Press Release

By NZISM Secretary


PRESS RELEASE- 11thJune 2018

Local health and safety manager wins National Award

Wanganui has been put on the health and safety map of New Zealand after Terri Coopland, of MARS Petcare, won the NZISM Health and Safety Practitioner of the Year Award, at the Workplace Health and Safety Awards 2018.

Sponsored by the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management (NZISM), the award recognises Terri’s work developing ways to ensure people stay safer at work.

The systems she’s created have been adopted by staff at MARS Petcare, where she’s worked for over 30 years, as well as other organisations, and have helped save hundreds of people from workplace injury.

Despite this, she admits it was a surprise to be awarded NZISM Health and Safety Practitioner of the Year:

“I really didn't expect to win and it was a bit surreal when my name was announced,” says Terri. “It’s a pivotal moment in my career.

“For me, my work is all about making sure people can do a day’s work and can get home safely. It also helps create a better workplace that people enjoy. Health and safety should always be a team effort to raise standards, not just at any workplace but across the whole country as well.”

The New Zealand Institute of Safety Management is the professional organisation responsible for raising standards of accreditation for health and safety practitioners in New Zealand.

The system developed by Terri that caught the eye of the independent judging panel was one that encourages workers to be involved in how to improve health and safety in any workplace. It includes discussion, feedback, sharing of ideas and proposals from the people doing the work.

Originally implemented in 2005, the process shows that making sure people are involved, and not just following instructions, leads to dramatic improvements in health and safety.

Greg Dearsly, National Manager of NZISM, says he is delighted Terri’s hard work has been recognised:

“Terri has played a vital role in health and safety throughout her career, including chairing the National Grading Committee that develops standards and grades for health and safety practitioners, under the NZISM umbrella.

“As a volunteer, she’s totally committed to making sure health and safety standards rise in New Zealand, and works tirelessly. She thoroughly deserves this award.”

In 2016, Terri realised that health and safety standards had plateaued and there was a need for another approach to continue to improve standards. This led to Take 2, a concept encouraging people to not only follow systems and processes but also to think about their personal responsibility.

Take 2 is not only a memorable name but also refers to different lengths of time it takes to stop and think about an action, check instructions, assess a task, implement controls and change a process. The system has led to a more than 50% reduction in injuries in just two years. The concept is also being rolled out with partners such as safer Wanganui, ACC and the Wanganui District Council, to help communities stay safe.

Originally from the UK Terri started her career on the shop floor working as a packing operator and moved into her first full-time health and safety role in 2001. She moved to New Zealand with her husband in 2004, and took up the role of Health and Safety Manager, at MARS Petcare, in Castlecliff, Wanganui.

Her enthusiasm for health and safety for all workers led to her becoming a member of the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management and being appointed Chair of the Grading Committee in 2016. She was also the NZISM Manawatu branch manager between 2014-2015.

This year’s workplace health and safety awards was held at the Skycity Convention Center, Auckland, and was attended by 600 people. Of the 150 entries, just 16 awards were given and just three were awarded to individuals.

The event has run since 2005 and is hosted by Safeguard Magazine and supported by Worksafe New Zealand. It is the only event each year that awards achievement in health and safety.

Terri Coopland, Chair of the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management,
Grading Committee, and Health, Safety and Environment Manager, Mars
Petcare New Zealand, accepting her award

Greg Dearsly, National Manager NZISM with Terri Coopland,
awarded NZISM Health and Safety Practitioner of the Year.

Terri Coopland, NZISM Health and Safety Practitioner of the Year 2018.