Comments

  • Survey: what if recreational use of cannabis is legalised?
    I can't remember what the questions exactly were In the survey but was there any data gathered on the reason why a respondent opposes/supports the bill? I can't find the attached file now but I have read that a lot of people are basing their choice on existing biases on how they feel about cannabis (one way or the other) and not actually answer the question ask which is "should cannabis be regulated and controlled differently" rather than "should cannabis be legal". The article was based on surveys where they found a large proportion of against actually changed their mind when they were given clear information about what the proposed legislation actually meant.
    Of course take this reply with a large grain of salt as I can't seem to find the article I (at least think) I read!
  • What value do we put on a life?
    So reading up about the statistical value of life (such as the $4.37M stated for NZTA) it would seem like we are potentially using the concept out of context - it should not be use to assess how much is reasonable to spend to save a life, but how much you would have to spend to statistically save a life. These seem like the same but there is one key difference, since it is a statistical value you should not use that as the real value of the reasonable cost for any given situation as each unique set of circumstances will have it's own value of life - average out all of those unique circumstances and you will end up around $4M (for roardng related deaths in NZ) but there will still be a wide spread of actual reasonable values to spend to save a life.

    As an example of the cold truth of the use of the statistical value of life it is primarily used to eveluated policy options, for example with a finite budget approving projects with a higher cost per life saved (above the statistical value) could be considered unwise as there should be other projects where you could save more lives for the same money.
    Or for assessing if a policy will overall benefit society as a whole - i.e. (coldly) if a set of regulations will end up costing the economy less than the value of the lives it will save we should do it right... but should we if it will cost more even though it will save the same amount of lives?

    This also explains why there can be so much variability in the stated values for different agencies, countries, etc.
  • What value do we put on a life?
    So just to flip this around for some perspective, so far we have answers from $4.37M to $24.8M per life... so in the current situation how much should we be accepting as the fallout from the L4/L3 lockdown response?
    Taking Sweden as the example of "do nothing / do minimal" approach that are tappering off at just under 400 deaths per million, which would be approximately equivalent to 1920 deaths in NZ - so 1900 more than what we have achieved.
    So at the upper end of the value of human life we have is if it ends up costing the economy less than $47 billion to recover we "made the right choice"... (only $8.3 billion if we used the NZ value of life)

    I think the bigger issue is why do we need to put a specific monetary value on human life? Especially when it is usually just a stab in the dark until hindsight comes back to bite us, just ask Robert Eidschun and the Ford Motor Company. With the legislation built around reasonably practicable including taking into account if the reduction in risk is grossly disproportionate to the cost of that reduction, maybe there is a need but it is definitely not as simple as slapping a price tag on death.

    And that leads to the other issue - how do you take into account the multiple variables when it comes to valueing the societal cost of an activity - do you value the health of a someone in their mid-20s more than someone close to retirement, or how do you compare a agonising slow painful drawn out death from an occupational illness/desease to an immediate workplace fatality?

    The root of the issue I see is generally the real question is being assessed from the wrong direction - we are asking ourselves "what is the least that we are required to do?" rather than "what is the most we a capable of doing?"
  • Can workers refuse to declare health changes?
    I think you might have a bigger issue on your hands than just getting an employee to fill in a form, especially if they have had not issue with completing it in the past.
    Have you considered your employees current perspective - say they have been diagnosed with something that could affect the ability to work, might they now be concerned about what that means for their employment and their means to provide for themselves / their family. In that position I could (honestly) see someone using any means they had to keep working.

    Questions for you:
    What would be the real consequences if the employee was to have a health condition that would mean they were unfit/unsafe for work?
    And if there shouldn't be any real concern, does the employee fully understand this?
  • When is noise not a hazard?
    I would go as far as saying that noise is always a hazard, but the risk it poses can be vastly different.
    Remember that the accepted 85db is a time weighted average for an 8 hour shift - if your shifts are longer you should not rely on the <85dB threshold as being sufficient.
    Also the frequency of the noise affects how damaging it is to hearing at a given dB - the regs are based on the dB(A) weighting (weighted around typical critical human hearing frequencies), so make sure you are using a sound meter that will analysis the input against that weighting.
  • Covid: Mental Harm
    I'm so worried about all the things you mention, and dismayed that we're not hearing any mention of those numbers in the press briefings. We need to know so that we can all be aware and try help.Petra Hakansson

    The issue with the Government sharing this information is that it will conflict with their current focus of restrictions and mantra of "elimination of the virus". It will prompt more people to question if what we are doing is actually the best way forward, which then erodes their ability to control the masses into their intended direction.

