Comments

  • Gas Bottle Valve Rings (Guards)
    Attachment
    Gas Bottles - Valve Ring Example (255K)
  • Why have a sign in sheet?
    When I was an inspector I was handed many a piece of paper and equally found many pieces of paper to be absent - I was able to 'prove' the event based on interviews and verification of the interviewees information by interviewing others and the examination of other facts. The piece of paper makes people more comfortable, however it is not a mark of quality.

    Again, I'm not advocating for abolishing the sign in sheet (or any other piece of paper), rather the critical examination of the purpose and functionality. The piece of paper can very quickly become perceived as more important, creating an illusion of safety.
  • Why have a sign in sheet?
    I went into a department store the other day. The site was full of hazardous objects - knives, glass up on shelves, unsupported racking, trip hazards and no pedestrian management. All the movement corridors were designed to draw people deeper into the retail areas, while prevent a direct exit pathway. And lots of young children. Probably a staff:customer ratio of 1:100. No sign in sheet, no induction, training or site orientation.

    Site sign sheets / systems do have a place, however they are commonly used zealously without critical thought. WHY are we requiring people to sign in? And if it is essential that we know who is on site, how does the system, from sign in to sign out function, is it robust and will it work? If it is required for an emergency evacuation, is there a single assembly point and how reliable is it that everyone will report there (versus folk wondering off to a cafe). A system that creates an illusion is often more problematic (dangerous?) than the original situation - as clearly demonstrated by @Stuart Oakey 2007 Warwickshire Fire example.

    A couple of scenerios I've considered where 'Sign-in' is beneficial:
    • Where the site is access restricted for specific security requirements (think bank, prison, laboratory)
    • When specific site related information, orientation and / or practices must be shared (the traditional contractor induction)
    • Where the emergency evacuation has a level of complexity that an untrained / unaccompanied person wouldn't know how to respond.
    • Where there are multiple entry / exit points and a sign-in system is required, the entry / exit points need to actively communicate between each other.
    A simple piece of paper or screen tick of the box doesn't provide a lot of rigor / quality to many of these in my experience. It becomes more of a record that the 'conversation and checks' may have occurred. The behavior of the person meeting and greeting the visitor or guest (organizational cultural) is so much more important. And a comprehensive, multi layered clearance plan representative of the nature of a 'reasonable to expect' emergency (imagine designing the fire evacuation plan for a prison).
  • Is the Safe Use of Machinery Best Practice Guidelines 2014 by Work Safe still relevant
    Hi Lucille,

    The legislative justifications are obviously incorrect as they predate the 2016 (current) act, however the guidance on guarding and good operation is generally pretty useful and accurate - The standards for machine guarding haven't changed radically.

    Where caution has to be applied is when the machine you're using isn't an 'off the shelf' type or is being used in an a-typical or highly complex situation and guarding needs to accommodate for this. In these circumstances the WorkSafe GPG's become less helpful.

    Hope this helps, and if you want to discuss further, happy to chat.
  • Workers younger than 15 in construction
    For the purpose of robust debate I going to disagree that 'society has got it covered'.

    Reg 4 of the GWRM has some good clarity about <15 y/o's in various workplaces, however that is the law, not to be confused with society.

    In a perfect system the two will be aligned, however right now there is a strong desire from some parents and education providers to give young people greater access to apprenticeships, many sectors are facing critical worker shortages with some calling to allow young people to fill the void, and as the event that sparked this thread shows, workplaces ARE allowing young people to work. All this is (a portion of) society expressing its desire.

    I work in a lead industry, lead being medically proven to cause significant and irreversible harm to young people. I will defend absolutely a position of not exposing this vulnerable population to an intolerable harm. Not because of the law (the law is really helpful in supporting me), rather because the research and data support the position.

    What research and data supports the exclusion of young people from other workplaces, such as construction and food & beverage?@Aaron Marshall's son would quite probably and rightly be crushed to be told to close up shop: so how would we defend such a move?

    And just to be clear, I am NOT advocating to let 14 y/o's wield chainsaws through the forests and have 12 y/o's take the tractor down SH47, rather that we have well informed and founded standards that exist for real reasons, that we are open to our standards being changed as time and technology changes, and that we don't place artificial constraints on any group of people.
  • Workers younger than 15 in construction
    Huh, I was writing my response to Alan at the same time and hadn't read yours when I posted.
    - And so there we have it - An under 15 y/o PCBU and Officer (is he a nefarious boss :wink: ?)
  • Workers younger than 15 in construction
    @Alan Boswell as per Section 17 a PCBU means a person conducting a a business or undertaking whether the person conducts a business or undertaking alone or with others.

