Comments

  • New thinking in health & safety - community of practice
    Apologies for the silence. I tend only to go onto the forum when Peter sends an email update. Yes, I'd be happy to be counted in!
  • Pocket-sized information to help workers with Risk Assessments (or similar)
    Yup. Always, always 'worker participation' doesn't really flourish with matrices and notebooks. Particularly on worksites where frontline workers are not particularly comfortable with the written word.

    Approaching others? Yes, indeed. Very few people feel they can do that. Mostly in any discussion about looking after ourselves AND our fellow workers, it is good to suggest that anyone in doubt might consult with their supervisor and that this is NOT 'informing against' anyone but rather, keeping the environment and their fellow workers safe.
  • Standard operating procedures (SOPs)
    Thankyou Paul Reneke.

    I find Standard Operating Procedures are best created with worker participation, not unlike the ideal way of creating a Task Analysis (SWM, JSA or whatever acronym is current). They are best and most followed if they are frequently reviewed by the users.

    The HSWA 2015 emphasises 'worker participation' for a reason. Worker participation works.
  • Worksafe Inspector Disparaging Health and Safety Consultants
    Stuart, haha! The man the Worksafe inspector spoke to most emphatically does NOT want to do it himself. He's not a fool, he could do it easily, he knows what I do and it's not what he wants to be spending his time on. Why should he?

    Actually, for big commercial construction sites? "Do it yourself' setting up documents etc, would be far too time consuming. May's well say they can do their own accounting or any of 'their own' specialist writing. Quality for instance.

    Yes, for small builders but not if they're wanting to work for Hospital Boards, Councils or doing work on some of the larger commercial construction sites. I have prepared documents for commercial construction sites, I know what the project managers and main contractors look for; I create working documents my clients can use.

    And I audit to make sure they are creating a record of their safety activities on site. Everyone wants a health and safety policy that nobody wants to write and few ever read! By 'safety system auditors' you mean organisations like Sitewise and Impaq Prequal? Some client organisations want one, some want another. My clients just apply for whatever assessment organisation they're asked to.
  • Worksafe Inspector Disparaging Health and Safety Consultants
    .But you may well ask "why don't health and safety persons in permanent employment teach 'people how to do it themselves'?
    Worker involvement. Is one of every good H&S practitioner's overriding objectives.
  • Worksafe Inspector Disparaging Health and Safety Consultants
    Agree Simon.

    Andrew a 'statement of fact' would be about one dodgy practitioner. Besides: that was MY experience. A generalisation about ALL practitioners is a disparagement not a 'statement of fact'.

    Rob Abraas of course! Just - Worksafe NZ is the NZ Government H&S regulator. Some expectation of professional behaviour might be legitimate.

    My experience of Worksafe NZ personnel so far is that they've all been excellent! Helpful, practical, with demands for records pared down to essentials. Excellent attitude. I'm surprised at the attitude of the one who visited my client.
  • EWP use by contractors
    There is no legal requirement for formal qualifications for EWPs but standard practice for all reputable organisations is rapidly becoming: "If there is a qualification available then operators must have it".

    During site audits I'm happy to allow years of experience (competency) to take the place of an operator's ticket but I do want to see pre-starts, TAs and a filled in log book. All too often, especially with internal work like ceiling installation, people just hop on and use without any pre-start risk assessment or hazard id whatsoever. Not acceptable.
  • Dodging LTIs
    "Arbitrary Pre-qualification processes". Yes! Indeed. Oh well! Suppose it keeps us in work but its stultifyingly tiresome.
  • SafePlus Accreditation
    Companies/businesses need to maintain standards but they must be financially viable. I assist my clients mostly with the new ACC Accredited Employers Programme, Sitewise and Impaq Prequal, or, for the largest client ISO certification. They want these under their belts because the majority of large clients and bureacracies like councils and hospital boards request them. I watch the progress of SafePlus with interest.

    PS May I most respectfully state that I am disappointed that purportedly educated 'people' misuse apostrophes for plurals (no apostrophes in plurals EVER!) and cannot adequately spell plurals like 'companies' and businesses.
  • Is Sexual Harassment and Bullying a Hazard? HSE vs HR vs Employment Law
    Absolutely it's a workplace hazard. Sexual harassment IS a form of workplace bullying.

    I have a policy and procedure for it which pretty closely follows your 6 points above except that my clients undertake to have a formal external investigation also if either party involved requests it. My preferred external investigator is a forensic engineer.
  • The Athenberry decision and "contracting out"
    Surely there is a difference between "employee error" and even "incompetence" but guarding against carelessness "or non-compliance with instructions" is a hopeless thing to attempt.

    I'm thinking of scaffold surrounding a high rise. Suppose there's a scaffold tag stating it is out of use and someone climbs it? Is the tag a reasonably practicable guard?

