We’ve all heard the saying “if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right”. Well, we believe the same goes for your business. If you want your business to succeed, to grow and to be profitable it is essential that you pick the right tools for the job.
Focus your time and energy on what you are best at and let others help with the areas of your business that you are not so experienced in. For example, when your tax return is due, most of us seek help from our accountant. Or, when we need legal advice we ask our lawyer. We shouldn’t waste our time trying to muddle our way through these complex topics ourselves.
The same goes for health and safety.
The team behind Safely are health and safety professionals. We know health and safety inside and out. Like tax and law, health and safety is complex. If you want to comply with the Health and Safety Act, keep your staff safe and save your precious time for where it’s most useful, then use Safely.
Safely shares with you the knowledge and expertise of New Zealand’s very best health and safety professionals through our beautifully designed software.
It’s no nonsense software packed full of features, each one handcrafted by experts and designed to reduce the risk of a serious accident occurring in your workplace.
Here’s our advice:
+If you currently only use the free Safely cloud then trial the full Safely system and features with zero risk for 30 days by clicking HERE.
+ If you are already using Safely and would like some free help, or would like to know more, then book in for a FREE 20 minute online demo HERE.
+ If someone you know could benefit from using Safely click HERE.
We are here to help you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Duncan Faulkner, Safely Co-founder
As a WorkSafe Inspector, I was often told that health and safety is just common sense and employers shouldn’t be held responsible for other people doing stupid things that get themselves hurt. On the face of it, this seems a fair statement until you start to break it down to the basic requirements under our current health and safety legislation.
If we accept that people make mistakes, and we all do, then what extra steps do we need to take to ensure that they do not hurt themselves, or anyone else, when they stuff up?
Accidents happen when a series of events all line up at the same time. This is typically known as the “Swiss cheese model” and the more barriers we can put in place, the harder it is for all the holes to align and there is less likelihood of an accident occurring.
In this case, some of the barriers we are talking about include well-trained employees, appropriate risk identification and controls, the right tools for the job, well-planned work (removing excessive time pressures), supervision or monitoring, worker participation, well-defined policies and procedures for undertaking specific higher risk jobs and a process for review.
Compare this to what is actually happening on some worksites. Employees being shown how to operate a piece of plant or equipment with only five minutes instruction and then being told to “be careful” and get on and do the job. Often there is no monitoring or supervision to ensure that they are using the equipment correctly and safely.
If your employees are qualified tradesmen, the approach seems to be worse, as there is a misconception that once someone is qualified then they should know how to do the job safely. If we go back to the “it’s just common sense” statement, we are all aware that everyone has a different perception or approach to a job and what is common sense to one person is not necessarily common sense to another.
For me, common sense is a combination of training, competency and life skills. A piece of paper does not mean that you are good at your job, it just means that you should know how to do it.
A good example of this is driving – how many times do we see someone doing something stupid or dangerous while driving; yet these drivers have gone through the same driving test as everyone else. They have the piece of paper to say that they are trained and know what they are doing, but it is only with several years of experience that you could say that they might be competent drivers. Would you allow an employee to jump into an expensive work vehicle or machine without being confident in their driving ability?
Health and safety at work should be the same. Until you are confident in the competency and skills of any employee or contractor (documented, of course), then they need policies and procedures in place to provide clear direction and they also need to be monitored or supervised.
These are your “Swiss cheese” barriers and will help to ensure you have a safer workplace, which meets your obligations under the current Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Richard Tattersfield, Senior Health & Safety Consultant, Progressive Consulting Ltd
The importance of systematic maintenance and proper fault management of machinery in workplaces has been highlighted today at the sentencing of the Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure its employees’ safety.
WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector Keith Stewart said after the sentencing that companies using any machinery in their work must ensure the machinery is maintained according to manufacturers’ instructions and must have an effective system in place to identify faults.
“If faults are found, they must be documented, the machine taken out of service for assessment and workers advised of the faults and whether or not the machinery can be used,” he said.
His comments follow an investigation and prosecution of LPC after the Rail and Maritime Union raised concerns with the company, and later WorkSafe, about the use of a cherry picker (a mobile elevated work platform) at the port. Issues about the use of the cherry picker were raised with the company the day after a fatality occurred on a scissor lift (another form of mobile elevated work platform) at the port. Two weeks later, a mechanical fault with the cherry picker was discovered and it was not removed from service.
“WorkSafe investigated the complaint and found that while there had been no injury to workers, there were multiple failings in the company’s management of the cherry picker that could easily have led to a worker being injured,” Mr Stewart said.
LPC was fined $75,000 at the Christchurch District Court today.
NotesLPC was charged under Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 that:
The WorkSafe investigation found the practicable steps available to LPC in order to ensure its own employees safety included: