HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY
SECTION 1: HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY
Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
The purpose of the Health and safety in Employment Act (1992) and amendments thereto is to promote the prevention of harm to employees in the workplace. The Act also strengthens the regulatory provisions for ensuring that actions or inactions in the workplace do not result in harm to other people, including members of the public.
Health and Safety Reform Act 2013
As a PCBU (Person Conducting Business or Undertaking), our organisation complies with this law and takes all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health and safety of “workers”. We will engage workers (including contractors and subcontractors) to comply with our Due Diligence obligations.
Company Health and Safety Policy Statement
We are committed to the protection of our employees, property, and other persons from accidental injury or damage from work carried out by, and on behalf of the business. We adopt health, safety and welfare as a fundamental business objective.
In meeting this commitment, we will comply with all legislative requirements and take all reasonably practicable steps to:
- Prevent all injuries and damage;
- Ensure safety is a line management responsibility;
- Promote safety being of equal importance to other business objectives;
- Create a safe workplace and comply with relevant standards;
- Establish safe working practices – through effective systems/processes and data collection;
- Ensure effective safety training;
- Create interest and enthusiasm in safety – including encouraging consultation and participation;
- Develop personal/individual responsibility for safety.
We believe every job can be done safely, and that safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Name: Steve Gordon
Title: Managing Director
Date: 22nd July 2015
SECTION 2: HEALTH AND SAFETY INTRODUCTION
1. Company “Officers”
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2013, the “Officers” of our business are:
- The formal directors
- A person who makes or participates in decisions that affect a substantial part of the business
Officers will take all Reasonably Practicable steps to ensure that the organisation complies with its “Due Diligence” obligations.
Health and Safety should be included in the performance reviews of all management roles.
2. “Due Diligence”
To be deemed as compliant, an organisation must meet all six (6) of the tests below.
- Acquire and keep up-to-date knowledge of Health and Safety matters;
- Gain an understanding of the nature, hazards and risk associated with the operation;
- Provide and use appropriate resources and processes to reduce Health and Safety risk;
- Monitor information on incidents, hazards and risks, and respond in a timely way to that information;
- Ensure work health and safety and legal compliance;
- Be able to verify that they use these resources and processes.
This Health and Safety Manual is written in order of the points above for ease of reference and proof of compliance.
The term “Worker” includes:
- Contractors and their staff;
- Sub-contractors and their staff;
- Outworkers, trainees and apprentices;
- Students on work experience;
SECTION 3: HEALTH AND SAFETY KNOWLEDGE
The organisation appreciates that without appropriate and effective training, the workplace will be a much less safe one. The table below shows what training will be undertaken to meet our obligations of taking reasonably practicable steps:
SECTION 4: HEALTH AND SAFETY – HAZARD/RISK MANAGEMENT
Our goal is to prevent people being hurt. We need to identify what could hurt people before it hurts them and manage the hazard to prevent harm occurring.
Hazards and Near Hits need to be formally identified and investigated. These investigation forms will be discussed at the next health and safety meeting to ensure that everyone agrees that the actions taken represent Reasonable Practical steps in preventing harm to workers.
Hazards will be reported and investigated via Form HS2.
Identified hazards are investigated with the aim of eliminating the hazard.
If a hazard cannot be eliminated, a plan should be put in place to manage this hazard. Details of this hazard and the mitigation strategies must be recorded on the Hazard Register Form HS5.
Hazard Registers must be reviewed at least annually, and staff re-trained.
The only way to get Health & Safety being managed well in an organisation is to create a Health & Safety Culture – everyone needs to care about the welfare of themselves and other workers in the organisation.
Where possible, worker engagement will be solicited in a novel and interesting way.
Whenever a person suffers SERIOUS HARM in the workplace, it will be reported to WorkSafe NZ as soon as possible – verbally/fax/phone and followed up in writing within seven (7) days.
Serious Harm is:
- Permanent loss of bodily function or temporary severe loss of bodily function.
- Amputation of body part.
- Burns requiring referral to a specialist registered medical practitioner or specialist outpatient clinic.
- Loss of consciousness from lack of oxygen.