    Suppose someone climbs the side of a scaffold instead of using a ladder. I guess we have to produce training documents to demonstrate the climber is trained not to clamber up the side of a scaffold. How would the training be sufficient guard against carelessness or "non-compliance with instructions" ?
  • Signing For Attendance At Toolbox Meetings
    Paul Reyneke yes! In the Middle Ages university students' studies included the contemplation of how many angels could fit on the head of a pin. "Angelology". A LOT of "Angelology" in our vocation no question.

    1. Point taken of course about over-documentation BUT (in construction industry anyhow) accreditation organisations Sitewise and Impac/Prequal DEMAND that records of both toolbox talks and JSAs are signed by attendees. Worksafe persons on the other hand, in my experience, are happy with scruffy-ish dated diary notes.

    2. Signatures are easily captured by having a sign sheet fastened to a couple of clipboards with a pen and passed around whilst the talk is in progress. Tbh it isn't difficult.
  • "Safety Culture" - does it mean anything?
    Agree Campbell Hardy.

    1. Culture is VERY easy to identify! Especially a safety one. I can walk onto a commercial building site and know immediately the kind of safety culture it has.Is that not, after all, what the Worksafe SafePlus tool is/was supposed to be about? I can also happily make the indications 'tangible' in a list of items and issues to look for. Just as any sensible and intelligent person can list indications of a co-operative or gender-equal, a gender biased, a racist, a competitive or a collaborative culture.

    2. "The whole concept ..'fuzzy'". Nope! It may involve behaviours and attitudes and (horrors!!!) even emotions. And it does not have meanlingless catchwords like "zero harm". That does NOT make 'culture' a 'fuzzy' concept.

    3. Little or no evidence it's necessary. Goodness me! One little search on Google produced rather a LOT of evidence that it's vital! Here's one site with quite a lot of research.
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10803548.2018.1444565?src=recsys&journalCode=tose20

    4. Religious zeal? I'd consider the hopeless pursuit of the 'zero harm' fallacy more indicative of mindless zeal than the cultivation of a safety culture.
  • Turbans & Hardhats
    Hi James.
    A couple of years ago a client had the same problem. I hunted high and low, asked Worksafe contacts for an opinion, looked for precedents in Australia and eventually found some useful suggestions in the attached Canadian and HSE (Brit) government sites. (Attached fyi) One piece of advice was to the effect that since PPE is the last level hazard control, Client could look at other controls which will eliminate the need for a hard hat.

    NB. I did look at Australia for precedents bearing our legislation in mind. Someone in Queensland attempted to do what you've advised your client: from memory wearing motorbike helmet; and got into awful trouble. Religious fury, media fury, poor blighter is probably still struggling for a way out.

    Fortunately my client simply found other work for their Sikh worker that didn't need hard hats so I was let off the hook. Best wishes!
    Attachments
    Canada Sikh PPE (21K)
    HSE Head Protection for Sikhs wearing turbans (20K)
  • Worksafe appointment of Daniel Hummerdal
    Hmmm. Video. Well - he says he's excited and the role is exciting. He says that quite a lot! "Kiwis want to go their own way and do their own thing?" Has he READ the HSWA 2015? At the bottom of each clause of which is a reference to the Australian legislation from which it's been taken?
    Oh well. Glad he's excited!
  • Turbans & Hardhats
    Tony Walton I spoke with Worksafe. They don't have it sorted at all.
  • Exit Health Monitoring
    Thank you Mike. "For the individual themselves' - useful but not an employer's responsibility. Yup, I see that baseline plus controls would work. Thanks again.
  • Poll: which legislation works best for you?
    'Good for me' how?
    For business? I suspect most H&S persons are run off their feet with fear of the unknown (the new Act) driving clients, main contractors et al to insist upon impeccable plans and processes.

    Good for H&S generally? Probably. I think 'yes'. Because, at the moment, many have been persuaded to improve their h&s systems and processes to obtain work.

    Reservations: The fear of the unknown; how the Act will be enforced, go through the courts, etc,etc, has created a terrible tendency to put compliance before commonsense. A commercial construction site induction with 71 points. one of which is "I understand and will comply with the provisions of the HSWA 2015"? PS "The best system in the world - if we don't use it, support it and drive it to the next level and beyond".... not sure about that Campbell Hardy. Imo 'the best (H&S) system in the world' is so user friendly it doesn't need 'driving'.
  • Exit Health Monitoring
    I've given a LOT of thought to this and I cannot see that they CAN be particularly valid. I'm thinking particularly about lung capacity and hearing. HOW can any employer know what their employees are doing after hours? Consistently loud music? Concrete sanding, sanding oak furniture without a mask? HOW can anyone POSSIBLY know? And if no-one can know what is the point of in-house testing? There is surely not necessarily a lot of proof that hearing or lung damage can have occurred at work.