Directors’ ideas

15 May, 2015  |  News

Attendees at the health and safety session were given work to do: each table had to discuss how their boards were anticipating the new Health and Safety at Work Act and come up with an idea for boards to consider. Here is a selection:

  • Meet your people.
  • Do an annual audit of culture and behaviour.
  • Ensure the board receives the right information so it knows where the culture sits.
  • Make OHS the first item on the board’s meeting agenda.
  • Get an independent appraisal of OHS.
  • Bring an injured employee, or one who has been involved in a near miss, to the board meeting.

One table suggested it should be mandatory for directors to read Rebecca Macfie’s book on the Pike River disaster, which drew murmurs of approval and got the nod from presenter Mike Cosman. Earlier, before introducing the duo from Refining NZ, he said if he were a betting man he’d guess the new legislation won’t come into effect until the first quarter of next year.

“This session isn’t about keeping you out of jail. The legislation is just creating a signal. This is just about getting ahead of the game.”

He said directors needed to be able to map the risk landscape in their organisations, and to obtain a richer picture of risk in order to hold the chief executive to account. “If you were managing the finances of your business simply by looking at your bad debtors, you’d say that’s nonsense,” he said, noting that looking only at lost-time injuries and thinking you had a handle on health and safety was equally absurd.

Opening the session, Frances Martin – acting executive director of the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum – warmed up the crowd by pointing out that the proceedings were being filmed. “If any of you are concerned at being seen attending a health and safety event please let me know so we can edit you out.”

Much laughter, and no one took the opportunity to slip out.


Source: Alert24 18/5/15,