No longer just tough shells for your noggin, the humble bicycle helmet has recently been kitted out with turn signals, walkie talkies, blind spot detection systems and bone-conduction speakers. Now an Australian startup called Cyclevision has revealed the Edge, a helmet sporting front- and back-facing cameras to let riders watch for danger or record their adventures.
Feb 19, 2018 - Brake, the road safety charity has announced the details of its fourth annual Australasian Fleet Safety Awards. The charity is inviting awards entries from fleet operators and suppliers working to reduce the number of road crashes involving at-work drivers. The deadline for entering is Friday 15 June 2018 and the winners will be announced on Thursday 11 October at a reception in Auckland.
Dec 5, 2017 - New Zealand based health and safety technology start up Safe365 has confirmed entry into the Canadian market on the back of a strong initial 12 months in New Zealand since launch. Canadian businesses of all sizes and industries will be able to access Safe365’s ground breaking web application that assesses, diagnoses and supports continuous improvement in health and safety capability from 5 December 2017. For Safe365, it means entry into the lucrative North American market and the capacity to scale product uptake rapidly.
Safe365’s Country Director – Canada, Michael Matthews said “as an experienced health and safety professional, having reviewed a large number of solutions in the market internationally, when I came across Safe365 I just wanted to get involved and make it available to Canadian businesses.” Mr Matthews is a well-known figure in the Canadian health and safety sector having performed executive roles in the energy sector, Coca-Cola and founded the HSE Job Hunter group on LinkedIN with over 130,000 members. “It was great being down-under with the Safe365 team in New Zealand recently and seeing first hand the impact the product is having with their clients there. I’m really excited to be able to bring the product to Canada and support improvements in our health and safety performance as a country” says Matthews.
Safe365’s kiwi co-founders Nathan Hight and Mark Kidd are very pleased their solution will add value beyond New Zealand’s shores. “We have users in 8 countries now using the NZ edition of Safe365, however this is our first targeted offshore market with a product specifically aligned to meet the needs of the Canadian market” says Kidd. “This is a really significant step forward in the journey we are on with Safe365 to take a world class solution to the global market that saves lives and improves business” says Hight.
Safe365’s early stage success has been built on the back of its innovative diagnostic platform that allows businesses to purchase the product online, use it “out of the box” and within 60 minutes have clarity on the status of the businesses health and safety capability. The product then provides nearly 300 specific solutions to support continuous improvement through a simple, easy and intuitive interface. “These philosophies and features are very strong differentiators from other tech based health and safety solutions currently in market” says Hight.
Customers purchase a Safe365 subscription for the business ($999 annually or $99 monthly) which enables them to access the software through their web browser on any internet enabled device. With minimal barriers to entry, the product is proving extremely popular with businesses wanting to do the right thing when it comes to workforce health and safety.
Safe365’s customers range from small contracting businesses and farming operations through to some of New Zealand’s largest entities and government departments. The product enables businesses to share their health and safety capability at the click of a button reflecting the modern work environment where multiple entities are responsible for worker health and safety.
“Over 500 businesses in New Zealand have benefited from the power of Safe365 in our first year being live, so we are thrilled that we are able to extend this significantly through our partnership with Mr Matthews in Canada” says Kidd.
Nov 24, 2017 - SafePlus, a new Government developed and endorsed health and safety toolkit, is now available to all New Zealand businesses, and is set to help lift the health and safety performance in workplaces across the country. SafePlus currently consists of three products: Resources and Guidance, the market-delivered Onsite Assessment and Advisory Service and the Online Self-Assessment tool.
Malcolm MacMillan, SafePlus Programme Manager says, "New Zealand has an unnecessarily high rate of serious workplace accidents. The social and economic cost of this in New Zealand workplaces is conservatively estimated at $3.5 billion each year, and inflicts an enormous emotional toll on the people affected. We need a change in our workplace health and safety culture and SafePlus provides an important toolkit to achieve that change.
"SafePlus digs deep into a business to assess workers practices, behaviours, attitudes and culture towards health and safety, this behavioural approach helps them identify opportunities and strive for excellence."
The launch of the Onsite Assessment and Advisory Service includes the SafePlus Register of Independent Accredited Assessors so businesses will now be able to directly engage with assessors. The Accredited Assessors have been trained to deliver SafePlus and carry sector specific and generalist experience. This public register can be found at www.safeplus.nz
Mr MacMillan says, "SafePlus Accredited Assessors are an essential component of the SafePlus initiative. The services they provide during an Onsite Assessment and Advisory Service will change the way businesses view their health and safety in the workplace.
"Accredited Assessors use an approach that focuses on the people and their practices rather than written policies and procedures. They engage at all levels of a business, from senior leaders to front line workers, then use these insights to measure a business’s health and safety performance, and provide them with advice and guidance."