    So there is situation where a young person could be a PCBU (probably intentionally by a nefarious boss) i.e. a 'sole trader'. Similarly, a young person could potentially be an 'Officer' (although there maybe rules in the Companies Act that prevent, I don't know). I suspect @Aaron Marshall posed this as an intellectual exercise to explore the extent of the problem and for a bit of humor.

    The question still remains though, to what extent do we, as a society and as a profession accept young people into the workplace?
  • H&S Consultant Recommendation
    Hi Chrissy,

    I have some excellent H+S Consultants that I've used over the past few years that I'd happily recommend, just geographically dependent who I'd put you in contact with. I'd also recommend searching the HASANZ Register This has the added benefit that you'll be able to filter for your industry type.
  • Workers younger than 15 in construction
    Certainly not something I've seen very much, even when I was an Inspector. The agriculture sector was where I've most commonly come across young workers. Part 4 of the GRWM Regulations puts some pretty specific limitations on workplaces regarding young people.

    As we (society) grapple with truancy, the purpose and function of (secondary) education and worker shortages, reconsidering the opportunities that are made available to young people will become increasingly questioned (I suspect).
  • ACC Accredited Employer Programme
    I think (and I could well be wrong here) that there are two different programmes being discussed here:
    -the ACC Accredited Employers Programme is essentially about the business managing the injury rehabilitation and return to work of their workers. If they can demonstrate suitable capacity and capability ACC will massively reduce the levy's. This is alive and well and generally favors larger employers who have the volume of workers to sustain the investment into dedicated people to oversee the process(es)
    - The WSMP programme was an external H+S audit scheme built on AS/NZS 4801 which as @TracyRichardson noted above has been superseded by ISO 45001. Based on the quality of a businesses H+S management (the highest being Tertiary) they would get a discount on their ACC Levy's. From memory, tertiary was worth 20%(?). ACC reviewed that WSMP in around 2016 and found that the cost of the programme (the discounts) was not delivering a proportionate of benefit (improvement in H+S performance). Essentially accredited business weren't having a comparable reduction in ACC claims. This was also around the time that the SafePlus programme was under development (that ACC also supported) and the publication of ISO 45001. ACC made the decision to end the WSMP (I'm not sure when the auditing, accreditation and discounts actually end).
  • Cycling to vs cycling at work
    Hmmm. I'm not sure I consider this good. 'Okay' perhaps, not great? Waka Kotahi is strongly encouraging the use of bikes here which is great to see. To a person / business that doesn't have strong H+S thinking these resources do help navigate into the space, however in some ways its a lot of what makes people repel from H+S - a whole reem of paperwork, full of jargon and tech speak, broiled in compliance and little practical application.
    • If we surveyed 1000 riders, how many would a) gain any benefit from reading the risk matrix, and b) remain engaged with us for more than the second row?
    The AKL Council tool has some useful dimensions.

    So, much of Waka Kotahi's info is about providing support for people that are uncertain on how to enter this space, which is good to see they are providing. A good (suitable and sufficient?) risk assessment (process) must include a subject matter expert and then a lot of the barriers inherent in h+s bureaucracy falls away. Think of this:
    • How many parents have a checklist for when they start putting their children onto a bike? (literally, thousands do this every year)
    • How many businesses have a competency test for walking down stairs? (the majority of us do this daily - have we thought about the consequences of falling down them?)
    Strip away the clutter and what is left is what really counts - in this case: suitability of the vehicle for the task and a maintenance program to keep it working.
  • NEBOSH General Cert vs Diploma in Health and Safety
    Hi Brooke.

    From pure qualifications framework perspective an L6 diploma is a 'higher' qualification than the NEBOSH cert, although not exactly an apples to apples comparison. Beyond that, it is a little more of 'what is the purpose / goal of the study'? And the match between that and the qualification will be very dependent on the training provider.

    I did the NEBOSH IGC in a blended model (group / classroom time and self-directed study) and absolutely loved it - was very beneficial. I then went on to do the NEBOSH Int'l Diploma in an almost entirely remote format. I found this a very challenging format, however the content is excellent - very comprehensive and principles based, rather than regulatory focused. I was able to augment the curriculum with practical application and previous work experience. NEBOSH has an advantage of being widely recognized, so if the goal is future employment opportunities it is worth considering.