- Loss of consciousness, or acute illness requiring treatment by a registered medical practitioner, from absorption, inhalation or ingestion of any substance.
- Any harm that causes the person harmed to be hospitalised for a period of 48 hours or more, commencing within seven (7) days of the harm’s occurrence.
Reporting of Serious Harm must be on the prescribed WorkSafe form and signed by an “Officer” of the organisation.
SECTION 5: HEALTH AND SAFETY – PROVISION OF RESOURCES AND PROCESSES
Part of taking all Reasonably Practicable steps is to ensure that all processes and resources are provided to ensure that Health and Safety obligations can be met. Examples include:
- In order to ensure the safety of contractors, we need to have a process to train them.
- In order for staff to be safe from manual handling strains, lifting training should be provided.
Health and Safety Roles
Health and Safety Manager/Driver
- Has a passion for ensuring that staff members are safe in their roles and actions.
- Ensures that the organisation attains compliance with legislation.
- Is capable to manage the administrative side of Health & Safety.
- Should be a detail-focused, motivated person with leadership skills.
- Drives the annual review of Health & Safety Policies/documentation and the Hazard Register.
- Annual review of statistics.
- Will undertake training as required to ensure that they are capable to pro-actively lead emergency evacuations and to ensure the safety of others.
- Must continuously be on the lookout for issues, ignition sources and evacuations – e.g. blocked exits or new combustible materials coming to site.
- Effectively carry out their evacuation duties (e.g. sweeps) and report to the head fire warden.
- Will undertake training every two years to ensure that their knowledge is current.
- Passionate about helping others and doesn’t mind the sight of blood.
- Keen to work with investigators to ensure that accidents are investigated to reduce the likelihood of re-occurrence.
Health and Safety Team/Representatives
- The Health & Safety Team will usually consist of one person from every department or area.
- Appointment should be by a voting system every 2 years.
- Work with departmental managers and main Health & Safety driver to ensure Health & Safety compliance within the business.
- Proactively work to engage the other people on-site to make the place safer.
To keep up with developments in Health & Safety and to provide an external perspective, this organisation will select an external Health & Safety consulting company. This organisation must have a proven track record in this space and be able to get to know our business by providing effective consulting and training assistance.
Our current Health and Safety consultant is: Training In Supply Limited
Emergency Evacuation Process
Emergency Evacuations will be held every six (6) months – on every permanent site of our organisation. If staff members routinely work outside usual business hours, and miss the standard evacuation, an additional evacuation(s) will take place.
Evacuation (Fire) Wardens will undertake training every 12 months.
We use a standard “sweeper” system, where assigned sweepers clear their designated area(s) and report to the Head Evacuation Warden. This information will be passed on to the Fire Service or Police, should they attend.
Standard Emergency Procedures
Rehabilitation and Return to Work
It is in the interests of all parties for injured persons to be helped back to work as quickly as safely possible:
We will work with ACC and the employee to get them back to work ASAP. If light duties are available for that person, they will certainly be considered, as would subsidising equipment if it meant that that person could get back to work faster.
As every situation is different, when an injured person needs to be reintegrated into the workforce, a meeting will be held with the injured person, the person’s manager and ACC. The goal of this meeting is to create a formal plan that shows milestones to bring the person back to work full-time as quickly as possible – but sustainably safely.
Safe Driving Policy
The aim of this Policy is to reduce at-fault crash costs and injuries by promoting a safe driving culture within our Company.
We are committed to meeting our obligations under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (the HSE Act). This Safe Driving Policy assists in meeting those obligations.
A vehicle is considered a place of work, and employees who are mobile are covered by the HSE Act.
There are also specific requirements under the Land Transport Act. For example, the Chain of Responsibility requirements mean that anyone who causes or influences a driver to exceed speed limits or maximum gross weight limits, or to work outside of their work time or log book requirements can be fined. Company directors can also be fined the same penalty as the Company.
Work-related road safety applies to anyone who drives as part of their work, irrespective of vehicle ownership or type (including motorcycles).
Managers must take all practicable steps to ensure that our employees are safe from harm while they are working. In this situation, “all practicable steps” includes having processes for ensuring that any vehicle used for work purposes (including any private vehicle) is:
- Roadworthy and warranted;
- Adequately and appropriately insured; and
- Is loaded and used only within its specified capability.
