A major independent report has found New Zealand's current workplace health and safety system "is not fit for purpose".
Do you turn up to dinner with friends these days only to groan silently to yourself when one person tells the waiter they can’t eat certain foods?
The Christchurch Rebuild is the workspace of an ever-increasing number of principal / contractor relationships, and there are varying standards of health & safety management being sought, accepted, and implemented in these relationships. The nature of contractual relationships varies according to the nature of the work so a “one size fits all” approach to pre-qualifying contractors and managing the relationships is not appropriate. Thought needs to be given to the level of control a principal should / needs to exercise over a contractor, and a contract management plan developed accordingly. Constraining contractors with “rules” and onerous high level pre-conditions as a means of limiting liability / accountability is misguided, and adds an additional cost factor. Where small contracting businesses are unable to cover these engagement costs in the tender price they will seek to minimise costs elsewhere, which typically is in the performance of the contract by way of short-cuts, cheaper materials, delaying payments, etc.
“An organisation will never be able to achieve the highest standards of health and safety management without the active involvement of directors. External stakeholders viewing the organisation will observe the lack of direction.”
Have a read of our April 2013 newsletter here - many interesting articles for you.
For a fantastic read of our latest newsletter please click here
Plenty of fresh water is something that we New Zealanders tend to take for granted, until we have a hot, dry summer and news of drought hardship for farmers hits our screens. World Water Day is there to help remind us about sustainably managing freshwater resources, and also focusing our attention on the importance of freshwater.
An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2013, in reflection of the International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day in 2013 is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water.
The key messages from World Water Day that we have found most pertinent for the end of summer in 2013 are:
Water cooperation creates tangible economic benefit; All economic activities depend on water. Cooperation can lead to a more efficient and sustainable use of water resources, e.g. through joint management plans creating mutual benefits and better living conditions, and gender sensitive water governance.
Water cooperation is crucial to preserve water resources, ensure their sustainability and protect the environment; Water cooperation makes possible and promotes the exchange of scientific knowledge, including gender disaggregated data and information, management strategies and best practices, which is fundamental for the protection of the environment and to achieve sustainable development.
On March 22 this year, let's all take time to think about how our water usage effects the rest of the country’s resources, and if you do want a few tips on how to conserve water, have a read here: http://greenideas.co.nz/home-and-living/2013/02/27/water-saving-tips-from-drought-struck-waiheke-island/ - the wonderful people of Waiheke Island have put together a list of ideas that is helping them get through this summer’s shortage.
Jocelyn O'Connor - Wellness Coach
The 'Workplace Health and Safety Stratey for NZ to 2015' aims to lift New Zealand's workplace health and safety performance. Part of this strategy is the Occupational Health Action Plan to 2013. The broad scope of this document is giving occupational health more priority. We're bringing this to your attention to help you be aware of your responsibilities in your workplace.
The priority areas of focus are:
Reducing exposure to these hazards
The Pike River Coal mine disaster on New Zealand’s West Coast has focused international attention on the extractive industry, and mostly for the wrong reasons. The investigation into the event by the Department of Labour (now Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [MBIE] ) and the subsequent Royal Commission of Enquiry identified poor regulatory oversight by the Mining Inspectorate, inadequacies of the self regulatory model of health and safety compliance generally within the industry, a lack of management oversight and commitment to health and safety within the company, and substandard practices by the workforce. While the mining community of the West Coast, and indeed the wider community awaits the outcome of the deliberations of the group of mining experts evaluating the options for recovering the bodies of the 29 miners that remain in the mine, the industrial community waits to see the government’s response to the 16 recommendations of the Royal Commission into the disaster.