Welcome to Edition 75 of this newsletter.
It is my intention to update the newsletter regularly to provide you with the latest Health and Safety headlines and what it all means for you.
As a sideline I will try and keep you updated with an accurate report of the state of the Trout and Salmon fishery and any related fishing matters. I have also included a section of motorbikes for those who may be interested.
I have attached this comment from one of my clients – Cochrane Bros in Ashburton.
“Thanks Leigh – good to deal with someone who is on the same wave length.
Regards Merv ”
I welcome any feedback or comments and look forward to hearing from you.
FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE
WE REMAIN OPEN. OUR BUSINESS IS UNINTERRUPTED FROM THE CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKES AND THE RECENT DISRUPTION TO BUSINESSES IN THE MAIN STREETOF RANGIORA.
The main street of Rangiora has recently seen many businesses situated there being closed down because new structural engineering reports indicate that the buildings there may be unsafe.
Health and Safety Systems Ltd is unaffected by this and we are open for business as usual.
In addition to that our building has been certified as structurally sound.
The issue of helmet use on quad bikes continues unabated. There have been several recent serious accidents and fatalities.
Because of this we repeat the information below.
There is now legal precedent on the issue of quad bike safety liability. A judge has warned rural employers that if they are letting employees drive quad bikes without proper training and helmets they will be found to have a high element of blame if an accident was to occur.
We have been strongly advocating the use of helmets on quad bikes in the work environment for a long time now and this is the advice we give to all our clients.
The DOL continues its focus in this regard.
All employers should be aware that the requirement under the act for them to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees means that they must pass the test of what is considered to be best practice.
The new quad bike guidelines are considered to be best practice as are a wide variety of other industry related guidelines.
If you would like to know more about guidelines and codes of practice and their relationship to the act give us a call.
How much value do you put on your time?
Yes you can develop your own Health and Safety system, compile your own policy and hazards registers, but how much do you value your time?
There are organisations out there that offer templates to you at a cheaper cost but they require you to identify your own hazards and do all the ground work including managing contractors and putting the correct wording in the safety manual.
You will usually find that if you research the small print line on these websites there is a footnote added saying that they “strongly advise you to seek professional/legal advice if you are unsure of your legal obligations”
Are you sure of all your legal obligations? After you have done all the hard work using a cheap generic template can you be sure if you have covered all your bases! Can you be sure it will work efficiently for you?
The alternative that we offer may suit you better on all counts. Call us toll free or contact us directly from this website.
If an earthquake occurs:
- Do not rush outside
- Move away from windows and storage racks
- If possible shelter under a desk, stand in a doorway or lie beside a solid structure and hold on.
- Your first priority is to ensure your own safety.
- Evacuate only when it is safe to do so.
- Make your way to the assembly area.
The 3 step rule when an earthquake happens
- Find shelter
- Protect yourself
- Evacuate when it is safe to do so
Do not remove any unconscious or seriously injured victims unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
Stay by them and send for help.
Give first aid to the injured.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR (DOL)
Company fined $50000 dollars and ordered to pay $20000 in reparation after one of their employees had three fingers amputated by a drop saw. The employee lost their balance and stepped on an unguarded foot pedal causing the right hand to become clamped in the drop saw. Neither the foot pedal or the circular saw had any form of guarding making the machinery dangerous to use.
The employee had not received adequate safety training for using the saw, and therefore they were not aware of the hazards they were exposed to.
The company was convicted of one charge under Section 6 of the Health and Safety Employment Act 1992.
Roofing contractor changed an agreed safety procedure for replacing roofing iron resulting on one of their employees falling 5.4 metres onto concrete was fined $5000 and ordered to pay $2000 in reparation.
A company was fined $30000 and ordered to pay $20000 reparation after an employee’s hand was amputated by the rotating blade of a timber saw. The saw did not have a stop limit device and the guards were not fully functional.
PREVENTING FALLS FROM HEIGHT
Preventing falls from height is a priority for the Department of Labour and it expects employers and self-employed contractors with staff working at height to actively manage this significant hazard. The Department of Labour wants to make it clear that doing nothing to prevent a fall from height is not an option.
“3 Metre Rule” – Whilst it’s generally understood that possible falls greater than 3 metres need action, the HSE Act also requires that where harm couldresult from a fall of less than 3 metres – steps must be taken to prevent the fall occurring.
