April is coming, Safety Apps in the new era of NZ Health and Safety

It is no secret, New Zealand has a very poor record of protecting our Workforce from harm and the Government is determined (and rightly so) on changing it.

The pointy end of the Government’s efforts to get more of our workforce home safely is the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 coming into effect on the 4th of April 2016.  From what we have seen and read it is certainly a move in the right direction. 

The less pointy end of their efforts has been what has really impressed us.   Their PR and information efforts around creating a sense of change in New Zealand’s Health and Safety cultures has been very effective.  Who doesn’t know April is coming?  What company in New Zealand has not had a long look in the Safety mirror to check they are ready? Their efforts already in changing things is most likely why you are reading this and we congratulate WorkSafe NZ on creating this sense of change!

If you are not already confident on what these changes mean for you the MBIE have some very easy to read summaries on it here, we have pulled out their key changes as follow:

> It reinforces proportionality – what a business needs to do depends on its level of risk and what it can control
> It shifts from hazard spotting to managing critical risks – actions that reduce workplace harm rather than trivial hazards
> It introduces the “reasonably practicable” concept – focusing attention on what’s reasonable for a business to do
> It changes the focus from the physical workplace to the conduct of work – what the business actually does and so what it can control

It supports more effective worker engagement and participation – promoting flexibility to suit business size and need.

In summary; you simply need to have systems in place and be able to prove you are using them.  When this comes to lone workers and having a robust system of keeping track of them there is nothing wrong with using a Text message system or an IN/OUT whiteboard.  The key is whatever system you use, make sure it is documented and make sure your staff use it and you can prove they use it.

If you are wanting something a little more effective and with a few extra features than a Text message system perhaps have a look at having your staff log their out of office tasks using our free safety app?  For free you get live GPS location sharing, check-in reminders and a fail safe alerting system if someone is overdue! It is simple, quick and free, 

If you are wanting something more user friendly for larger workforces sharing many tasks a week have a look at our premium lone worker safety solution GetHomeSafe - Corporate 

At GetHomeSafe our passion is not just Safety, but it is about getting out there and living an awesome life.  We love the outdoors and we love doing a good honest days’ work out of the office.  We find that this is a shared value with most people who pursue careers out of the office.  What we set out to create with our lone worker safety solution is a system that still reflects our passion, but provides all the necessary safety features for getting lone workers home safely (and all for a very affordable price).

We believe that by using either our free Safety App or our more comprehensive workplace safety solution GetHomeSafe – Corporate as the core of your lone worker safety policy you will not only exceed your new due diligence requirements under the Act; you will also end up with a very useful set of Health and Safety data that will act as the foundation of your future Health and Safety training programme for the years to come. 

Most importantly using either of our Safety Systems or one of your own you are well on the way to creating a new and improved Health and Safety culture within your organisation and improving what is most important; getting your team home safely at the end of the day.

If you are a PCBU or an Officer with a team on the move or have a large property/area under your duty of care and you would like to know more about how to meet your new due diligence requirements, we are always keen for a chat and to help out where we can; so please feel free to get in contact.