For example, a vehicle should not be inappropriately loaded so a driver’s vision is impaired, or cargo could shift and harm the driver.
Managers must also ensure that all employees are trained and supervised so that they are able to perform their work duties safely. This would mean ensuring that employees who are required to use a vehicle:
- Have the appropriate classes of a current Driver’s Licence;
- Are able to drive effectively – for example, they are not suffering from fatigue or any other factor;
- Comply with driving hours restrictions for heavy vehicles;
- Comply with the conditions of their Driver’s Licence, e.g. the wearing of glasses;
- Have adequate time in which to complete assignments; and
- Are physically capable of undertaking assignments.
A register containing details of employee Driver Licences is to be maintained. Consideration may also be given to participating in the Driver Check service or the Transport Organisation Online (TORO) service operated by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) that enable transport operators to maintain a register of drivers in their employment. Certain transport organisations are required by law to maintain such a register.
The Company does not pay traffic fines or infringement fees on behalf of employees for any traffic offences (including parking fines) when driving on Company business. Payment remains the responsibility of the offending driver.
When working around motor vehicles (and items of plant and equipment), we must correctly demonstrate the safe methods of operating vehicles, plant and associated equipment. Managers and supervisors must set the example to employees by ensuring they and all staff members wear the applicable safety dress and equipment, which may include the wearing of:
- High-visibility vest, safety helmet and gloves during forklift operator training on clients’ and our sites.
- High-visibility vest and (where required by the site manager/operator) safety helmet during driver training or assessment around vehicles and plant on clients’ and our sites.
- High-visibility vest, and where required, other items of Personal Protective Equipment (e.g. safety helmet, safety glasses, gloves, and items specific to sites such as aprons, hair covers etc.) during workplace or other site visits.
In some situations, such as during forklift operation, swinglift or sidelifter operations, and/or truck loading and unloading, the training work area is also to be marked out/cordoned off with safety cones.
When driving motor vehicles, all our employees are expected to:
- Be aware of, and obey all road traffic laws;
- Heed all advisory speed signs;
- Maintain a stopping distance (space gap) of at least 3 seconds at all times from the vehicle travelling ahead;
- Complete a vehicle POWER check (petrol, oil, water, electrics, rubber/tyre) at least weekly;
- Maintain Company vehicles in a neat, tidy and properly-fuelled condition at all times;
- Maintain vehicles in a safe and roadworthy condition;
- Hold the correct class/endorsement of Driver Licence for the vehicle being driven;
- Wear a seatbelt at all times;
- Refrain from smoking in Company vehicles at all times;
- Refrain from consuming food whilst the vehicle is in motion;
- Use only approved hands-free mobile telephone equipment whilst in the vehicle;
- Demonstrate courtesy and patience towards other road users at all times; and
- Record and report details of all motor vehicle accidents/crashes whether deemed to be at fault (as the driver) or not.
No Smoking Policy
This Company Health and Safety Policy briefly outlines our Company policy regarding smoking in the workplace, i.e.:
- Smoking is not permitted in Company buildings or Company vehicles under any circumstances; and
- Smokers are to be instructed to place butts in a designated container and not in any general rubbish bin.
On 3 December 2003, an amendment to the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 was passed. The amendment (the Smoke-free Environments Amendment Act 2003), required, among other things, that other workplaces became smokefree indoors from 10 December 2004 – including offices, factories, warehouses, work canteens and ‘smoko’ rooms, and company motor vehicles.
The legislation also requires that employers must take ‘all reasonably practicable steps’ to ensure that no person smokes at any time in an internal area. This includes cafeterias, corridors, lifts, stairwells, toilets, workrooms and other internal areas associated with the workplace.
This Policy applies equally to all persons in our Company workplaces, whether they are employees, contractors or visitors. Management and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that these Policies are summarised in the induction health and safety briefings to all employees, contractors or visitors.
