These are real stories that come from our clients however, we have changed the names of the business and the storyteller
Reporting Responsibilities and Accountabilities
There is a saying that “You get what you measure”. For the Officers of a PCBU to be comfortable in the performance of their Safety Management System, they need accurate reporting of data to enable them to:
- Identify where resources are required to manage safety in the business;
- Evaluate the strategies in place to effectively manage safety in the business; and
- Further improve health and safety performance of the PCBU.
A Real Story about Reporting Responsibilities
Don’t Touch Security is a small business (or PCBU) with two Directors who also work in the business, a separate General Manager, five full time employees and 65 Contract Workers.
The two Directors request the General Manager to prepare and provide a monthly report called ‘Health and Safety Health Check’ to them as part of the normal monthly reporting. The report provides an accurate picture of:
- How effectively safety processes are being implemented and managed in the business;
- The more significant risks faced by employees and how effectively those risks are being managed;
- Any resources they need to approve to improve safety; and
- A summary of any incidents, identified root causes and actions implemented to ensure they do not happen again.
Initially it took a while to put together and review the information, but after three months they found it led to better decision making relating to safety in the business.
NB: The GM in this example is also an Officer
Hazard / Risk Management
When managing a hazard, risk management principles need to be applied. For example, what is the likelihood of the incident happening, and what is the consequence if the incident occurred (this will be the sum total of two scores and is the level of risk to be applied. The higher the score, the higher the risk).
Jason Jolly Construction Limited had a Hazard Register that had been originally set-up when they had invested in a Safety System four years before.
A Real Story about Hazard / Risk Management
Justine, the General Manager decided to print-off a copy of the Hazard Register – one for each employee and gave it to them on Monday morning, asking them to read it through and make any notes, as they would review it at the Team Meeting on Friday.
At Friday’s meeting, they updated the Hazard Register (added three new hazards and updated the controls of four others).
Justine then asked, “what hazards can kill or seriously hurt you today and why?” They came up with three that were registered as High Risk (i.e. An injury is Likely to happen and if they did, there would be a Serious Consequence):
- Falling from heights
- Live electricity, and
- A highly flammable solvent being used to lay vinyl in the building.
She then found the reasons for these being selected were:
- Lack of fall protection on site
- Sub-contract electrician on site kept livening cables without their knowledge, and
- Several small fires relating to the ignition of solvent fumes in small rooms with no ventilation.
After silently cursing because this was the first she had heard of these issues, they agreed on some temporary measures to Eliminate or Minimise each of the risks. Justine then did the following:
- Arranged for Scaffolding Edge Protection and internal nets for the falling at heights risk (Minimised) – the Risk was re-classified as Low
- Fire the Electrician and hired a new Contractor that had some excellent safe working procedures (Minimised) – the Risk was re-classified as Low, and
- Asked the flooring contractor to change to a water-based solvent (Eliminated).
‘Serious Harm Injury’ was changed to ‘Notifiable Event’ which means:
- The death of a person; or
- A notifiable injury or illness of a person (Serious Harm); or
- A notifiable incident (potential for Serious Harm).
A Real Story about Incident Management
Justine received a phone call to notify her that a section of scaffolding (three levels 12m high and 20m wide) had collapsed on the worksite. Luckily no-one was hurt, but it was a near thing and several people near the incident are shaken.
The Scaffolding Company was not on site, but have been called to come in and help make the site safe. Key actions she took were:
- Made sure no-one was hurt;
- Asked the Site Manager to:
- Isolate the area of scaffolding that had collapsed to ensure it is kept as is for any investigation going forward;
- Take photos of the incident and affected equipment;
- Identify any witnesses, separate them and ask them to write down any information relating to the collapse.
- Stopped work on all unaffected scaffolding until it could be checked and declared safe;
- Notified WorkSafe NZ 0800 030 040. WorkSafe said they wanted the area isolated and unchanged until they could get to site;
- Left for site to talk to the affected people and the Site Manager; and
- When she had time, notified WorkSafe NZ on the online Form – Notification of a Notifiable Incident.
Note: If the incident was not reported, and WorkSafe NZ was notified by another PCBU or a member of the public, there is the potential for Legal Action by WorkSafe.
The process to pre-qualify / select, induct, monitor performance and evaluate performance of contractor health and safety is pretty much as they have always been under the current HSWA legislation.
The two main changes here are:
- The term ‘Contractor’ is no longer in the legislation, they are now referred to as a ‘Worker’ (the same as an employee); and
- When managing Contractors, there must be communication on health and safety matters between all PCBUs (Overlapping Duties).
A Real Story about Contractor Management
Kevin, the General Manager of Don’t Touch Security is managing 65 Contract Security Guards. 40 of these are individuals who work for him and or are from other companies on an as required basis. 25 are Workers (employees) of another security company called STOP Security.
To make sure everyone is aware of their own and Don’t Touch Security’s health and safety requirements and to make sure everyone is safe, Kevin did the following:
- Ensured each self-employed Security Officer signed the Contractor Health and Safety Agreement stating they would follow Don’t Touch Security’s health and safety requirements;
- The Manager of STOP Security signed the Contractor Health and Safety Agreement and provided a copy of their Health and Safety Management System and relevant evidence it was being used (e.g. Training Records, Hazard Register, Meeting Minutes etc.).
- Inducted all contracted Security Guards into Don’t Touch Security’s health and safety requirements and documented the induction;
- Carried out random monitoring of the Security Guards just to make sure they were following the safety requirements and working safely (he recorded these observations in his diary); and
- Spent a couple of hours annually reviewing how all of the contracted security guards managed safety and provided any feedback or took action as required.
Health and Safety Committees
If there is a Health and Safety Representative on the Health and Safety Committee, then that person must have completed Health and Safety Representative training. The Health and Safety Committee needs to receive training in:
- Their Role and Responsibilities;
- Health and Safety Committee Meeting Rules; and
- Communication channels for reporting health and safety issues to Committee members and responding to employees.
A Real Story about Health & Safety Committees - Example One
You have 25 employees made up of an Administration Team (five) and a Manufacturing Team (20). After reviewing your responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, you decide that a great way to get employees engaged in health and safety and to share the load, is to set-up a small Health and Safety Committee of four people. Yourself as Senior Manager, the Health and Safety Representative and two other employees who have volunteered from the workforce (one from Administration and one from Manufacturing) and they have been approved by the other workers in the business.
At the first meeting you:
- All agree that the Committee will meet monthly for one hour and agree the Agenda.
- Agree the basic rules for running the committee and receiving / giving feedback from / to Workers.
Discuss and agree the Role and Responsibilities of the Committee members.
A Real Story about Health & Safety Committees - Example Two
You are a small business with four people. You have read the requirements for Health and Safety Committees under the Regulations and have had a chat with Workers about the different ways you can achieve this.
You collectively decide that the best way to have effective health and safety participation is to discuss Health and Safety at the weekly Team Meeting on a Monday morning, and agree the agenda for the meeting and how the minutes and any action points will be recorded and acted on.