Health and safety at work is not something that should be ignored. It is important to ensure that the workforce and the public at large are fully protected. Skipping on Health and Safety, and treating the legislation as irrelevant and an unnecessary additional cost, is building up problems for the future. Sensible measures and thorougher risk assessments are needed to maintain a safe working environment.
A comprehensive programme can be offered by a specialist company for health and safety NZ has today, to ensure that health and safety issues are kept in focus.
Areas that are Covered
Accidents may happen. Some activities and occupations are more of a risk. Mining, agriculture and building may pose more potential risks than working say in an office. But in lower risks businesses there should not be complacency either. If an accident occurs of any kind it needs to be investigated and a reported. This applies equally to “near misses”. It is important to make sure that this does not happen again.
If a serious accident occurs, giving rise to an injury, the investigation needs to be completed within seven days. Blame should not be apportioned. A reputable body on health and safety NZ has today needs to be notified immediately. This could result in a court hearing. It pays for any concerned party to have a professional body representing it, if this was to be the case. Under current New Zealand legislation, it is illegal to insure against possible fines. These have also increased recently.
Having an outside body experienced in health and safety matters will help considerably in solving any problems. They can be dispassionate and objective in their investigations.
Hazard Investigation, Risk Assessments
The risk assessment is a very important tool in helping to improve the overall health and safety environment in any organization.
A basic but effective way of doing this is to walk around an establishment and simply list potential hazards. An experienced investigator will then make a note of any potential risk. Taking an ordinary office as a straightforward example – this could be as simple as a “trailing lead” across a walk way; a potential trip hazard. Alternatively, a plug socket with too many leads and extensions running from it, which is a potential electrical or fire hazard.
Hazards are commonly divided into three categories –
- Serious: life threatening or serious injury.
- Medium: Could this lead to a serious injury that might disable someone?
- Low: Could lead to a minor injury that might not disable someone?
There is also frequency to consider. If a machine does not have the proper machine guard, there could soon be an accident. The people in an office may have been walking over a trailing lead for years, but one day someone could trip and catch his head on the corner of a table.
Control measures will be needed. If there is the potential of a high risk, then this needs to be acted upon immediately. A higher risk would result in the need for more safety measures being introduced. Is the risk to be removed, isolated in some way or minimized?
Therefore, a health and safety NZ authority can provide periodic reviews and information on any changes in Health and Safety legislation that could be introduced.