Comments

  • Use of Mini-SDSs
    Regarding the statutory requirement for providing information to workers the regulations include for "...or a condensed version of the key information from the safety data sheet (for example, a product safety card)..." or similar statement.
    Still have to have obtain the full SDS when "first supplied or after it has been amended though.

    R2.11 Hazardous Substances Regulations
  • Masks where wet, heavy physical work is performed
    the legal requirements of when face covering are mandatory are included in COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021 (specifically 17A).
    The order doesn't include any statement of "premise open to the public" but the list of premises are basically those open to the public.
  • Electrical equipment - Test and Tag
    The caveat with that Matt is,only while it is new- so how long does new last?Steve H
    Yep agree - I would expect that the assumption is that it is until the next standard test period, so if you test that equipment on a 6 monthly basis then 6 months is the max.

    That is of course, just your opinion Matt, in the UK their test & tag regime was shown to have reduced fires in workplaces by a substantial percentage, in the final analysis, if TnT and Thermal Imaging is what an insurance company asks for, then you comply or risk voiding your insurance cover.Steve H
    My point was it is the circuit protection that prevents fires, but take your point that it could prevent a faulty piece of equipment from being plugged in and requiring the circuit protection to trip.
    Do you have any more information/data on the decrease of fires in the UK?
  • Electrical equipment - Test and Tag
    What I’m referring to is another method to detect the internal circuit and resistance properties of the appliance
    I have spoken to a few electricians and they have said there is no viable alternative which provides the same level of confidence
    Mark Taylor
    yes that was my point, there is an alternative (buy a whole lot more tools and have a electrician spend a whole lot more time doing the testing) it just isn't a financially viable one.

    Alternatives for the protection of people from the risk of electrocution / electric shock:
    • ensure that all electrical appliances are supplied through an RCD protected circuit that is periodically tested.
    • Ensure that any damage to electrical appliances, including cords/leads, is serviced/repaired by a competent electrician

    Alternatives for the protection of people from the risk of fire causes by unsafe electrical appliances -
    • ensure that all electrical circuits are suitably fused to prevent overcurrent.
    • do not modify any electrical appliances (again any damage to electrical appliances, including cords/leads, is serviced/repaired by a competent electrician), e.g. no changing 15A 3-pin plugs to 10A ones to make it easier to find a socket outlet that you can use.

    Also, a few people have told me it is a requirement of their insurance and Argest checks in schools and it could make a claim invalidated if a fire results from overloadingMark Taylor
    This makes no sense at all - tag and testing to AS/NZS 3670 is going to do nothing to manage the risk of fires from overloading.
  • Electrical equipment - Test and Tag
    Does anyone have an alternative to portable appliance testing for checking the appliances continuity and resistance
    I have asked WorkSafe on numerous occasions but they have never come back to me with a reply?
    Mark Taylor
    If you are meaning for testing to the standard there would be a number of specific tools required; multimeter, megohmmeter, a way to measure leakage current, etc. and you would also need a competent electrician to interpret the test results... which is the reason for a PAT, that it combines those tools into one which is relatively easy to use and provides the test results in form that requires relatively little interpretation, e.g. a simple pass/fail
  • Time to abandon the risk matrix?
    We can talk to the cows come home on risk matrices versions and theories but at the shop floor if you don't have one in your paperwork the clients will pop a vein becasue it appears that you have done something wrong, illegal or some other very bad thing. We were forced several years ago add one in ours to appease clients and prequalifications companies.Kip Mandeno
    And did adding that risk matrix to your paperwork (I am guessing it was some sort of pre-task anlysis like a JSA) result in;
    • Safer work,
    • Annoyed workers,
    • Both,
    • Neither.

    Unfortunately the risk matrix has grown to mythic preportions where alternatives or better options are not acceptable. Perhaps we could have an industry wide matrix burning party one day?Kip Mandeno
    Waiting for my invite in the mail... although I do have to reiterate my position that I think risk matrix (in some form) have a purpose when comparing options relative to each other, but definitely not at the "coal-face" for discussing the absolute danger the workforce is about to face.
  • Electrical equipment - Test and Tag
    New Zealand's version of AS/NZS 3760 recommends testing and tagging before first useSteve H
    Unless protected by an RCD
  • Frivolous Friday Mk2 AKA The Dead Horse?
    and that they measured it because the records required accurate measurements.Jonathan Godfrey
    Hahahahahaha... never trust the as-builts!!!!
  • Is Totika Prequalification being adopted?
    Just saw a LinkedIn post today from CHASNZ / Auckland Transport that AT are moving from their current ISNet prequalification to Totika (https://www.chasnz.org/articles/auckland-transport-health-and-safety-pre-qualification).
    Interestingly that this is only if your work is considered to be medium or high risk, without really defining how that is determined or who makes the decision. More interesting is the fact that while (as I understood it) the Totika scheme was supposed to bring consistency to all prequalification through the use of one universal standard, that this is an example where "clients" are dictating how Totika is actually applied in practice which will inevitably lead to confusion and contradictions in the future for contractors.

