President's Blog 14/7/21

By NZISM Secretary


We read and hear about health and safety incidents, injuries and deaths it seems more frequently than in the past. Most recent in my mind is the horror of the deaths in the Bangladesh factory from what seems to be an illegally locked door.

The thought of being unable to escape in a fire, and knowing it was a simple thing to solve, brings home some of the more basic things we do to keep people safe:

  • checking fire exits are clear
  • uncovering fire extinguishers
  • making sure locked things are still locked
  • checking fire drills have been done
  • checking guarding
  • and don’t get me started on storing of oxidisers, I could go on.
These are, however, examples of the bread and butter work we often do. Much of which can cause the belief that health and safety work is about being the ‘safety police’.

For some of us, it can be hard to keep the momentum going when our own workplace might be less than cooperative on the basics. And yet, it was one of those very things that might have saved more lives in the factory in Bangladesh.

Perhaps it is a good reminder for us all that some of the simple things we do, however challenging or frustrating for others, save lives. If you wish to contact me, please do so by email at

Ngā mihi

Robyn Bennett