Aside from being an acclaimed author (many will have read Paper Safe) and lawyer, Greg Smith is a senior OHS professional who has worked on the frontline in some of our highest hazard industries (eg. oil/gas). In other words, he knows what 'real life' looks like for safety professionals and how difficult it can be to secure the resources necessary to propel change. Moreover, he understands how important - yet difficult - it is to effectively measure the outcomes of such resource investment.

Proving safety

In the NZISM roadshow this year, Greg will be exploring the historic challenges and new ideas that underpin his new book "Proving Safety".

We will be taking a close look at the significant investment that organisations make in OHS (time, money, resources), and what the outputs of such investment are. (Too often a highly bureaucratic safety management system which generates significant paperwork but is supported by little evidence that health and safety hazards are being effectively managed.)

We are then going to consider exactly how effectiveness can be measured. Historically, the primary measure was injury rate data but it's now largely discredited as a measure of safety. Many organisations then adopted so called “lead” indicators to supplement injury rate data.

But do lead indicators answer the question of safety any better? Almost universally, lead indicators are no more than a measure of “activity” such as the number of inspections completed, the percentage of training completed, or the number of corrective actions closed out on time. It could be argued these measures are actually harmful, creating, in combination with bureaucratic paper systems, an “illusion of safety”.

Workshop objectives

Greg will examine traditional views about evidencing, measuring, and demonstrating workplace health and safety. Through an analysis of research, workplace accidents and case law, he will invite participants to consider whether their own existing approaches are effective in demonstrating and measuring workplace health, safety or legal compliance.

Alternative ways of thinking about safety measurement will be explored.

Participants will be strongly encouraged to bring copies of their existing health and safety reports and examples of incident investigations that they will be willing to discuss in group exercises.

Your Day

8.30am Arrival and networking

An introduction to the problem of Proving Safety


Deconstructing metrics


Analysis exercise


Creating a narrative approach to workplace health and safety assurance

4.30pm – Finish


Members $300

Non-members $550*

*includes NZISM membership until 31/3/2025

Terms and Conditions

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