By NZISM Secretary
Kia ora koutou members and supporters of NZISM. Recently the Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) released their report on their Independent Review of the health and safety framework and culture at POAL which was completed by CHASANZ. It included our own accredited members and is a solid report, covering the relevant areas, and as expected, with a sizeable range of suitable recommendations.
I acknowledge that POAL have completed a review, and the report has been shared publicly. The question I have is: who or what independent organisation will follow up on the recommendations?
This isn’t a criticism of the POAL or the work they have done, or will do, to address the recommendations. Rather it is a criticism of our current health and safety structure and culture that does not actively support independent follow up on general health and safety reviews, audits, SafePlus or similar assessments. A notable exception being ISO standard certification.
Nor is there any compulsion for an organisation to provide previous reports etc. for any following reviewer to consider. In my experience, this typically leads to inaction with the “too hard basket recommendations” and superficial activity that does not adequately support real change. It’s a bold organisation that commits suitable time and resources to tackle these aspects, for example, workplace culture, harassment and bullying, contractor management, and robust assurance frameworks, to name a few.
What would support continuous improvement would be a mechanism to follow up on recommendations made by accredited health and safety professionals. And there is a perfect opportunity for WorkSafe and other relevant authorities to consider how this could be achieved through their current processes or via a new one.
Certainly, conducting reviews and having recommendations isn’t enough. We need to have both a system and a culture that supports active oversight and follow through to drive health and safety improvements.
If you wish to contact me, please do so by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for joining the Women in Safety Excellence (WISE) network.
We hold various online and face-to-face events throughout the year and if one occurs near you, we would love to meet you in person.
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We might send you the occasional email but our web page on the NZISM website is always the best place to go for an overview of what's coming up in the WISE calendar.
Margaret van Schaik