    Also I don't think the tiered prequal supplier structure is working as intended as there are also only three current pre-qualification suppliers that are accredited to the scheme (and all of them are at gold level), with just one more pending (which from their website looks very similar to the other 3 and so would also be expected to be at gold level).

    My honest opinion - the main pitch for Totika was to simplify and streamline the pre-qualification practices in NZ. However it has introduce new terms, new structures and new processes which seem to have created more confusion than they have solved... is the cure worse than the disease?

    Looking at this in more broader terms, the topic of reliance on third-party "prequalification" schemes for the management of contractors is still unclear to most NZ organisations, as is the wider context of what is considered to be reasonably practicable contractor management in NZ. Even in Australia this area of H&S legislation has still not been tested significantly. My gut feeling is that if we stepped back just a little bit further and asked ourselves what good contractor management looked like (rather than what good contractor pre-qualification looked like) we would likely be left with some hard questions about how we actually got to where we are with our current accepted practices for contractor pre-qualification.
  • Electrical equipment - Test and Tag
    Great advice Robb, of course if it goes pear shaped and you've used an alternative route, you will need to be prepared to defend your alternative. Testing to AS/NZS 3760 and the item having a current pass tag gets you to deemed safe under ESR 26.Steve H
    Has compliance with R26 ever been used as a defense in court? Given that the Electricity Safety Regulations generally require the prevention of the use electrically unsafe equipment (rather than ensuring the provision of electrically safe equipment), and the definition of electrically unsafe is [paraphrasing] any equipment where there is a significant risk that a person may suffer serious harm due to electricity, compliance with R26 practically becomes a moot point the second after the tag is attached.
    Although talking of prosecutions under the ESR is probably all a moot point as a whole given that it is more likely that any prosecution would handled as an offences against the duties under HSWA (rather than specifically the ESR) - i.e. an offence against S38 Duty of PCBU who manages or controls fixtures, fittings, or plant at workplaces (however we all know that it would more likely be lackadaisically thrown under a S36 offence like everything else).
  • Tell us something about yourself that might surprise readers
    I was a member of the Auckland University team in the 1988 series of University Challenge, hosted by the late great Pete Sinclair. We came third.Peter Bateman
    That's a pretty good starter for ten @Peter Bateman!

    As for myself, I was awarded Proxime Accessit (runner-up to Dux) of my year at high school... which was a bit of a surprise to me as when the Principal was calling the prospective students out of class for "interviews" they couldn't find me as I was in fact wagging that particular calculus lesson, luckily for me one of my friends that was in the class was very quick-witted with a vague but plausible enough excuse for why I wasn't there!
  • Time to abandon the risk matrix?
    Possibly an answer for retaining the risk matrix.
    This is an area for NZISM and HASANZ to take the lead for adoption - MDPI
    KeithH
    I've only have managed to scan the paper quickly, but I have some concerns that (in terms of this threads questions) it deals more with "redesigning the mouse-trap" than "addressing the vermin infestation".

    One big red flag for me its the following sentence:
    Executives or the board may like to be involved with this as they are personal liable for organisational risk appetite. Is it acceptable or not for a certain number of minor harm injuries to occur?Alignment of the Safety Assessment Method with New Zealand Legislative Responsibilities, Dr. Dirk Pons
    This is a clear indication that they are missing the point of the main issue they are trying to address
    - the alignment of risk assessment practices to NZ legislative requirements.

    This is an example of the problem we have created by directly transferring "risk management" techniques from a non-legislative based financial/economical/quality model to a model that is trying to manage an aspect that primarily is concerned about statutory compliance. Using "risk appetite" in a safety context is a specific example of the problems this causes - a business cannot just simply determine for itself what is "reasonably practicable" for safety by deciding what their own "risk appetite" for safety is in the same way it does when deciding acceptable plans/actions under the organisation's strategy for business growth. "Reasonably practicable" is defined in HSWA S22 and therefore H&S "risk appetite" has also been effectively set, the difficulty that this creates is that tools typically used to manage risk in other contexts no longer work as effectively in the context of safety, such as H&S risk matrixes where organisations can end up in a situation where "getting to the green" doesn't necessarily mean they have actually done what is "reasonably practicable".
  • New Version Of AS/NZS 3760 Available For Public Comment
    Got a problem with what 3760 asks you to do to ensure the safety of electrical appliances used in your workplace- now is your opportunity to have your say.Steve H

    Never really had much of an issue with the standard itself... my issue is that any standard that is referenced by NZ regulations should be made freely and easily accessible to all.
  • Digging A Hole
    They tell me it's not a problem as "we've got gas detectors mate", thing is, down a six meter hole, with a running excavator, how much warning will they get of a Carbon Monoxide build up?Steve H
    It is scarier that if the situation was as you have implied (an excavator running in a 6m pit with no other ventilation provided) and they had a gas monitor down there and it wasn't constantly going off, there is probably a good chance that that gas monitor isn't actually working!