    We can't seriously manage all of the outcomes that this pandemic is causing while we are fixated on a single outcome!
  • Pedestrian/Traffic Management Solution consultants
    Are you looking for just a company that can supply/install barriers & paint lines or are you wanting a review and improvements/design of your warehouse layout which includes physical pedestrian/traffic management safety solutions?
    If it is the second, I used to work with a guys who now runs a small logistics consultancy that may be able to help out, even just from a point of view of clearly defining the scope and assessment/development of the initial concept design which can lead to a better end result of the procurement / RFP process.

    His name is Richard Mahoney from Studio Logistic
  • Covid: S5 Hazard Identification

    I sure the act includes in the definition of reasonably practicable includes what the person concerned knows, or ought reasonably to know, about the hazard or risk; and the ways of eliminating or minimising the risk.
    Wouldn't only relying on NZ advice potentially lead you into a situation where you do not know what you ought to reasonably know?

    Also remember that reasonably practicable is based on the unique circumstances of each individual business - it is not a universal truth. The way I read @Andrew's post is an assessment of the real risk to his business and his employees (and other that are affected by their work), and then following the HoC to implement reasonably practicable controls. Is that not the basis of the Health and Safety at Work Act right there?
  • Covid. S6 Controlling Risk
    A reasonable worked example for your company @Andrew
    The only thing I would add is the continuous review of if the risk has changed and the controls mentioned are in place and working as intended... but in saying that, that is basically H&S Management 101 anyway so I would assume you didn't mention it because it is Business-As-Usual rather than actually forgotten about!
  • Covid: S5 Hazard Identification
    I think we're pretty much on the same page in theory but just not in the semantics!

    I agree with the point in your last post - just where you are saying "not reasonably foreseeable" I am saying " very very low risk "... but we are ending in the same place really.
  • Covid: S5 Hazard Identification
    (Correct me if I am wrong, but) I think you might be misunderstanding the "Community Transmission" metric - my understanding is that if they were able to link a case to another (even if those people didn't even know each other) it was classed as "Contact with known case".

    Can you also explain how you jump from "these are the cases in my rgion" to "so no one in my region will have COVID-19"? iI just don't see the logic in that part.

    And also are you confusing "reasonably foreseeable" with "low probability" - it is reasonably foreseeable that at this time someone who is carrying SARS-CoV-2 may visit your workplace... the likelihood of that happening may be very low though. For which you are right in saying that the management of the risk should be proportional to the risk, that doesn't mean do nothing as there are some very simple, effective and low cost way to manage a low risk, but it also does mean that you wouldn't (shouldn't) be expected to make all your employees wear full hazmat PPE (or even close to it)...
  • Hand held infra red thermometer use

    Thanks Rachael - happy Easter too. Fair enough on pulling up on the original intention of the thread.

    I expect the more experienced people have been talking these plans through with MPI/WorkSafe to clarify the unsaid expectations - as I have found in the past that talking a proposed plan over with WorkSafe quickly does provide clarification.

    One thing I will say is for those thinking of implementing (or have implemented) temperature monitoring checkpoints on sites, remember why you are doing it - to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 spreading through your workplace/workforce. Consider providing unlimited sick-leave for any employee that suspects they have been exposed to / infected by the virus to allow them to get tested and quarantine until the results come back. And for contractors ways of work that allows for them to work with no close contact with your staff (e.g. provide separate break/hygiene facilities) or postpone work if required. Main thing is consider if removing the pressure to turn up to work (with a slight risk of infecting others) might be more effective than trying to police workers that are likely also worried about how they are going to get through this even if they don't have to take time off work themselves.
  • Hand held infra red thermometer use
    thanks for the response Rachael - am I reading it right that there are standard measures required by MPI for manufacturing sites? Interested to read up a bit more if it is so, do you have any specific guidelines with the details? All I can find in so generic advice on the MPI website.

    I do realise and understand that sometimes it is easier to just get on and do whatever they dictate to keep the wheels running - but sometimes the bureaucracy can unintentionally cause inefficiency for no real benefit in the name of "just in case", which does need to be challenged (and sometimes the bureaucrats also need to be learn to listen to what the actual problems are better).
  • Hand held infra red thermometer use
    Plus it's not our idea, it's a directive from on high.Rachael
    Should there be a challenge to the thoughts of those up high as to the validity of their request - just because you can doesn't mean you should. What have those that have made the decision based the decision on? As Jo pointed out there is plenty of chance for infected but currently non-symptomatic (or worse asymptomatic) people getting through the check-point... and then potential thinking everything is fine and putting less effort into good hygiene and other measures as if "they" really were a risk to other surely they wouldn't of been let in the door with all that rigmarole!