    Hope that helps.
    M@
  • Cycling to vs cycling at work
    This is one of those areas where H+S gets accused of being out of control. On one side of the timesheet people are being actively encouraged to be more active, to use public transport and walk and / or cycle to work. Then, the very second they step in the door we wrap them up in bureaucracy and remove any individual decision making from them.
    - I am fully cognizant of the legal duty to provide for H+S at work. It has been established that the workplace extends to include a vehicle, this would include a bicycle, when being used for the purpose of work.
    - This is a thinking exercise: before starting a 'risk assessment' establish the parameters (size) of the question.
    - metal vs squishy thing is a lovely poster slogan. How about force? mass * acceleration? a car at 1000kg + travelling at 100km/h - force = harm. A bicycle at 12kg going 25km/h (maybe)?
    - Risk Assessments need to be undertaken / include 'subject matter experts'. Unless you ride a bicycle of regular basis in a same / similar environment I question if the SME standard has been met. Its the difference between real and perceived.
    - The principle(s) of safe travel: Safe driver (rider in this case), safe vehicle, safe journey.
    * A safe rider is a competency and judgment question. For drivers most businesses assume that a drivers Licence is proof of this, however do little to nothing to validate this.
    * Bicycles are extremely safe - highly maneuverable and excellent stopping distances. (I am being a little provocative with this claim, in order to stimulate thinking)
    * It is the 'journey' that creates the risk to cyclists. A lack of cycle lanes in our city and urban spaces, and drivers that drive with a sense of entitlement over the space. How many businesses require the staff to use the 'dutch door opening' method so that they don't harm cyclists?

    My personal H+S ethos is to 'never say no'. Rather I seek to embrace opportunities that the business wants to explore and to enable it.

    So, when in my previous business we introduced electric bikes and electric scooters for city trips, the challenge was to introduce them with the fewest number of barriers to uptake. An organizational maintenance and inspection programme was implemented to ensure they continued to function properly. No operational rules or requirements were implemented. A 5 minute user video was produced, watching it was optional. Coaching sessions were available upon request. No requirements of when they should or shouldn't be used were put in place. People were simply empowered to make a choice for themself.

    After 3 years car use for trips under 4km were down approx. 50%. No bicycle or scooter incidents had been reported (fully acknowledge that this is a weak lag indicator, however still and indicator) and no reports received for unsafe of inappropriate use. In the initial months of introduction about 45 coaching sessions were done.
    - People self selected, and were empowered to make the right decision for themselves.
    In the same timeframe I had in look into 4 incidents were one of our drivers failed to perceive / giveaway to a cyclist.

    Cycling is awesome for people who like it, and people who don't should not feel compelled to do use them. So Garth, have confidence that people can ride bikes at work.

    On a slight tangent / extension, I was recently asked to look into work methods to undertake environmental monitoring a a large forest area, with an extensive network of cycle trails. They were proposing using motorbikes or quad bikes and were concerned about being hit by mountain bikers! To do the work on foot would take in excess of 40hrs. It could be ridden in less than a day. The motorbike expert assessed the terrain as 'highly challenging requiring an expert level of skill'. The monitoring is being done by mtn bike. The requirements: any monitoring personnel must have undertaken a competency assessment from an SME, their bike must have been inspected / serviced by a suitably skilled person (bike mechanic) and they must keep their wheels on the ground. They love their work day (although I'm sure they'd love to jump a little more ;-).
  • Bowtie Tool(s)
    Thanks, that's a great lead - I'll give them a test run. M@
  • Bird Pest Control recommendations please
    We were considering using an austringer / falconer to keep pigeons off our building.
  • fatigue Flowchart
    Hi Rebecca,

    I don't, however I'm very interested in what one might look like. I haven't thought about how I would flowchart fatigue. What do you envisage one would contain? If no one else has one I might give it shot to develop.
    Thanks
    Matt
  • e-scooters as an approved form or work transport
    Hi All,

    We have a fleet of E-Scooters, along with E-Bikes that folk can use to get ot various meetings around the city. While I believe society is in a learngin phase with the scooters in particular I have we have determined that no additional policies or rules were necessitated for them. How we got to this point is longer than i can put in this post, however our Critical Risk Rules - Transportion incorporated their issues adequately. The only additional information we've put together is some 'equipment orientation' material.
  • Docu-Dramas
    I urge caution on this specifc item. "In a Flash" is a reasoanble dramatisation, that tells a tale of how a day out can turn bad, however it isn't "the true story". It doesn't accurately reflect all or the actually events of the day. The fact that it doesn't align with the courts account of the events, or the Coroners findings or any of the recommendations is telling.

    Interestingly, I think this event, the investigation and subsequent prosecution support your points in the discussion thread on the Liabilty / Prosecution of Officers.
  • Mental Health / Wellbeing Policy
    Hi Brook,

    My immediate recommendation is the 'Management Standards Approach' - Rather than orientating to the individual factors associated with stress, that are highly variable and personal it focuses on 'whole of organization' and factors that can be influenced: Demands | Control | Support | Relationships | Role (clarity) | Change.

    I've been able to use this in a wide range of ways with great outcomes - informing policy, ensuring reasonable expecations when developing position / job descriptions, through to identifying points of weakness that can be adjusted when problems appear.

    A good place to find out more about this is https://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/

    I hope that helps and let me know how you get on.
    M@