President's Blog 25/11/20

By NZISM Secretary


Kia ora koutou to all members and supporters of NZISM. NZISM frequently provides content to the media on health and safety issues. Occasionally there is interest and uptake, although rarely do we make it to the larger media outlets. Recently we have been promoting NZISM as a willing and collaborative partner in the wider discussion regarding management of healthcare, border control and quarantine facilities, with the intent of providing our expertise to add depth and a different lens to the current approach.

I see that there are two main parts to this. One, that our fundamental existence is based on the protection of workers and as such discussions on worker safety, in whatever form that may be, should include the profession. And secondly, that we have the professional and experiential ability to provide a depth and an approach that would strengthen and support the current activities.

We have called for an immediate and urgent taskforce, one that includes NZISM representation, as I believe that it is critical that we look after the health and safety of people first, otherwise there is the risk of unintended gaps in our border defence.

Some will argue that that there are good processes in place already, and that the MoH’s response is satisfactory and appropriate, so why should we get involved in what is mainly a clinical response? I agree that it is working well. However, the recent media reports on PPE issues and relaxed security feel rather like ‘near misses’ we see on a regular basis. We also run the risk of complacency, with the levels of infection ramping up overseas, this is the time to critically examine our defences from a multifaced approach, a health and safety lens over the top if you will, that includes our input. This is about using all our expertise together from different agencies - a team effort to meet a single goal.

I’m hoping that the recent media reports on Scoop, Newstalk ZB, and Radio NZ will raise our profile and flag our interest in contributing to a collaborative discussion that will benefit the health and safety of workers and our country as a whole.

Here's some of our recent coverage:

RNZ The Panel

Ngā mihi

Robyn Bennett

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