Additional Policy Statements
To protect and enhance our indoor air quality and to contribute to the health and well-being of all employees. All workplaces (which includes all vehicles, whether owned, leased or rented) shall be entirely smoke-free. Additionally, the use of tobacco products, including chewing tobacco, is banned from all Company workplaces, except as designated in this Policy.
Smoking is prohibited in all of the enclosed areas within Company workplaces, without exception. This includes common work areas, training facilities and classrooms (whether indoor or outdoor), conference and meeting rooms, private offices, hallways, lunchrooms, stairs, restrooms, employer-owned, leased or rented vehicles, and all other enclosed facilities.
Designated smoking areas on the Company’s permanent sites will be specified by the managing Director in a separate memorandum to all employees, and will take account of these general principles:
- No one may smoke along any pathway or walkway leading to or from designated smoking areas;
- Nor may employees smoke elsewhere, such as grassed areas and parking lots where visible to the public.
When smoking outside, smokers must be aware of the effect of the wind direction and smoke drift, particularly if an entry door is open nearby, or there are non-smokers in close proximity.
Additionally, employees may smoke in their personal vehicles on Company property, but the smoke and tobacco products must be completely contained within the vehicle. It is not acceptable that either smoking or non-smoking employees are subjected to smoke that they must walk through to reach their vehicle or any other destination on the Company premises.
While the Company may make areas available to smokers, it in no way has legal responsibility to do so; nor does the Company accept any liability for illnesses or disease which may affect persons using those areas. Employees who choose to use these smoking areas do so entirely at their own risk.
No additional breaks from work are allowed to any employee who smokes. Employees who wish to smoke may do so at the standard morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea breaks only. This aspect of the Policy addresses the anecdotal view that employees who smoke are less productive and ensures quality amongst all our employees.
Smokers and users of tobacco products must dispose of the remains in the proper containers. This helps to keep a neat and clean environment for all employees and our visiting partners and customers.
To ensure that smokers are not a poor advertisement for the Company, smokers who are presenting themselves to groups of staff, clients, or making client visits must take every care to ensure that they do not smell of cigarette smoke, as many find that odour offensive. Complaints from other parties that an employee smelt of cigarette smoke will be taken very seriously and may lead to disciplinary action.
Human Resources Matters
The Company (Board of Directors and Management Team) takes note that:
- The Human Rights Commission has confirmed the position that it is acceptable to discriminate against smokers when employing staff;
- The Employment Court has held that recreational drug use (such as smoking) is not a disability for the purpose of the Human Rights Act; and
- Policies to advertise and hire non-smoking applicants for a job will be found to be legal and not discriminatory.
Failure to comply with any of the components of this Policy will result in disciplinary action that can lead up to and include employment termination.
Giving Up Smoking
Employees who are smokers are encouraged to seek assistance from such organisations as The Quit Group (a charitable trust set up to run quit smoking programmes in New Zealand, including the national free telephone support Quitline) and the Cancer Society (who work with social services to support and encourage people to quit smoking).
All employees are encouraged to offer understanding and support to any employee giving up the smoking habit.
Company employees and others acting on our behalf are entitled to respectful treatment in their workplaces. Being respected means being treated honestly and professionally, with your unique talents and perspectives valued. A respectful workplace is about more than compliance with the law. It is a working environment that is free of inappropriate behaviour of all kinds, and harassment due to age, disability, marital status, race or colour, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.
This Policy is intended to ensure that all our employees, contractors and visitors are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect, and are able to work in an environment which is free from harassment.
Harassment (including bullying) by any employee, client, contractor, customer, or trainee in a Company workplace (including when working at a client site) will not be tolerated. It is unacceptable and breaches this policy. Incidents of harassment can be reported verbally or in writing (such as by memo or email).
The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 defines a place of work as anywhere that an employee is doing work, whether on our own premises or not; this includes motor vehicles. The Act requires employers to create a safe and secure working environment for their employees and take all reasonably practicable steps to manage hazards and avoid exposing employees to unnecessary risk of physical injury or psychological harm.
The Human Rights Act, Section 62, states that it is unlawful for any person to be sexually harassed, either through a request for some sort of sexual activity with an implied or overt threat of detrimental treatment, or promise of preferential treatment; or through sexual behaviour that is unwelcome or offensive to the recipient, and is either repeated or so significant that the person experiences some form of detriment in their employment.
