• A question from a newbie
    Hi Graham. I love Todd, and the concept of failing safely. His podcast is fantastic! I would suggest that a lot of H&S professionals are not on this bus yet (still stuck in the old compliance and people as the problem thinking) but going forward, this kind of thinking is what our profession needs. Check out for lots more interesting reading - you're heading in the right direction :)
  • ICAM Investigation Course
    Anyone done the one CECC offers?
  • chainsaws and dust exposure
    This is the perfect argument for exposure monitoring. Different environments, different chainsaws, different timbers, and even different operators and work practices are all factors that will affect actual exposure. Where there is any uncertainty about whether or not the WES may be exceeded you need to get some exposure monitoring done. If you don't measure it using credible methods - you can't possibly know what the levels will be!
  • Fingerless Gloves
    In most instances I find the argument about dexterity is actually just an excuse. Get the guys to put on gloves (good ones) and demonstrate the work - then you will see if it's a genuine issue or a copy out.
    If the issue is around wearing gloves near rotating machinery, you can get gloves which have fingers that tear off if they become entangled, to prevent pulling the hand in. Horses for courses - it's important to understand the true demands of the work.
  • Notifiable work - all contractors or only the main contractor to notify?
    Spot on - it only needs to be notified by one PCBU.
    The key here is the overlapping duties - the relevant PCBU's need to talk to one another and agree who is responsible for lodging notifications. All the relevant PCBU's should be ensuring the notification is lodged (whether by them or another PCBU), e.g. by obtaining a copy.
  • Clarification around imposing penalties to sub trades
    Well here's my two cents... @MattD2 has it spot on about PCBU's and workers.... so I won't add to that. But I think people are actually misinterpreting the intent of S27.

    To impose a penalty because a contractor is not fulfilling their H&S obligations under the law, or meeting your specific H&S expectations or contract requirement is not to impose "a levy or charge on a worker (or permit a levy or charge to be imposed on a worker) for anything done, or provided, in relation to health and safety."

    The intent of S27 is that workers cannot be levied for doing something they are required to do to meet the law or protect the health and safety of themselves or others. For example, a business cannot make the worker pay for training they need to undertake to do their work safely, they cannot charge them for the PPE they need for work, they cannot make workers take unpaid leave to attend H&S meetings or carry out their duties as an HSR etc. etc. It's about sh*tty companies not being able to penalise people for doing the right thing, not the other way around.
  • Loading Unloading containers
    In an ideal world, there would not be a need for this to happen... but we live in reality, not an ideal world. Work through the hierarchy of control, starting at the top, and talk to the people who do the work, to determine what is reasonably practicable.
    So far as managing the people versus machine risk, there are some excellent technological solutions available now. One option if that the workers wear a proximity sensor that communicates with the forklift, and if they come within a specified distance the forklift is stopped or the operator is notified by an alarm.
  • Construction Industry Mental Health Research - Thank you for the support - Data Collection Complete!
    Thanks Andy - I'm looking forward to seeing your research! What a highly valuable area to be working in.
  • Charging for pre Registration
    That sounds very odd Brendan. Are they assessing each individual? What on earth does that 'pre-approval' involve?
  • Risk Assessment Matrix
    Ahhh the beloved risk matrix... Imho, one of the least understood and most misused tools in the H&S toolkit.

    I do not believe a one-size fits all approach works when it comes to developing and using a risk matrix - but that is what tends to be done.

    Site Safe has created one, but it is open to interpretation, therefore, it my experience it is of very little valuable use. Much more instruction / explanation is required, along with personalisation to fit the specific risk appetite and procedure of the organisation.

    Some of the key issues I have with this example are:
    1. It says to 'consider the severity of injury/illness' - but is this the maximum potential severity, or the most likely severity? It does not say. If it's the maximum potential severity, then most work risks inevitably fall in the catastrophic or major category (as worst case scenario for even a minor trip hazard could be a head injury, a broken neck, or death - rare yes, but 'possible' if we are thinking maximum potential). On the other hand, if we look at the most likely consequence, hazards with catastrophic potential can be underestimated simply because the likelihood of the catastrophic outcome is low. Critical risks can be inadequately identified and managed in this instance.
    2. The descriptions of the examples given for the severity options create a focus on 'safety' rather than health (or any other type of risk for that matter, e.g. financial, environmental, reputational etc.).
    3. Without specific guidance, likelihood is massively open to interpretation and the influences of individual bias. Arguably, even with guidance, there is still room for this, but being so ambiguous just worsens the issues. What one person thinks is 'likely to happen' based on their personal experiences and perceptions, could be considered as 'unlikely to happen' to another person. Who is right? How do we get consensus?
    4. We assess the risk... and then WHAT? As Chris pointed out, this example does not include any actions or implications related to the outcome of the risk assessment. There is no determination of what is an acceptable level of risk.

    Anyway, I've taken up enough space here. I'm very interested in this though - keen to see what others have to say. I have rarely come across what I would consider to be a good risk assessment.
  • s44 Prosecutions
    I'm pleased to see I'm not the only one thinking about this. It seems highly unlikely that none of the prosecutions to date involved a breach of s44, so I would be interested to know why WS has not been pursuing them and if this is likely to change in the future.
  • Sharing health and safety documentation with your team members
    Hmm, I imagine any document is going to be difficult to look at on a phone, regardless of what app or programme is opening it. I find my customers use iPads or other tablets for on site documents just due to the screen size.
  • Mental Health in the Construction Industry - Research Update-
    Great research subject Andy. I will forward to my construction network next week for you. When you say, 'within the construction industry' does that include both people who are no on the tools, e.g. project managers?
  • Sharing health and safety documentation with your team members
    What is it about drive you find makes them not user friendly to read? It could be the format they are saved as that affects how they open on devices too.
  • Audits vs Review
    To my mind, an audit is a formal assessment against specific criteria, whereas a review is often more informal, and can include more open questions, rather than very particular criteria.
    I hope that is helpful.
  • The Difference Between Signed & Understanding & "What's The Point"?
    PS. If the company has some rules it does not enforce undermines all rules, some of which are potentially much more important! Not enforcing one rule condones rule-breaking across the board. If everything is important (and therefore has a rule) then nothing is important (and therefore all rules can be broken).

    I usually find when a rule is not being followed, it's not a problem with the people... it's a problem with the rule.