    Also the landing card is a little surprising since one of the main controls being pushed is to limit touch point interactions where possible, but this is adding multiple places where a potentially infected person is made to handle an object that then is handled by another to check it, the potential more when they are archived (as I expect this is also in place to potentially build a "paper trial" to prove that if there was an outbreak the "patient-0" didn't let the company know so how could the company have stopped it).
    Could the landing card questions could be covered without the card if it is critical that they are asked/recorded?

    (I don't mean this to come across as damning taking action - I just think we need to always challenge the actions we are taking and if they are creating other, potentially worse, risks)
  • Advice for One of 'Those' Processes (you never thought you'd need to ask about)
    Not yet had to specifically address an evacuation while under COVID-19 "rules" but for planning for it my first port-of-call would be reviewing how we are managing the other close(r) interactions aspects of the work routines, from the regular meetings to line operator interactions, to the less common permit-to-work issueing and even the "non-work-related" smoko/lunch room interactions. Then an assessment of the evacuation point and if spreading this out is achievable.
    As for close interactions as everyone steams out of the fire exits - you'd hope that this would be reasonably short duration of close contact (otherwise you should probably be addressing if your evacuation routes are up to scratch in the first place) and so lower risk. Finally maybe throw a few bottles of hand sanitiser in the evacuation kit with your vests/hats/armbands/etc. for all those that dutifully held the handrails down the stair.

    In brief, it shouldn't actually be to much extra work (unless it is actually unearthing non-COVID-19 issues that should have already been addressed).
  • Employee input and representation without having a meeting
    This is one of the aspects that I hope that our new norms after all this are that the standard/typical format of H&S committee meetings change in the future. The comments around meetings for meetings sake and lack of (real) agendas are what bugs me about the majority of H&S committee meetings I have seen.
    During the current times employees consultation is even more critical - but this is not sitting in a room together every month for 60-90 minutes going over the incidents we had last month and all the outstanding actions that still haven't been done - what is needed is to really listen to what our employees need (and a way for them to voice this efficiently) and then providing the resources to meet those needs.
    I have seen this effectively happening relating to COVID-19 risks, and I hope this will continue and expand in the future for all risks to workers and work (including non-safety risks).
  • Why should workers care about Accreditation?
    That is an excellent mantra and one I live with constantly. Its not just for Auditors

    The trick is not to use it as a job creation exercise - its something you use sparingly and only for those "risky" exercises where a paper trail ends up invaluable.
    Andrew

    To me technically it is only invaluable if you need to defend yourself, it is the most effective way to communicate (either due to communicating over distance, time or to allow reflection and comment) or if it can be used to build up ontop of to create a safer system of work (i.e. standing on the shoulders of giants)... unfortunately it is usually just the first point to create a paper trail that most seem to focus solely on.

    I also find it interesting that a lot of the comments of what to tell workers revolve around "we need it to get work" instead of it being in place to help you do your jobs as easily and efficiently as possible... I suppose companies who focus on improving business practices (safety or otherwise) rather than compliance tend to have less employees asking "why should we bother with this accreditation which we don't see adding value to our actual work?"
  • Compliance with other enactments
    I guess it depends on if the building wasn't built to code, or if the code has since changed.Aaron Marshall

    The evidence would be if a CoC was issued then the building must be considered to have been code compliant when the certificate was issued.
    Unless it was proved that the CoC was obtained fraudulently.
  • KPI's
    The question of what KPIs should my employee have is similar to asking what lead / lag indicators (KPIs) should my company use. Using a generic set of KPIs developed by others runs the risk of measuring things which don't actually provide any actionable feedback - if you see your LTIFR / TRIFR go up all you know is your company (possibly) needs to "be more safer".

    What is detailed in the Position Description for your H&S Coordinator? What are their expectations or responsibilities, and what skills do they need to have (or develop)? Once you identify these you can set down KPIs related to their responsibilities / expectations / required skills, with consideration that the KPI should also be able to provide feedback on what needs to be changed/adjusted return to the desired outcomes if there is current a deviation from them.

    So I would first ask - why are we hiring a H&S Coordinator, and what is the work we need the to do?
    Also to consider is what the H&S Coordinator can reasonable contribute to the success of the overall KPIs of the company - so if the company has a KPI to "Improved levels of worker participation and engagement with H&S", while it would be unfair to pin this all on the H&S Coordinator you could consider that a reasonable KPI for them could be "feedback on the how it was to deal with the H&S Coordinator from a sample of the workforce is normally Positive/constructive".
  • National to promise 'common-sense' legal test for workplace safety rules
    I am not convinced either that work on single-story buildings can always be safely done without scaff-holding or similar work platform. I wonder whether in making these statements, Simon has made any consideration for injury stats for falls from just a few metres or the basic need for risk assessment.Michelle Dykstra
    Maybe we just need to take him up to a 1st story balcony and push him off when he least expects it... and then see what his comments are after he recovers :wink: