day 'he who markets better wins', no matter what the law says.

    You have to tailor the story for the recipient you're talking to. So a manager focussed on the mighty $ has to see actuals in the form of cost of engineering/substitution'isolation controls vs ACC/Lost time and fines,

    Production teams tend to like the story where they can use engineering to limit waste and improve yield tonnage (that it also happens to enclosure a system and isolate it is a bonus - but hey, we take the wins however we can.)

    We've also started actively recognising when we have failed safely (thanks Mr Conklin) when we can hand on heart say that [insert minor incident] occurred because we were good, not lucky.

    As an industry we have to get better at marketing these as something other than 'it's legislative compliance so we HAVE to do it' then getting frustrated when it doesn't happen.
  • White Island Volcanic Eruption and Dialogue About Risk
    I'm an entirely logical and sensible rock nut who loves the whole geology of walking through volcanic areas, so find this situation with White Island (and by default any active volcano including Tongariro and Ruapehu) really conflicting...

    Is there a risk that the volcano will blow? Always

    Would I take a tour into the volcano? (or do the crossing/crater walk in the case of the others)
    Yes, and have done because as part of my decision-making process I'm trusting that the guides/gatekeepers have all the information and skills they need to make an informed decision about the risk to me on the day and time I am there.

    In this case I'm also prepared to roll the dice that the once-in-a-thousand day/month/year eruption won't happen during my once-in-a-blue-moon excursion on the exact day and time I'm there. If it does, well, I am comfortable with my decision and let the cards fall where they may. After all, we live on a country that is one of the thinnest parts of the Earths crust.

    Then I was asked "Would I take my kids?"
    Prior to Monday, Without a doubt.

    Now I don't know, Monday was a reality check of devastating proportions. Not because the mountain did anything wrong but because this area is exceptionally volatile and we rely heavily on the knowledge, communication and motivations of the experts around us.

    Something about some of the reported stories reminds me of the failures that led to the Mangatepopo canyoning event. I hope I'm wrong.

    Like I said, still conflicted, and very, very interested in seeing the progression of the investigation into this one.

    My ultimate hope is that while we still find it acceptable to allow 5-year-olds to walk 5 hours across an active volcano in jandals and 30 degree heat, sanity and commonsense will prevail when it comes to our continued access to these unique areas.

    However I suspect Whaakari might be in the naughty corner for a few decades.
  • Availability of good candidates to fill H&S roles


    "I wasn't so much looking for a person that had experience in safety - but more a person who would be a great change agent. Anyone can learn safety skills - but hard to teach someone how to create change and do it with personality ...."

    That right there sums up approx 80% of current HSE/HSW/EHS vacancies. It's not necessarily the health and safety qualification that counts but the bonus material (a background of any other relevant practical experience or qualifications) that comes with your particular package.
  • Near miss reporting
    My 2 cents (no GST)

    Delving a bit more into what Sheri said - Maybe because they don't recognise the near miss as a 'near miss' until it's pointed out to them.

    As the health/safety/wellbeing people 'what could happen' is very much in our culture but it is still severely lacking in most of our teams at the coal face, on the line and up the rank.

    One team I worked with had a bit of a epiphany when we changed the definition of 'near miss' to "[enter favourite expletive] that was close!"

    If they got to say that, then they needed to tell someone about it.
  • Government Website - Hazardous Substances Calculator
    I've used it several times for several different locations and really like it.
    Yes it's 2-D and a little clunky but it accomplishes the paperwork requirements with a minimum of fuss compared with having to build something similar from scratch :)
  • Random Drug Testing
    Maybe if we stop looking at Drug and Alcohol testing as a control per-se and start seeing it as a method of identifying and monitoring risk (as with other health monitoring) the conversations around its use can become less defensive and more productive?

    Happy New Year :)
  • Random Drug Testing
    Random testing does not work in isolation from other controls... it is another control used in conjunction with the hierarchy - which was the other reason it was compared with PPE (even though it's an administrative control). Again the OP was about Random D&A testing not 'What controls do we have in place for workers impaired by Drugs and Alcohol'. That would have been a totally different conversation. ;)
  • Random Drug Testing

    'you could walk down Lambton Quay at lunchtime and the pubs used to be chocker full of workers'. Yep, you could go to any contractor, transport site in the country and there would be the after work beersies. That's one of the reasons the company implemented it so early. Nothing like an 'impaired' truck driver being loaded by an 'impaired' loader driver ;)

    "I would be interested in how you get away with random testing of all staff " - Our policies are loose enough and our teams responsibile enough, to see the benefit of it. It's also in their contracts that anyone can be tested at any time for any reason (I'm paraphrasing).

    "I assume they can't all be working in a safety sensitive work area" - Sorry, but you're assumption is incorrect. Aside from the fact that our guys and girls work under the High Hazards unit, they are also operating multiple items of fixed and mobile plant in a variety of conditions. All failures on our site have the potential to be catastrophic.

    It's compared to PPE because it won't stop the damage if something goes wrong (a hard hat is not particularly helpful against a 50T boulder, a collision between vehicles is damaging whether drivers are impaired or not). However the potential for both (PPE and testing) to be used to prevent the event happening is what counts.

    Agreed - our 'random testing' is a nuclear threat - but if the threat of getting caught is what it takes for a team member to not have that final beer/bourbon/toke on a Sunday, so they are fit for work on Monday morning and able to stop the loader before it hits the pedestrian, who cares what anyone thinks of it?

    I could go on about other forms of impairment, but the OP was about D&A testing so I've stuck with that.

    (there endeth today's blog post - sorry)

    :)
  • Random Drug Testing
    We have zero tolerence for D & A for all staff and random testing for these and have done for the last 30 years. Ironically our zero-tolerence stand was laughed at by our legal team at the time - lol.

    The difference with our random testing is that the van comes on any site randomly and all operations staff on site at the time are tested. Only one person ever knows when this will happen. It's like wearing PPE - a last chance control, rather than a sole prevention method.

    We only do ops staff because they are the most exposed to critical risks and do not have the physical buffer to protect others from impaired decision-making that our administrative decision makers do.

    Other than that, on the whole, potential D & A influence is treated no differently to fatigue, emotional distress, illness or anything else which impairs the ability of staff to make decisions and undertake their work safely. It is evidenced, then dealt with. That said, we are lucky that we have tight crews who look out for each other and managers who also have the respect and trust of their teams, which makes life a whole lot easier.