Section 63 of the Act explains that it is also unlawful for anyone to use any behaviour that expresses hostility against or brings into contempt or ridicules someone on the basis of their race, colour, national or ethnic origins, in such a way that is offensive to that person and is either repeated or so significant that it has a detrimental effect on their employment.
Harassment is a form of discrimination and is unlawful under the Human Rights Act 1993. We promote our Company as a place of work, which is free from harassment and other discriminatory or offensive behaviours.
Harassment is any behaviour which is unwelcome, uninvited and unreciprocated, and which a reasonable person, having regard to all circumstances, would anticipate as being offensive, humiliating, intimidating or adversely affects the employee’s ability to perform their duties. It relates to behaviours that occur in the place of work affecting employees and non-employees (including customers, contractors, or visitors to the workplace) or outside at any work-related environments (such as a conference, a business trip, a Company function or client function). However, behaviour which occurs outside any work-related environment may also be considered harassment, if it has consequences which adversely affect the employee’s ability to perform their job. Harassment may involve a single act or repeated act(s) and may be the result of behaviour which is not intended to offend or harm.
Harassment may also be related to gender, marital status, religious or ethical belief, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status, sexual orientation, involvement in the activities of an employee organisation, or involves the improper use of power in a way that causes another person to be humiliated, manipulated, or disadvantaged.
Harassment takes many forms. These can range from direct forms such as abuse, bullying, threats, name-calling, and sexual advances; to less direct forms such as the creation of a hostile work environment without any direct action towards a person. Direct threats do not have to be made against an individual for harassment to have occurred.
Examples of harassment in the workplace include, but are not limited to:
- Lewd or racist comments/jokes;
- Unwelcome practical jokes;
- Threatening someone;
- Offensive language;
- The display or presence of offensive material;
- Pinching, ogling/staring, or massaging someone; and
- Displaying offensive screen savers, email jokes or viewing inappropriate websites.
Sexual harassment is a specific form of harassment. It is defined as unwelcome, uninvited and unreciprocated behaviour of a sexual nature which makes the person feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. It can arise from lewd comments/jokes, boasting about sexual performance, touching, uninvited kisses or embraces, displays of sexually graphic material (including posters/pictures/ calendars/magazines/videos), repeated invitations to go out socially after prior refusal, sexually explicit conversations, or offensive phone calls, letters and emails. For example, to indicate some sort of sexual relationship with an implied effect as to the outcome of a favoured work relationship would clearly be a serious incident of sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment does not include behaviours based on mutual attraction, friendship and respect.
Racial harassment occurs when another person directly or indirectly shows hostility, ridicule or contempt based on the employee’s race, colour or ethnic/national origins through language, visual material or physical behaviour that the employee finds hurtful or offensive. This behaviour is of such a nature, or is repeated so often, that it has a negative effect on the employee’s employment, job performance or job satisfaction.
Bullying, although it is not unlawful under the Human Rights Act, can contribute to either a personal grievance or a discrimination case.
The effects of harassment and bullying include:
- Increased absenteeism due to anxiety, panic attacks, fear, depression, stress and ill-health.
- Unaddressed stress can often lead to errors at work, injury, fatigue, illness and disease.
- Reduced performance and productivity caused by isolation, breakdown in work relationships, distraction, and low morale.
- Unhappy, unmotivated employees.
- Increased employee turnover.
- Increased management time spent investigating and dealing with complaints.
- Unhealthy workplace culture and ongoing conflicts.
- Industrial action.
- Damaged reputation.
- Expensive litigation procedures and negative publicity.
Investigations into allegations of harassment will be treated very seriously and conducted in a sensitive manner, and to the extent that it is practicable, will remain confidential. An investigation may require conferring with all parties. If the case is proven, the person(s) responsible (if an employee) will be disciplined; this may be treated as serious misconduct and may lead to dismissal.
The Managing Director encourages harassment complaints to be settled internally. Formal complaints of harassment can be directed to a Company Director, senior management, the Human Rights Commission or the Department of Labour. The Protected Disclosures Act 2000 allows people to make disclosures to appropriate authorities about serious wrongdoing without the fear of victimisation.
