Comments

  • WorkSafe new ads?
    I thought that the Ghost chips add was NZTA, not WorksafeDon Ramsay
    Yep, Ghost Chips was NZTA - I was meaning they seem to be chasing their own ghost chips moment.
  • WorkSafe new ads?
    I really don't like the concept - with its potential to reinforce the negative stereotype that if someone gets hurt that they or their workmates failed to look out for them.
    How much has WorkSafe NZ spent on these failed "viral" ad campaigns over the last few years (chasing the ghost chips)?
  • When to Stop Recording Contractors LTI Days
    I expect that with the reference to the 'Business Leaders Forum Benchmarking...' that the question is due to external reporting requirements.
    I think there really is only one "person" that can definitively answer the question and that is who you are providing the reports to, although I wouldn't be surprised if you don't get much of a clear answer as I have found that determination of LTI days to be one of the worst detailed parts of these sorts of reporting systems (and even worst when it comes to what to do about subcontractors!)


    If I had to decide myself, my approach would be to set the LTI days to what has been detailed by the medical professional without consideration of when the project finishes or the subbie was due to leave site - reason being is the injured person will not be returning to work until "better" - so even if the subbie had a job lined up to move straight onto after yours, the injured worker wouldn't be starting on the new job, i.e. the injury on your project has taken that person out of the collective industry workforce for however long they are out of it for irrespective of your companies project timeframes.

    However I would expect that there is a good chance that any company that is benchmarking themselves against others would very much not want to take the above approach... which would then just make me question why you are bothering to benchmark yourself at all - as your own results would not be meaningful, and worst still if you'd do it then logically you should trust any or the other results (as it should be expected that they are fudging the numbers too)... but that gets into Craig's response.
  • Pregnancy and Working Guidelines
    The UK's HSE has a FAQ which provides a list of points to consider as part of your risk assessment specific to your pregnant workers - https://www.hse.gov.uk/mothers/faqs.htm#q19
    Just keep in mind that this is based on UK law and so some of the requirements might not apply in NZ, such as leave obligations.

    Seems to be taken from the EU directive for safe working conditions for expecting mothers (if you want more detail but don't mind reading what a lawyer thinks is "normal english") - https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31992L0085:EN:HTML
    and their guidelines for it https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52000DC0466:EN:HTML
  • Quote of the year?
    So I can understand his reaction when asked to sit thru a hazard meeting.Amy Richards
    I expect that he's had to sit through a number of them in the past... and I can imagine him thinking in them " are we here to manage risk or do we just care about the liability?"
  • Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome - anti vibration gloves
    only way to manage HAVS is through measuring, monitoring and ensuring exposure times are not exceeded.Gary Clarkson

    Or firstly trying to eliminate or isolate the source of the vibration in the first place - balance shafts, dampers, tighter tolerances (which are one of the reason certain brands cost more), electric vs 2-stroke powered, etc.
  • Position Paper on Cannabis
    It really isn't that hard. And its a stepped approach. And an approach where you preferably get the person to admit they have a problem rather than you invasively testing for what might not be a problem - drugs in a system does not = impairment.Andrew

    The focus should be on helping people to rehabilitate / get through any addiction that interferes with their ability to keep themselves and others safe. Much of the debate on cannabis reform is on personal rights, but as employers we have a duty of care to everyone in the workplace and to the public if we interact with them.Steve Fursdon

    The main issue I take with the current norm is that it assumes any indication of cannabis use equates to that person having a "drug problem". And really this can only be based on the incorrect assumption that "illegal equals always bad", i.e. companies are basically saying "I don't care if you're actually impaired or not, it was illegal for you to smoke that joint 2 weeks ago so you need to be disciplined..." (being forced to take part in a "rehabilitation program" is still a disciplinary action).

    This becomes completely hypocritical where in the eyes of the same company it is completely acceptable for a worker to get black-out drunk every day they have off (likely destroying their liver and health in the process) as long as they have sobered up enough by their next shift.

    And to be honest - most "problematic" drug use (including alcohol and legal/prescription drugs) is a symptom of other socioeconomic or phycological issues that need to be resolved if you are looking for any sort of long term solution... "helping" people with substances abuse purely through abstinence programs is just a band-aid on the real problem.