    Two possible ways to ease your conscience and get some sleep at night - let the management of the contractor know (LinkedIn is pretty good to find someone to talk to) or call WorkSafe. Although since the hole is probably filled in by now the first option is probably the only option.

    I also wonder what their response would be if you had followed up their answer with "is that what you would say to a WorkSafe Inspector?" Whilst pulling out a card from your wallet for added dramatic affect!
  • Time to abandon the risk matrix?
    Doing nothing is not an option.Dianne Campton
    I think you may have misunderstood my point.

    I am not advocating for not managing risk. What I am saying is the common subtask in the majority of task risk assessments of "using a risk matrix to risk assess the risk" is normally a non-productive subtask, which is highlighted by your comment that "If they come up with different scores it doesn't matter.", especially when the benefits that you have assigned to the risk matrix can just as easily come from a similar conversation that only differs in there was no matrix and therefore no risk scoring to get hung up on.

    In my opinion the detrimental effects are that:
    • this part of the risk assessments process commonly takes up the majority of effort, with getting agreement on the initial and residual risks scores, and
    • it commonly limits the scope of risk management applied as some basic controls are typically stated, the residual risk calculated (which must go down since controls are applied) and since it has gone down (typically into the green region of the matrix) then the job is done.

    When looking at individual risks we can understand the implications of not managing those risk without needing a risk matrix to do it. And the effort that was previously lost to the risk matrix can now be better used to consider and understand how the risk can be managed as best as reasonably practicable.
  • Time to abandon the risk matrix?
    It is however a good starting point for the work team to discuss and agree on the controls they should implement to protect themselves and everyone around them.Dianne Campton
    But why does "scoring" the risk need to be part of that conversation?

    I haven't come across anything else that would work any better. Would be interested to see if there is anything others have come acrossDianne Campton
    Why does a replacement need to be proposed to stop using something when it has a detrimental affect - in other words (in some / a lot of cases) doing nothing is better than using a risk matrix.
  • Digging A Hole
    If my experience of CO detectors is anything to go by, they'll get plenty of warning. The one in our aircraft seems to go off with even the slightest provocation.Aaron Marshall
    Which is a problem in itself as I have talked to at least a few teams that had the gas monitor at the top of the pit because "it keeps going off when we're using the compactor if we have it down here"...
  • Health Monitoring - Duty to Advise WorkSafe
    the regulation defines health monitoring in relation to individual (i.e. it is not exposure monitoring) and this doesn't relate to SWI's so far as I can tell.
    The situation being covered is if an occ health nurse, during the course of monitoring a worker's health in relation to the risks they were exposed to, informed the boss that the worker had been harmed as a result of those risks or made a recommendat boss changed how work is carried out.
    robert p
    That is not the situation that is being covered by the regulation - R41 states:
    A PCBU for whom any worker is carrying out work for which health monitoring is required must, as soon as practicable after obtaining a health monitoring report, ensure that a copy of the report is provided to the regulator if the report contains...Reg 41
    Therefore R41 only applies to health monitoring reports that the PCBU receives for work that they are required by the regulations to conduct health monitoring for, i.e. work where there is a risk to a workers health due to exposure to a substance that is defined in a SWI as requiring health monitoring - R31
    This point is further strengthened by R31 including that the health monitoring that is required under that regulation must comply with R33-42.
  • Hazardous zones and mobile phones
    under the definition of an ignition source in the Haz Sub regs the simple answer would be yes:
    ignition source—
    (a)
    means any agency or agent (including any item, product, part of a facility structure, or piece of equipment) capable of igniting a flammable gas, vapour, or other form of combustible substance; and
    (b)
    includes a fire, flame, or spark, or anything capable of producing a fire, flame, or spark
    Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017

    However with your reference to Zone 2 I would assume that you are controlling the risk of ignition through compliance with AS/NZS (or IEC/EN) 60079.14:2009 which makes the question more about the ignition energy required / energy available, rather than specifically how that energy has been created/stored/discharged, and therefore would need someone to look at your unique situation to give you a more definitive answer.