When an internal formal complaint is lodged, it will be dealt with as follows:
- The Managing Director will either conduct the investigation or arrange for a person, mutually acceptable to both the complainant and the alleged offender, to conduct the investigation.
- The complainant will be advised that a full investigation will be made, confidentially, promptly, and impartially, and in a manner that preserves the dignity and respect of the parties.
- The alleged offender will be advised as soon as possible of the exact nature of the complaint and be given an opportunity to give their version of events. The alleged offender is entitled to know the name of the complainant.
- Both parties will be given an opportunity to have a representative present as a witness/ advocate.
- The Managing Director will maintain a fair and impartial investigation and appeal process. This process will be culturally appropriate, and adequate records will be kept.
To complete an effective investigation, the following may occur:
- Current and possibly ex-employees and other persons may be interviewed.
- One or both parties (if employees) may be suspended with pay during the investigation.
The complainant may contact the Human Rights Commission (discrimination as per the Human Rights Act 1993) or the Department of Labour (where it impacts on the Employment relationship, it can be notified as a “personal grievance” as per the Employment Relations Act 2000) directly, who can then initiate an investigation.
SECTION 6: HEALTH AND SAFETY – MONITORING OF INCIDENTS, HAZARDS AND RISK
The underlying ethos is one of prevention of harm to employees, contractors and sub-contractors.
Information must be taken from Hazards, Near Hits and Accidents, and then acted upon to drive improvements to prevent harm.
Each quarter, the following statistics shall be graphed using Form HS8. Comparison should assist with Root Cause Analysis. Additional action plans shall be drawn from these statistics.
- Hazard IDs (including Near Hits) by reason
- Accidents by reason
- LTIs (Lost Time Injuries) for the business by reason
When a risk is discovered, a Hazard Report Management Form HS19 shall be completed. This will allow the Risk to be evaluated, scored, and investigated, then eliminated, isolated and/or minimised.
If work is undertaken on the sites of clients, and therefore they are being controlled by their Health & Safety system, Hazard Identifications are not automatically undertaken prior to the commencement of work. However, if specific issues arise, they should be dealt with via the client’s hazard process, to encourage them to make a correction. Where this occurs, a copy of the client’s completed Hazard Identification Form should be sent to our Head Office for further investigation.
SECTION 7: HEALTH AND SAFETY – ENSURING LEGAL COMPLIANCE
This Health and Safety system has many tools included to ensure legal compliance:
- Hazard and Near Hit Identification, Risk Management and Evaluation Forms;
- Accident Reporting and Investigation Form;
- Hazard Register;
- Training Requirements (including Inductions) and Training Record;
- Health & Safety Committee Meeting Template;
To ensure that the above tools are used, and used correctly, an auditing process ensures long-term compliance and sustainability.
SECTION 8: HEALTH AND SAFETY – VERIFICATION THAT THE SYSTEM IS BEING USED
“Observations” should be completed a minimum of quarterly (ideally monthly) to ensure that:
- Individuals are performing their tasks as prescribed by process;
- Processes are continuously improved.
Observations follow the “WALK” principle:
- WATCH the person to see how they are performing the task.
- ASK questions of the person to check their understanding of the process and to solicit improvement ideas.
- LISTEN to their comments and suggestions and probe them to understand them.
- KNOWLEDGE transfer to ensure that both parties understand the real situation.
Observation records should be discussed with the departmental manager after the event, and improvement ideas refined, and if appropriate, implemented.
Observation Forms (Form HS9) should be tabled at the next Health & Safety Committee Meeting for discussion and action.
Health & Safety Committee Meeting Agenda/Minutes
It is vital that all relevant topics are discussed in the next 3 months – meetings should be more frequently if deemed reasonably practicable to do so. See Form HS10 for a Meeting Minutes template.
Each year, a full Audit should be undertaken to ensure that the system is continuously improving and is being used correctly. The Health and Safety Annual Audit Form (Form HS11) should be completed by the Health & Safety Manager of the organisation and tabled at the next Health & Safety Committee Meeting for discussion and action.