    At this stage, I've yet to meet a client who will be voting yes, purely because they don't know what that will mean for them and their workers or don't like where they think it's going.Karen

    That would be a huge red flag to me that those companies are not actually effectively managing the risk due to impairment from drugs, even if they had a "robust" Drug & Alcohol policy in place. The legality of a substances that alters your mental and physical state does not at all affect the need to have in place means to identify, monitor and manage the risk - after all if it did (and I hate using this argument because it is stupid) then they wouldn't be able to control the risk of their workers being drunk?
    Out of interest - how many of those 5 companies a week use the Land Transport Act's limits for alcohol impairment and how many use the Zero Tolerance / 100µg per litre breath limit, and how many that include random testing have assessed and include the safety critical tasks / areas of their work?

    By the way - I'm voting yes as the socioeconomic problems caused by a prohibition approach to cannabis has caused more damage to our countries people and economy than has been prevented by it. Mostly regarding the long lasting affects on the opportunities and prosperity for those convicted for cannabis possession, i.e. often the punishment does not fit the crime when considering all the effective outcomes. Often leading to wider socioeconomic issues such as an increase likelihood of unemployment due to a perceived lower "employability".
  • Quote of the year?
    Some of the stuff I sometimes read (even on this forum) makes me cringePaulReyneke
    I always cringe when at any conference or similar event the MC always starts with
    "First let's just get the usual H&S stuff out of the way..."
    "fire exits..." - ok
    "evacuation assembly point..." - alright
    "toilets..." - yeah, good to know
    "break times..." - hmmmmm
    "morning tea / lunch will be a buffet of..." - huh?
    "parking will be validated..." - wait, what? When did getting free parking become part of safety?

    A big part of the issue is a lot of what is perceived to be related to H&S is actually just H&S being used as an easy out to justify something needing to be done without actually having to justify it, aren't we are all sick of hearing "we can do XYZ because of H&S"
  • Having an accident Investigation scale dependent on the event
    This means that many (over 50%) require no investigationMike Massaar
    What happens to these that don't get looked at (and what is an example of the worse case that wouldn't be investigated)?
    And are these seen as just a normal part of doing business that can't really be avoided? And is there any review of trends in the non-investigated reports?
  • Using "days since last accident" signs
    Does anyone have any research to back up the claims that "...days since last..." signs are a deterrent to reporting of incidents?

    My reason for asking this is most of the claims that this is the case seem to be based on intuition - "surely you wouldn't want to be the one to reset the clock to zero", but my personal experience with these signs when working in a non-safety specific role was they were mostly ignored and insignificant.

    While I definitely would never recommend installing one, I also definitely wouldn't go on to say that they would cause a significant affect on non-reporting. There might be a correlation between sites with these signs and significant non-reporting rates, but I would bet on most cases that it would have to do with a hidden 3rd variable than direct causation.
  • Gender in health and safety in NZ
    From that gender split and the info in table 3 of the 2019 published report (Total full time included = 405, Male = 201, Female =203) that it would appear that the gender split for those in part time H&S jobs would be nearly 4 females to every 1 male.
  • Gender in health and safety in NZ
    The Safeguard income survey has included a basic income by male/female overall, but no breakdown of gender in the other areas surveyed.
    The 2019 survey summary was posted the 2020 survey thread on here - https://forum.safeguard.co.nz/discussion/404/safeguard-income-survey-2020-closes-friday
    You could possibly ask @Peter Bateman for the raw (anonymised) data.
  • The Hazard Register - what is it really for?
    The issue we find as if you do a thorough job of creating your register... it ends up as a lot of reading which most team members just glaze over.Chrissy Roff
    I think this is one of the key problems in how risk registers are developed/used, which then tends to lead to risk registers that sacrifice specific detail for (and attempt at) ease of use, and in doing so end up not being very useful at all.
    If you have a single company/division/section/site wide risk register consider it as a management tool, the single place to keep the overarching risk management decisions - for ease of use during "actual" work consider keeping all the information required for each specific task/job/tool in a single place (document) that includes not only the safety requirements but other information such as (for a tool) the specifications, required tools for maintenance, spare parts stock numbers, etc. That way if someone needs to refresh themselves on the tool/job they just need to refer to the specific details, not try and find it in the risk register, and the folder of manuals, and the spares catalogue, and the...
  • Accident Investigations - Tick & Flick?
    you didn't really cover the effect of lack of time which in my opinion has a great deal to do with "poor" investigation of lower severity incidents (which can then create an ingrained, and often unconscious, attitude/culture of how investigations are approached). Rarely are these lower severity incidents investigated by someone independent to the work, and so someone needs to work overtime to complete the investigation - after all the expectation is to be 100% productive when were on the clock right so the extra time to investigate has to be over and above their normal workload. Which I have seen in a lot of cases end with the injured person taking the blame to reduce the burden on everyone involved (or taking it one step earlier, the infamous non-reporting of incidents). This is generally only made worse with mandates of strict 24 hour / 7 days / etc. timeframes to close out an investigation (and sometimes even the associated corrective actions). No wonder we end up with the bare minimum to pass investigation reports (even if we give them a "good" investigation framework). And as I said this then can effect how higher severity incidents are investigated with the focus ingrained on the process of the investigation rather than the purpose.

