Emerging Safety Leaders powered by IMPAC

About us

The Emerging Safety Leaders (ESL) network supports those who are developing their careers in the occupational health and safety (OHS) industry in New Zealand. It was established to provide NZISM members and non-members alike the opportunity to engage with and learn from their peers and we’re delighted to have IMPAC as our Network Partner.

The ESL is an open forum which also enables us to increase engagement with OHS practitioners outside of NZISM. For those who are just beginning their journey into OHS, either through their roles as H&S reps or through study, this network provides information on the career path for OHS practitioners with the hope of increasing the number of young people entering the profession.

Our Network Partner, IMPAC, is New Zealand’s leading Health and Safety solutions provider. IMPAC shares our commitment to support, mentor and grow the industry’s up-and-coming practitioners. They contribute a wealth of practical knowledge and expertise, and are the only NZ based NEBOSH Gold Learning Partner (click here for more information).

IMPAC’s commitment to ESL each year provides significant professional development opportunities for emerging safety leaders, including a scholarship up to the value of $13,500 and a full-time 12-24 month paid internship, each awarded to a qualifying ESL network member.

Applications for the scholarship and internship opportunities are now open

  • the NEBOSH scholarship applications close Friday 23 April 2021 and
  • the Internship applications close on Friday 7 May 2021.

Full details and application forms.

The ESL network has core bases in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with a plan to grow future bases organically. In addition we have a national ESL Committee whose details can be found below.

Details of events at each of the ESL centres will be announced via NZISM newsletters, social media and the NZISM events calendar found on the NZISM website.

Keep an eye out for upcoming meetings in your region and bring along a friend or colleague who may also benefit from being a part of a dynamic group of young professionals.

ESL Network Database

We have setup a new database to capture registration to the ESL network. This enables us to communicate effectively with all our members, keep you updated on relevant content, events and information and understand a bit more about you.

Whether you are already an ESL member or would like to join the ESL network, please sign up by entering your details via the link below.

Coming Up

Wed 12 May 5:30pm

ESL Bay of Plenty networking event

The Hop House, 12 Wharf Street, Tauranga

ESL's Bay of Plenty Branch welcomes everyone to their next free event.

Have you ever wanted to quizz some experienced OHS professionals about what started them in their careers?

  • Did they always know their path or did it become apparent over time?
  • What route did they take and how long was their journey?
  • Did they have a mentor?
  • What formal training did they commit to and is it one they would recommend?

ESL have put together a panel of OHS professionals who, between them, have over 40 years' experience in the field:

  1. Chris Harris - Downer New Zealand,
  2. Angelique Fraser - Tauranga City Council
  3. Sean Heasman - Comvita Limited

They will be at The Hop House to impart their experiences and want to know what questions you would like to ask of them in advance. Please send your questions through to Michelle_Griffin31@yahoo.com

Questions to be submitted by Friday 7th May 3pm


ESL Auckland networking event

Level 4, 139 Carlton Gore Road
Newmarket, Auckland

As emerging leaders in safety it's important we are over what is emerging into our field and what digital aids and software could help us deliver our message and train our people more effectively. Virtual Reality (VR) is one of these emerging trends that is picking up pace with faster processing and more interactions as simulations become more lifelike. VR will support traditional learning in the short term but could become the next step of learning and it’s important we understand what this technology can do as well as its limitations. Studies have shown VR learners to be 4 times more engaged with the content, almost 4 times more emotionally connected and completed the training 4 times faster too. They say one of the best ways to learn is by failing or making mistakes and in some environments we simply cant make mistakes, working at heights is one of these environments and the folks at Joy Business Academy have developed a module aligned to a the work at height NZQA unit standard as well as many others. During this training people will be put in front of simulated real-world challenges before they're put in harm's way.

Join us for an evening of networking, drinks and nibbles with a short presentation on what the delights of VR could involve and what the JBA team are working on now. Obviously you will get to have a play and fail safely while working at ‘height’.

We are limited to 30 spaces so please secure your spot now

Visit IMPAC to see how you can progress your H&S career.

Webinar Recordings

TEStalk: Technology and Emerging Safety

Meet three leaders in their field

Chris Thomas - Disrupting Safety Training (NZ)

Within 10 years time, Virtual Reality will add US$1.5 Trillion to global GDP, which is an incomprehensibly large number. To understand how this tech will contribute what is essentially the same value as Russia's GDP in such a small space of time, take into consideration the very function it's disrupting. Traditional learning formats are ineffective. This webinar takes us through innovations from across industry, from increasing empathy and situational awareness to de-escalating violence for frontline staff.

Chris takes us through disruptions in safety training using technologies such as VR for work at heights courses and more.

Cameron Stevens – Founder of the Safety Innovation Academy (WA)

Cameron Stevens is a health and safety professional dedicated to step-changing health and safety performance with emerging technologies and is considered Australia’s leading Safety Technologist. Cameron is the ANZ Solutions Engineer for wearable technology start-up RealWear Inc. and the Founder of the Safety Innovation Academy. When not immersed in technology Cameron enjoys a cold IPA, single origin coffee and exploring the wonders of the natural world.

In this webinar Cameron considers the question “Could technology have prevented this incident from occurring?” to explore the intersection where safety and technology meet at the cutting edge.

Andrew Heinrichs – Digital H&S thought leader (VIC)

'Predictive analytics' is a term thrown around by many a tech proponent, novice and expert alike. But what does it really mean? And can we really ever use data analytics to predict health and safety incidents? Andy Heinrichs walks participants through a quick-fire lesson in predictive analytics, and how safety professionals and practitioners should think about data analytics in their roles

Decision making in uncertainty

Gareth Beck introduces the human diver, Gareth Lock

The majority of safety professionals and those operating in high-risk environments have to deal with uncertainty on a daily basis. The problem with uncertainties is that they are managed by emotion, not logic. They are managed through biases and heuristics, and make use of previous experiences and are driven by pressures, goals and rewards from the operational environment.

Our presenter, Gareth Lock, has been on a 10-year mission to take human factors and crew resource management lessons learned from his 25-year military aviation career and apply it to diving. His website The Human Diver is a great resource. In this webinar, Gareth provides an insight into his work and explains how this can help you deal with uncertainties in your own area of work.

Facilitated by Gareth Beck, ESL


Useful References:

If Only - documentary film

Debrief Guide


What organisations can learn about performance and Health & Safety from the Paratroopers

Meet ESL member, NZISM Auckland Branch Manager and ex-army paratrooper medic, Heinrich Havemann

Before moving into WHS, Heinrich served in an elite medical unit attached to the South African Special Forces. He talks about the lessons he learned whilst serving and how this translates into embedding safety into business practice.

Facilitated by Julia Mardjetko, ESL

Meet the Team

Joshua Dorman (Wellington)

022 158 9465

Gareth Beck (Auckland)

022 354 9709

Jen Dransfield (Christchurch)


Peter Fitt (Christchurch)


Michelle Griffin (Bay of Plenty)


027 263 7240

Melinda Davidson (Bay of Plenty)