President's Blog 28/10/20

By NZISM Secretary


Kia ora koutou to all members and supporters of NZISM. Recently I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation by Neil Mookerjee who holds the role of Duty Holder Review Manager, Specialist Interventions at WorkSafe. He outlined the role of the Duty Holder Review Team and how they support organisations with their investigations.

There has always been a bit of sensitivity about engaging with WorkSafe and undertaking a duty holder review for WorkSafe is no exception. However, I was very keen to hear that Neil and his team have a focus on learning from the reviews, and he highlighted the need to do a proper review, and not a sanitised version that an organisation thinks WorkSafe might like to see. Furthermore, Neil was clear that the Duty Holder Review Team are keen for organisations to submit their non-solicited investigations for review and feedback.

My natural reaction was one of caution and I know some of you will be already thinking about the whole ‘Regulator versus Educator’ view. If we put that aside for the moment and look at the intent of the offer, it is to promote learning and critical thinking from an investigation in order to learn from it. The offer to peer review and provide feedback through a regulatory lens can only add to the depth of an investigation and its understanding.

Ramifications you ask? Well, I did too, and Neil was very clear that there is no aspect of fear of retribution, shame, and certainly no coercion by engaging in this process. Sure, there is a part of me that might be a little anxious about sending an investigation to Neil and his team to review and comment on. However, I think it’s time that we look at how we engage with WorkSafe as professionals and I can see the benefits of such engagement. Ultimately, we are all working towards safer workplaces for everyone. Perhaps now is the time to start looking at how we can achieve better outcomes together?

To show his commitment to the process, Neil has offered his direct contact details to you all:

I certainly will be taking advantage of this offer. I hope you will too.

Ngā mihi

Robyn Bennett