The Department of Labour has set out their position to situations with the potential for a fall from height.
All practicable steps must be taken to ensure the safety of workers exposed to a fall or the hazard of a fall. The “Eliminate. Isolate, Minimise” process should be followed for controls.
Preventing falls from roofs – where the fall hazard cannot be eliminated, some form of edge protection should be used – this applies to single storey buildings and structures. If this is not practicable then the use of scaffolding, elevated work platforms or temporary work platforms are more acceptable alternatives.
Preventing falls from ladders - ladders should be used as a means of access and short duration work, such as changing a light bulb.
People using a ladder must be trained and instructed in the safe use and selection of ladders.
Ladders must be regularly inspected and well maintained to ensure they are safe for use.
The Tourism Industry Association (NZ) and Outdoors NZ is looking for input/ feedback on their Support Adventure Website and Guidance Tool.
The Support Adventure Website when completed will offer a central, credible source of safety guidance. Help operators and employees understand how to meet their safety requirements.
If this is your area, take a look and let them know your thoughts by following the links to the draft website all by the 30th April 2012.
ACC and the Department of Labour share information –be aware that if an employee has a accident at work resulting in an ACC claim, ACC will pass this information onto the Department of Labour.
If the accident has not been reported as required, expect a call from the DOL.
More information on what needs to reported can be found on the Department of Labour website
Site Specific Safety Plans (SSSP)
The rebuild ofChristchurchhas seen the introduction of SSSPs for each job. All contractors working on site are required to complete this type of documentation now as part of their contract in theChristchurchrebuild phase.
This is bringing us more into line with accepted site safety practices that are common overseas.
Getting your head around extra health and safety documents on site is causing a bit of head scratching but it is not really that complicated. More of a case of getting used to doing things differently.
We have available a SSSP that can be adapted to your specific requirements. We here to help simplify and assist you with this process.
I think the SSSP will be commonplace right across NZ workplaces wherever site work is being conducted within twelve months.
If you are in one of the six industry groups listed below you should qualify for a 10% ACC levy discount. It is a good incentive to put a safety plan in place if you fall within one of these groups.
An acknowledged weakness of the scheme is the length and complexity of the application form which has led to many smaller companies not bothering but it is free and worth persevering with.
I complete lots of theses forms for my clients these days as I have found it is the easiest way to ensure that they apply and gain admission to the scheme. So if you are interested I am happy to answer any questions regarding the scheme or eligibility for it.
The scheme applies to most contractors working in the construction and rural sectors.
To participate you must:
- Employ 10 or less full time equivalent employees.
- Have a wage bill of no more than $495,000.00.
- Be able to show that you have a safety system in place that includes hazard identification and management, injury and accident investigation, emergency readiness and a training regime in place.
- Allow a possible site audit by an approved ACC auditor
The six industry groups are:
- Road freight transport and waste management
- Motor trades
- In shore fishing
REMEMBER – HEALTH AND SAFETY IS NOT A LUXURY IN TODAY’S WORKPLACE, IT IS A NECESSITY .
The only use the Ducati has had recently was a work related trip to Blenhiem.
Up there one day and back the next with fine weather in both directions.
It is a great ride up the coast and the two road tunnels just before Kaikoura are brilliant as the Ducati thunders its way through them.
I have to repeat the trip tomorrow – there and back in the day this time so hopefully the weather will hold.
The salmon season has been pretty good this year and there is still time to go until the end of April.
I have been enjoying catching a few fish this year in very low clear rivers using my trout gear. It has been nothing short of brilliant when you hook up 15lbs of angry salmon on light gear.
I have also lost a few fish this way because there are restrictions with the lighter tackle and sometimes it is hard to set the hook, however patience wins the day and I am one happy angler.
I was over on the West Coast staying with a friend last weekend. He said that there were a few salmon coming up the river but that people were finding it hard to catch them.
I don’t think he believed me when I said the trout rod would be the way to go given the low and clear conditions.
Imagine his surprise when I caught a fish of about 8lbs almost immediately on the trout rod.
As always I remain optimistic.
Please contact me
By phone 0800 313 912, 0274 365 972 or (03) 313 9114 or (03) 303 7807
By Fax 03 313 4271