Comments

  • Coronavirus
    Fair enough on the school's part, the situation is changing each day with new info.

    One other point I thought of to consider is to potentially identify any high risk people in your organisation and consider if any proactive measures could be implemented around them - such as anyone who is pregnant or has a immunodeficiency, and how they could be at an increased risk e.g. contact with general public, etc.
    While the risk is low at the moment with no suspected/confirmed case in NZ - a bit of planning around who would be on this list, or how you would quickly establish this list would be a positive step (and wouldn't necessarily be a waste of effort as it can be used for other infectious/pandemic cases such as a severe flu season).
  • Coronavirus
    There is nothing specific for Coronavirus as it isn't an issue for NZ at the moment. The seasonal flu will have a bigger impact so it would be more important to prepare for this.Chris Anderson
    While no case have been reported so far in NZ, there are now 5 confirmed cases in Australia - so it is not unlikely to be a potential issue here as well.
    Given the incubation/infectious periods are much different to influenza an approach similar to measles may be more appropriate - e.g. identifying potentially infected people and apply quarantine periods (from the last potential infection contact) until no signs of infection is confirmed.
    The hard part is knowing if someone has potentially been infected (and part of this is to get people to understand and think where they could of been infected) - again take measles as an example, commonly we see news regarding the discovery of a person infected with measles traveling by airplane and the call for anyone on the same flight to consider quarantining themselves from others that are at a high risk from a measles infection.

    As for the original question, my suggestion would be to: provide employees with good information on how they can get infected, where they may have been infected and what to do if they think they may have been potentially exposed to an infected person. Where they may have been infected will initially be as the school have said so far - traveled to China or any of the affected countries, or who have been in contact with a person who has confirmed Coronavirus; but as more information comes to light updated to include travel on specific flight numbers etc.
    If they think they might be infected - instructions to stay away from work, call in to discuss with management, and then plan for how to initially deal with potentially up to 2 weeks away from work while we wait to see. If they have come to work and potentially infected others this creates a bigger issue so at first the important thing is to get the info out there with the message that we'd rather a missed day or 2 while we check things out if we're not sure than to risk it and have to quarantine a much larger portion of staff.
  • Coronavirus
    Where did the school get the 7 days from? Latest I have seen (https://www.jwatch.org/fw116282/2020/01/27/novel-coronavirus-incubation-period-lasts-2-weeks) is the incubation period is up to 2 weeks so they may want to rethink their plan there.
  • Is Sexual Harassment and Bullying a Hazard? HSE vs HR vs Employment Law
    Given the allegations about misconduct in Parliament I wonder if the MPs and officials who wrote the Act thought about that.Chris Peace
    What hope is there for the rest of us if those that are in charge of writing the laws can't even understand them enough to follow them :wink:
  • Is Sexual Harassment and Bullying a Hazard? HSE vs HR vs Employment Law
    Well there are various levels of "repetitively commenting and showing displeasure" (and I guess I should have been more precise) and if it was at the level of "slut-shaming" to the point of it negatively affecting the person's mental health then it could be considered as bullying/harassment.
  • Is Sexual Harassment and Bullying a Hazard? HSE vs HR vs Employment Law
    I particularly like it because it has this definition " repeated and unreasonable behavior directed towards a worker or a group of workers that can lead to physical or psychological harm.".Andrew
    Agree that having this definition is the best start - as taking you example it can clearly be shown that the women wearing the singlet is in no way bullying or harnessing as there was no behavior directed towards a worker or group the could lead to harm... however if the person that was making the complaint was to repetitively comment or show their displeasure with what the women wears then that could definitely be considered as bullying/harassment
  • Entries open for the NZ Workplace Health & Safety Awards 2020
    Great to see the new Emerging Practitioner award this year - although I am interested in why the criteria is <35 and <5 years experience, as I know a fair few emerging safety professionals that have moved into H&S roles later in their professional life and so wouldn't be eligible to be entered into this category no matter how deserving they would be of the title. I just would have expected it to have been an either/or criteria (or just a pure age criteria like most other young professional awards).
  • Separation of spare oxygen and acetylene cylinders in workshops
    Thanks Denise - some good information in there, but I do find it a shame that NZ Standards seem to never be kept up to date. I'm trying to find a copy of AS4332 (or AS4289) which has some details regarding minor stores of gas cylinders (which I think is one of the origins of the 3m rule). At least the Australian standard was updated this century (the NZ standard is close to been able to claim itself as an antique!).
  • Worksafe Inspector Disparaging Health and Safety Consultants
    Meanwhile, at the same time while HASANZ and NZISM would consider my credentials and experience insufficient to receive their endorsement, I know of several individuals, some of which I have personally worked alongside, who have a PGD H&S and are still very incompetent and unprofessional, yet because they have the requisite piece of paper, they have been recognised as Graduate Members eligible for HASANZ membership. To me, this seems to shoot the very framework in the foot. Yet another example of how a generalisation can fail.Sheri Greenwell

