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Blog Post

Five steps to Health & Safety

It’s funny how conversations often collide. The Hire Industry held its annual conference in Rotorua at the start of July, bringing the owners and managers of many hire companies together (along with a host of equipment and service suppliers) to catch up and get updated on the latest trends.

As well as getting together for a general chin-wag, these conferences are always a great opportunity to learn about the new or brush up on the old.

One of the technical sessions involved Angie Williams from OSHBox, a Waikato-based Health & Safety Consultancy (www.oshbox.co.nz), who ran through the five essentials of a Health & Safety plan. Angie and OSHBox are major service providers to the NZ Hire Industry so they understand the hire business. A few notes got scribbled down, maybe for consideration at a later date.

Fast forward to dinner last Friday night with some good friends, who have been struggling to get to grips with the implementation of a health & safety program in their business. It seems there is a dialogue gap between those who live and breathe H&S every day, and the rest of us paddling to keep up. Distilling the essentials of a H&S program can be difficult when you don’t revise it daily. A sudden recall of the five key points from Angie’s talk 2 weeks ago ensued. It was worthwhile capturing in print, interrupted only by the hunt for the hand written notes amongst the pile of paper.

Here’s what Angie suggested:
1. People: It all revolves around people. Ensure you conduct proper inductions for new employees and contractors. Talk about what’s happening, and what’s new on site. It won’t take long for Health & Safety to become part of your daily thinking.

2. Policies & Procedures: These set out in black and white what’s intended and what the aim is. Hard to have any sort of order without them.

3. Incident register: The what/ where something happened, and what you’re going to do to ensure it don’t happen again.

4. Hazards & Risk: A format for showing you’ve had a good look around and worked out what are potential hazards and what’s you’re going to do to reduce the chance of someone getting hurt.

5. Emergency procedures: What to do when an emergency, such as a fire or DG spill, happens.

Yes, beneath these five essentials lies a decent amount of work. It also requires imagining all the things that might potentially go wrong and figuring out ways to reduce the chance.

There are plenty of H&S consultants who can write up your procedures or sell you a manual, but it’s important that it becomes part of your business. To make it work you have to own it.

The risks of someone getting unnecessarily hurt is worrying. The risk of getting prosecuted by Worksafe for not taking all reasonable care and attention after an accident should be a real cause for concern. We’d suggest you reduce the risk of both and think how you can ensure you’ve got a firm grip on the five essentials.

Go to https://www.oshbox.co.nz/blog/post/30272/Health-and-Safety-in-5-easy-steps/ for Angies latest blog.

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