31 Jul The importance of developing safe work practices
Recently, a family owned business in Christchurch were fined $400,000 for the death of a valued employee, when heavy steel pipes being prepared for shipping slipped and cascaded onto him.
The judge said the company had not developed safe work practices for handling the pipes. There was a failure to provide adequate training and supervision, when there was a well-known hazard if things were not properly managed.
Click here to read the article.
This must surely be a wake-up call for all, in particular, small to medium businesses in New Zealand.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 does not allow a business to insure against accidents like this. If this was your business, could it wear this huge cost?
Taking a health and safety viewpoint on this particular prosecution, the three key points to take onboard are:
- the lack of potential risk/hazard identification;
- inadequate training;
- and supervision.
So with that in mind:
- has your business covered these three points?
- how effective are your systems and controls?
- how often do you monitor there effectiveness?
Too often, I hear the comment, “we don’t have time to train“ or “we don’t have the time or know-how to develop any safe operating procedures to train our staff”. I suggest that if your business falls under these two points, then a potential $400,000 penalty is a real good reason to seriously think about addressing these issues.
Another point to consider is – what is the cost of not training, in relationship to the cost of mistakes, rework, waste, scrap, rejects, loss of customers, etc?
As someone once said, “we never have enough time, training, or resources to do it right first time, but always enough time to do it twice”.
This prosecution should be a real wake-up call for all New Zealand businesses! It’s time for safe work practices in all businesses.
Please contact us if you wish to discuss this further.