    But to me the true real killer of "good" investigations is when nothing happens as a result of them (or at least any changes made don't visibly make work better for those affected). I would be interested to know from the forum members the split (gut feeling) between "fighting tooth-and-nail" vs "barely an inconvenience" to close out significant corrective actions that actually have a chance of effecting the root cause of incidents?
    Why put the effort into investigating something well, if that effort has a good chance of being wasted? Especially if that effort has to be done over and above your normal workload and you (likely) don't even get any recognition for putting in that effort!
    Unfortunately (like the investigations themselves) the scope of what is looked at when trying to imporve investigation techniques tend to focus on the processes and tools rather than any wider root cause organisational factors (ironically).
  • wearing a harness
    Which W@H unit standard though? Just 23229, or a W@H training course which generally includes 23229/15757, or even a NZ Level 3 certificate in rope access which includes assessment against various W@H NZQA Unit Standards?
  • The Hazard Register - what is it really for?
    I have to admit when I read your thread title I can't help myself from singing the second and third lines of "War"... but that's just my facetious tendencies creeping out :wink:
    I do want to throw out an auxiliary question to the Brains Trust - does a hazard/risk register have to be a register at all?
    If the methods that you use to do business includes the identification, assessment, control and monitoring of risks - do these need to be transferred into a single central list of all hazards?
  • Smoking in a workshop.
    I would also add to think about understanding why the worker smokes within the workshop in the first place. Typically a smoke is used as a good time for a break, does he take breaks throughout the day or is he always on the go? Does he feel like he doesn't have time to go out for a quick smoke? If he feels / is seen as a critical cog in keeping the workshop turning over then that may be part of the reason why he feels that he should be able to keep working while he's smoking a ciggy.
  • wearing a harness
    Harness training is probably considered by those organisations to be a prerequisite for the MEWP training. They don't want to have everyone who has 23229 to sit through that again.Michael Parker

    But from @Robb's comment it seems like they are providing training on the selection, use and fitting of harness - just not to the extent of US23229 I guess. I would expect that it would be specific to they style of MEWP being trained on though. So where US23229 will be broader in scope to include multiple types of fall arrest systems and identifying different certified anchor points that can be attached to and how, I would expect the MEWP specific training to be much simpler - "for this MEWP, wear this harness/lanyard style and hook onto this point"
  • wearing a harness
    Its kind of frustrating that training providers offer courses that do not cover all the recommendations of an industry GPG, meaning additional courses are needed.Robb

    As you say the training provided is based on a business case - added an additional US would added the additional cost and time required to that course, which seems illogical to do for each of the four (?) specific MEWP US's (basically redoing US23229 each time you do a different MEWP course). Remembering that you can always decide to put your workers through US23229 separately if you don't think the MEWP specific training is satisfactory covering harness use.
    Remembering that no general H&S training is statutorily required under HSWA to be to NZQA US's (except for "H&S Rep L1") - the GPG is just that, guidelines and recommendations.

    I would be suggesting that if all your workers do is use various MEWPs then you should assess the current MEWP training courses from your training provider are adequate (which might require "management level" staff to be trained to understand what is being trained), then train your workers to that training and finally monitor their competency after training. If you see workers return from training that then put harnesses on backwards then it is likely that additional training (possibly to US23229) is required or to go back and review if the original training is actually training what you were shown it would.
  • Automotive Workshop Pit
    you highlight a good point that the situation can easily change - workshop doors open during summer to get a good breeze through, compared to shut up and heaters on to warm the place up in winter - completely different risk profiles. Remember that if you are renting dosimeters / personal gas monitors, that you should also record the situation/environment during the testing for reference.