SafePlus is a voluntary performance improvement toolkit that defines what good health and safety looks like in the workplace, and sits above minimum legal compliance. It is a joint harm prevention initiative developed by WorkSafe New Zealand, ACC and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
SafePlus has been developed in direct response to the Independent Taskforce into Health and Safety, and the Working Safer Reforms. Working Safer is aimed at reducing New Zealand’s workplace injury and death toll by 25 per cent by 2020. The Act’s key emphasis is on everyone in the workplace being responsible for health and safety.
Nov 23, 2017 - Seven years after the Pike River disaster and after significant changes to legislation and regulations surrounding health and safety in the workplace, nothing has changed according to the Maintenance Engineering Society of New Zealand at their annual National Maintenance Engineering Conference in Hamilton.
Fronting a groundswell of opinion from industry, society Chair Barry Robinson stated “Prior to Pike River the Maintenance Engineering Society was a lone voice saying that workers were no safer. Pike River provided the opportunity to make major change which has indeed happened but our recent survey and field work confirms that key players have failed to grasp the need to do some essential things differently if we are effect change. Our recent interaction with industry is alarming and disappointing.”
Mr Robinson pointed to health and safety professionals and management who continue to promote a downwardly driven rules based approach to safety (clerical safety) rather than an upwardly driven people based (actual safety) approach. “Health and safety in New Zealand has a major PR problem. You only have to ask a worker to get validation on that point. The opportunity existed to take a fresh approach to managing health and safety, taking heed of the learning’s and challenges of other countries. WorkSafe considered this too difficult and is instead focused on supply chain pressure, incongruous with our local content of 80% small to medium enterprises. Health and safety professional groups are more interested in who is “in” and who is “out” than improving the quality and direction of positive health and safety culture. We have yet to see a single piece of value from this sector after 3 years.”
As a follow up to their 2010 paper, “The Emperor is Wearing Fluro Clothes” in which it was stated that New Zealand’s statistics had worsened by 41%, the society surveyed 5000 New Zealand businesses. While 91% of respondents now have a health and safety system, the issues with staff attitude, culture and managing systems long term remain unchanged.
Maintenance Engineering Society health and safety spokesman Craig Carlyle points out that pivotal changes have been made that underscored the need for a step change, with new legislation, inspectorate, regulations and guidelines. Carlyle is supportive of WorkSafe who are unrecognisable compared with the former Crown Agency and the society is committed to continuing working alongside them. But he adds, “Worksafe are in danger of falling into the same trap as the health and safety professionals. Our survey and ongoing field work clearly shows there is no improvement momentum and illogical and imposed safety controls remain at the forefront. Worse still, small businesses blindly follow the big players, buying into their spin and spreading the illogical management. The answers are very simple and the PR message can be improved but it requires a level of humility that clashes with the ethos of protecting your patch. Health and safety should be a positive continuous learning component of any organisation. There are positive stories out there with organisations empowering staff by providing safety rather than requiring safety, but the mainstream remains occupied by corporate platitudes and health and safety fashion. While health is undeniably scientific, safety is about logic and man management and certainly does not require 3 letters after your name to manage effectively”.
Aside from the professionals, Carlyle pointed to the blossoming health and safety services and supply industries and capital investment in safety related assets. “These sectors continue to feed the smoke and mirrors for their own gain. While the safety theatre looks impressive, without a significant improvement in our statistics it must be judged as a colossal waste of resource. Companies are spending significant money on health and safety controls where no real risk lies.” In their presentation to engineering delegates from around New Zealand, the society offered alternatives to staff faced with safety rules that were not in fact keeping them safe, including using the directors due diligence requirements of the new Act to inform the business owners that the workers are NOT being adequately protected by the problematic management and professionals. They reasoned that downwardly-driven enforcement of illogical and unnecessary rules and actions could be challenged as breaching the requirements of the legislation. They key message is that workers must have major input into, and ownership of, decisions surrounding their own well-being.
Nov 23, 2017 - An Auckland waste removal company and its director have been sentenced today after one of the firm’s employees was killed in a workplace accident.
Jamey Lee Bowring, an employee of Salter’s Cartage, was killed in September 2015 after the fuel tank he was welding on exploded.
A subsequent investigation by police and WorkSafe found that the 100,000 litre tank had been labelled as a diesel tank when in fact it held a combination of fuels and gas.
The investigation also found "widespread non-compliance" across the worksite, which also had “high hazards" and the ability to cause "catastrophic harm".
Today, Judge Richard John McIlraith sentenced company director and business owner Ronald Thomas Salter to four and a half months’ home detention.
Salter was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine while the company was penalised a total of $258,750 for the death of the 24-year-old. The fine includes $110,000 in emotional harm reparation to Bowring’s family and more than $15,000 to a neighbouring business.