    Would I be not too far off guessing that the incompetent/unprofessional individual's (that you are referring to) standard practice is to shoehorn their "H&S Management System" onto the client without even the slightest effort to first understand the client's organisation or what makes them unique compare to other (similar / different) companies...
    Interesting that I see some similarities between that approach and how the current HASANZ/NZISM professional registration framework is set up...
  • Separation of spare oxygen and acetylene cylinders in workshops
    Thanks @Lucille N - yes this one of sources I found for the suggested good practice of 3m.
    I still can't find any legal requirement for separation of small volumes.
  • How to discourage worksite speeding
    So would the main risk you would be looking to manage is pedestrian & vehicle interactions? Do you have, or could you, segregate the pedestrian pathways from the vehicle traffic and provide physical protection in higher risk areas corners, pedestrian entrance/exit doors?
  • How to discourage worksite speeding
    What is the current speed limit being enforced on site? Is it a single speed limit for the whole site or multiple different limits depending on which location on site?
    And what is the risks that you are trying to control through the enforced speed limit?
    Really understanding the circumstances and the real risk is needed first before developing any controls if you are wanting to create an embedded change. Initiatives that have worked really well in one organisation do not guarantee they will have any real change in a different organisation.
  • ISNetworld
    does that mean you have to "reapply" for each separate principal using ISNetWorld as their pre-qualification provider? Or do you just have to answer the unique questions for each separate submission?
  • SDS - is this crap advice on the specific types of PPE needed even legal?
    but there is a difference between vague information then stating to "do your own risk assessment" and providing information specific to the type of PPE that would be required if it is needed such as "if respiratory protective equipment is used, filters must be suitable for organic solvents".

    In the example from the first post there is no way the product could be in a gas or vapour form (it was a cement based product) but they still included to consider gas/vapur in the RPE section.
  • SDS - is this crap advice on the specific types of PPE needed even legal?
    My main area of focus around hazardous substances was originally in stationary container systems and bulk storage where labeling was a bit more simpler :wink:
    But in my mind there could be a couple of areas where the law is broken in your example; depending on the actual issue at hand. For example if the substance was originally mis-classified (but labelled according to that classification) then it would be breaching the Hazardous Substances Classification regs and a matter for the EPA to investigate, however if they mislabeled the containers with something other than it's actual classifications then that would be covered under the HSW Haz. Subs. regs and dealt with by WorkSafe... now if it is being transported then that would get into the land transport rules, which is another beast in and of itself, and now crossing into the realm of the NZTA!

    No wonder there is such confusion in the situation...
  • School board of trustrees - have you served on one?
    Does anyone have the court transcript or notes for this case?
    I find it interesting that WorkSafe have specifically called out that the have sentenced the Board of Trustees in this case, where other coverage of serious incidents at schools have predominately referred to the investigation/prosecution in general terms against the school (e.g. the St Kents Sweeney Todd injuries).
    So it been pointed out that the St Kent's EU was between WorkSafe and the St Trust Board, which is what the quoted statements say in the news media but everywhere else in those articles it refers just to St Kent's.
    I guess that would be the biggest suggestion from me that before running for a board make sure you know what you are getting into - technically there is no legal entity that is the school, it all falls on the boards shoulders.
  • SDS - is this crap advice on the specific types of PPE needed even legal?
    and / or just can't be bothered to think it through and figure out what is neededSheri Greenwell
    Are you meaning the ones writing / publishing the SDS? Because I expect that most of these are now automated processes based on the ingredients... annoying, useless and in my opinion downright dangerous as (as you and @Andrew have already started to mention) destroys any potential usefulness of all SDS as they no longer can be trusted to provide valid and accurate information (except to cover the manufacturers backside).
  • Golden Rules, Non-negotiables
    but at that stage are we not just talking about identifying risks and development of applicable controls for those risks, i.e. the basis of most H&S management systems?
  • Golden Rules, Non-negotiables
    but the problem is these types of rules do not consider the varibility of work, but the rules are still are set in stone - leading to practices which are purely ritualistic instead of risk mitigating... and if these practices are continued for long enough they become so entrenched that the purpose of the practice is no longer considered, and the culture becomes that "as long as we follow the rules, it should be safe"
  • Golden Rules, Non-negotiables
    What about if there is no risk that (or reason why) the atmosphere inside the confined space will move outside of the normal range?