Comments

  • Workplace Bullying
    - that is going to be a complex one to answer. Just as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", so too is 'respect'. Add to that the very relevant contribution of our own self-image, which is the filter through which we experience everything in life, and yet we struggle to really see and recognise the filter itself.

    US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman whose life was characterised by a painful struggle with her own self esteem, was famously quoted as saying, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." If a person feels weak or inadequate, no amount of well-intended respect or kindness from outside themselves will have any impact on them, because they are not inherently receptive to it. Instead, they will perceive a slight in every comment.

    Bullying is a complex social and psychological issue that needs to be unravelled, examined closely, understood in much greater depth, and addressed at its root causes, which is more along the lines of stopping the institutionalised comparisons with others and trying to shape everyone into some kind of homogenised standard for the masses. People who have been able to discover who they really are and what is right for them eventually leave the entire bullying debate far behind them, because they know who they are and who they are not, and they recognise that others need to be who they really are as well, and that we each have our own unique and valuable contribution to make just by being who we really are.

    Simple, but not easy!!
  • Expiry Dates on Training
    Exactly. So instead of focusing on refresher training, we should be focusing on finding better ways to assess meaningful competencies.
  • Expiry Dates on Training
    - this is the key challenge - to evaluate competency requirements and design suitable assessments to verify those. The assessments need to be designed by people who understand the intricacies of assessment (evaluation) as a key part of instructional design so we are actually assessing the competence we intend to assess and not muddying the waters.

    In addition, assessments need to be free of other motives that have the potential to distort the results. For example, if pass rate becomes a KPI, there is greater incentive to get the desired number of pass marks than to carry out meaningful assessments of competency (this is all too often the case with NZQA unit standards).

    Workplaces will also need to give more consideration to competencies of assessors who verify competencies - ie what knowledge, skills, experience and personality traits they will need to be effective in this role.

    This approach does face some near-term obstacles and challenges, but in the longer term it would really benefit organisations.
  • Contractor Pre qualification /approval systems
    Prequalification is yet another example of trying to put processes on 'automatic' to avoid having to do any real thinking or decision-making, using systems that are riddled with blind spots and dangerous assumptions.

    Isn't this true of ANY system that 'outsources' or otherwise relies on automated processes or external / third party qualifying agencies to make those decisions? The same can be said of many HR talent software platforms that screen applications against pre-set criteria without realising they are likely to be eliminating some of the best candidates because of the assumptions they have made - I have been developing an article on this very topic, which I intend to post on LinkedIn.
  • Expiry Dates on Training
    And it doesn't help that most NZQA unit standards and assessments are primarily designed to ensure people pass the assessment, often including elements that have little relevance for being able to actually do the work. NZQA needs a major overhaul.
  • Expiry Dates on Training
    The emphasis on refresher training overlooks some very important points. The intention is for people to be kept up to date and to remain competent, and training is only one of a number of possible inputs to competency.

    If we stepped back and comprehensively assessed the actual competency requirements for each task or activity, using learning and development frameworks such as Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning to develop meaningful competency criteria, we would be in a much better position to manage workplace competencies.

    At the moment, there's too much reliance on qualifications and certificates provided by third parties, with insufficient rigour in assessing the frameworks behind those qualifications.

    The methodology used by learning and development professionals would start by conducting a learning needs assessment, based on a set of competency criteria.

    It seems to me, especially in a day and age where every work activity must return appropriate value for the investment, that it would make sense on so many levels to reassess competency requirements and what is really needed.

    If we have a robust competency framework, we can develop meaningful assessments to determine competency and then use those assessments to verify ongoing competency. The assessment would itself provide a review of critical points, and if a person can demonstrate that they remain competent, why would you need to spend the time and effort of attending a training for something they already know? Just verify their competence and certify them for the next validity period. If they are unsuccessful in their assessment, you need to determine whether really don't know and need to re-sit training and assessment, or whether they just need practice or some kind of coaching.

    I personally find it appalling to send people back to so-called refresher that requires trainees to sit through the same full programme they have previously attended, as if they had not listened properly the first time. And making people repeat training for something they already know is likely to turn people off training as well, because 'refresher' training is rarely 'fresh', and if it was poorly designed and delivered the first time around, it is unlikely to be any better the next time.

    If we changed the focus from training (an input) to one of competency (the outcome) and managed competency from this perspective, we could save a lot of time, money and wear-and-tear on people.
  • Survey on the wellbeing/psychosocial risk of workers with more than one job - participation request
    I've copied and pasted to a LinkedIn post on your behalf. All the best with your research.
  • Mental Health in the Construction Industry - Research Update-
    I have copied and pasted, edited a little to fit the word limit, and posted on LinkedIn. All the best with your study!
  • Organic solvents - alert and classic story
    In the age of Google, there's really no excuse!
  • Contractor Pre qualification /approval systems
    - I would be interested to learn more about what you've been doing.
  • Audits vs Review
    - that's a great start.

    Many people also use audit interchangeably with inspection, which further muddies the water!!

    Here's how I think of these:

    Inspection: physically looking at workplace conditions and work being carried out - a simple snapshot of what is happening at a moment in time.

    Audit: look at work planned (procedures and other elements of the management system) vs work done - comparison between what the system says people do and what they actually do. In an audit, we talk to people about what they do and how they do it, look at work being done, look at records of the work to verify whether or not work is being carried out as planned - completely and consistently. The auditor's findings are then collated into a report with any recommendations for follow-up actions.

    Review: Analysis of relevant information from audit findings, performance data, budgets, and other factual information about relevant processes and systems, to make decisions about the effectiveness of the management systems and plan actions for improvement where appropriate.

    I hope that helps a bit. All the best with your report!
  • Can anyone drive a manitou on private property?
    Whose 'private property' and for what purpose? Is he driving for hire or reward? If so, follow this hierarchy of what would be considered 'reasonably practical':
    1. Any applicable legislation or regulations
    2. Any relevant industry standards
    3. Any relevant codes of practice
    4. Any WorkSafe NZ (or similar) Guidelines documents

    Also important to conduct and document due diligence, appropriate risk assessment and work plans that consider all conditions / parameters of planned work, including:
    - machinery and equipment to be used
    - any / all other vehicles, machinery and equipment to be used in the same area
    - site / environment conditions (ie different conditions on flat land compared to steep or hilly land, daylight vs nighttime, etc)
    - people in the area doing work
    - communication requirements for overlapping / interfacing work activities
  • Legal Cannabis and Safety
    It's time we developed more appropriate testing regimes to assess cognitive impairment, which is the real risk, rather than focusing entirely on presence / absence / legal limits. The same criteria should also be applied for prescription and over-the-counter medications that have the same potential for cognitive impairment yet are largely ignored in most testing regimes.

    I'm sure there are already tried and proven frameworks for measuring cognitive impairment already used in research conducted for example by military personnel researching effects of hypoxia (I watched an example on the Vlog "Smarter Every Day) that could be readily adapted to workplace assessments, and most would typically have their own framework for classifying what is acceptable and what is not.

    Cognitive impairment should be assessed for both mental impairment (i.e., reasoning, judgement and decision-making) and physical impairment (i.e., coordination and motor skills).
  • A strange request
    It's still too easy to give the right answers in theoretical questions typically posed for such qualifications - especially when people who have been schooled in traditional OHS dogmas and practice, on assessments based in the same frameworks and lacking sufficient grasp of meaningful competency frameworks (such as Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning), and still diverge completely from what really works for businesses in the real world. Even a simple review of the competency framework for Levels 5-6 in OHS shows significant gaps in meaningful business management and leadership skills yet the framework suggests people who have completed these levels would have the requisite skills to perform at an organisation-wide management level. They lack the people skills and strategic planning skills, and especially this training appears only to train them to perpetuate OHS frameworks that are demonstrably out of step with business needs. This is not only setting up everyone within this system for failure - both practitioners and businesses they work with - but also excluding people who are actively engaging with businesses, influencing change, doing their own independent / self-directed studies in a real world context, adapting and working out how best to achieve safe workplaces and still support businesses to thrive and adapt.
  • New thinking in health & safety - community of practice
    Articles in the recent Safeguard Magazine on Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) are particularly relevant to this discussion.
  • A strange request
    - yes. this is an interesting side conversation of the move to HASANZ. I personally know a few people who have completed a post-graduate diploma of occupational safety and health, who have by virtue of this qualification achieved Graduate member status in NZISM and would therefore be eligible for the HASANZ register, yet I know from personal experience that they do not have sugfficient depth of understanding, leadership skills, systems thinking or all the professionalism we would hope for from someone aiming to work as a consultant. These people would focus most on how much money they could get rather than on what was right for a client, and their need to be right and / or seen as 'expert' would see them impose bureaucratic systems that don't necessarily deliver required results.

    I have even seen a consultant who had previously been a senior H&S manager attempt to deliver risk management training where he relied entirely on the text he had copied into his slides; when trainees asked questions, he just read the slide again - he clearly did not understand the content himself and had no business being in the front of the room trying to train others in it.

    I also know a number of people who intuitively know how to go about this, don't over-rely on their qualifications or don't even have formal qualifications, who do their own thinking and problem-solving, make authentic connections with people and put the client's interests first. This latter way of going about their work is what HASANZ was intending but its over-emphasis on qualifications rather than skills, experience, personality traits and values seems to be taking it even further off the mark.
  • Suicide Prevention Research within the Construction Industry - MEN NEEDED FOR RESEARCH-
    FYI - I have copied and pasted your request, posted as an article on my LinkedIn page and tagged you, then shared again in the NZISM LinkedIn Group. Good luck with your research - this is important work.
  • Near Miss Reporting
    Genesis Energy used to have individual KPIs for reporting, including a minimum number of near miss incidents, and they could be from work or outside of work. As you might imagine, some people just took the p!ss and wrote nonsense like coming across a banana peel on the footpath when they went out to buy lunch, and a missing cloth from the kitchenette. While it would be good to aim for reporting all near miss incidents, a number of factors probably impact the effectiveness of doing so, including awareness / recognition of near miss events as they occur, attitude about having to report it and how easy / simple it is to do so, perceived value of reporting, etc. There is as much potential to learn from a good near miss report as from any other investigation findings, so most of this comes down to coaching, facilitating and leading a gradual movement toward consistent reporting.
  • Using "days since last accident" signs
    The latest Safeguard Magazine included an excellent article based on a presentation at the Safeguard Conference, about the tendency of safety and other compliance disciplines to focus overly much on what is lacking rather than what is there. Most organisations these days are doing plenty of positive things toward ensuring a safe workplace, and it would be good to see them focusing on those in more visible ways, like signs and dashboards.