Judge McIlraith also noted that it was hard to find a case with a more catastrophic safety breach, and that punitive punishment for Salter was necessary.
Since the explosion, Salter's Cartage has spent $1.5 million to repair the site and bring it up to a higher level of safety compliance. Director Ronald Thomas Salter also established a welding scholarship in Bowring’s name.
| A HRD New Zealand release || November 23, 2017 |||
Nov 20 2017 - The news that the road toll for 2017 has now surpassed the total for 2016 is tragic news, says Associate Minister for Transport Julie Anne Genter. “This year we’ve already seen 330 people lose their lives on New Zealand’s roads. “Every death on our roads is a tragedy and the high number this year is quite simply unacceptable. “The road toll has been going up over the last four years and is now the highest it’s been since 2010. My number one priority in the transport portfolio is to bring the road toll down. “In recent years expensive roading projects have been the priority and road safety has taken a back seat. “This government will be exploring all options to improve road safety including reallocating funding to target high risk roads. “Every life lost leaves behind a devastated family and community. We have to do better. “In addition, all of us have a responsibility to make our roads safer. It’s the basics, like wearing a seatbelt at all times, driving to the conditions, and stopping a mate from driving home drunk,” said Ms Genter.
10 Nov 2017 - On 1 December the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 will come into force. The aim is to reduce both the immediate harm to people and longer-term illness caused by hazardous substances in the workplace.
It’s no small matter. A hazardous substance is any product or chemical that has explosive, flammable, oxidising, toxic or corrosive properties – and they’re everywhere. Around one in three New Zealand workplaces use, manufacture, handle or store them. This includes factories, farmers and growers, as well as printers, collision repairers, hairdressers and retailers. They are in commonly used products such as fuels and LPG, solvents, cleaning solutions and agrichemicals.
“Used safely, hazardous substances can contribute to the nation’s economic growth and prosperity,” WorkSafe’s General Manager Operations and Specialist Services Brett Murray says, “but they also pose real risks to the people working with or around them.
“The harm from inhaling toxic vapours or having contact with some substances is often unseen. Workers may be unaware they are being exposed, and the effects of exposure may not be seen for many years.”
Hazardous substances are a major contributor to the estimated 600-900 deaths and 30,000 cases of serious ill health from work-related disease each year in New Zealand. This is in addition to the fatalities and immediate harm through accidents, such as fires and explosions, and unsafe use.
“It’s time this changed,” says Mr Murray. “The Regulations bring an expectation on all those working with hazardous substances to know what those substances are, the risks they pose and how to manage those risks.”
What’s changing? On 1 December the rules for managing hazardous substances in the workplace are moving from the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO) to the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA). Many of the existing requirements will continue. However there are some changes to improve the management of these substances at work.
“If you use or store these substances, you need to look at what has changed under the new Regulations to ensure you are meeting your obligations to protect workers,” Mr Murray says.
As well as looking at what is changing, Mr Murray says people need to remember there is already legislation in place they should be complying with.
“If you are following the current rules, you may only need to do a few things differently, but now is the ideal time to review your management of hazardous substances and ensure you are doing your duty to protect people from harm.”
Businesses will already be familiar with the HSWA approach to managing work-related health and safety risks. From 1 December this includes hazardous substances. It’s another step in helping to ensure our people get home healthy and safe.
WorkSafe’s website has information, guidance and FAQs. Its online Hazardous Substances Toolbox has tools to help. You can also subscribe to the Hazardous Substances Update.
The Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 are available on the New Zealand Legislation website.
We all know Formula 1 is a test bed for a variety of technologies that will eventually trickle down to the street. Now, McLaren is taking its go-faster know-how and applying it somewhere a bit unexpected – health care. The body armor you see here was created in response to a client’s request for a device that would help keep his organs protected after undergoing surgery. It’s called Invincible shield, and it protects the rib cage through the use of high-failure strain Dyneema fibers, as well as woven fabrics and a highly-toughened resin system. The construction and materials pull from McLaren’s F1 experience, and includes the same fibers used as side-impact crash protection in the race car. Essentially, this armor is made from the same stuff that’s going into next year’s F1 competitor.
The end result is something lightweight, but tough and rigid enough to protect the client. The armor was designed to be discreet as well, and was perfectly tailored to the client’s body to be hidden under a shirt. Responsible for its creation was McLaren’s Applied Technologies division, which apparently has a hand in developing health care products. “From digital therapeutics, to tailored human performance programs and bespoke medical devices, our aim is to innovate health care solutions that can be tailored for individual patients,” says Dr. Adam Hill, McLaren’s Chief Medical Officer. Yeah, I didn’t know McLaren had a Chief Medical Officer, either.