This month’s article is not about actually working inside a bubble but taking the rules, procedures and processes’ that you would normally work under in the branch/workshop or office with you, regardless of where you are working.
It is very easy to forget to take tools and equipment with you when you are off site. It probably happens to all of us at some stage but the reality is that when people do this, they will often take shortcuts to compensate and this is where accidents occur. Or the people whose site you are working at do not worry about health and safety to the same level as you
The message is very simple. The rules that apply when you are working off site are exactly the same no matter where you are.
In the last couple of weeks we have had Worksafe report on an accident in Christchurch where a worker was run into by a forklift at a new location the company was working from, and suffered horrendous injuries.
The following is an extract from Worksafes’ notifications:
WorkSafe’s Deputy General Manager, Investigations and Specialist Services Simon Humphries said, “When you're moving sites, or expanding into additional premises, one of the first things to take with you should be the elements that care for the safety of your workers.”
“Cardinal knew the critical risk that forklifts posed to pedestrians and should have implemented a safe system of work before establishing operations at their new site. If they could do it at one site, they could do it at another. It should have been a priority – not a matter for once they were settled in.”
Cardinal Logistics has since implemented a practicable system of effective traffic management and the appropriate controls for the separation of pedestrians and forklifts.
- A fine of $354,375 was imposed.
- Reparations of $29,967.78 were ordered, in addition to a voluntary payment of $56,000 prior to sentencing.
- Cardinal Logistics Limited was charged under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and (2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
The implications to a business of this type of accident can be devastating as well as the impact on the victim of the accident whose injuries and ongoing consequences are major.
It is a bit of a cliché but in this instance if it had been “safety first” the victim would still have his leg and the company would have $440,000 in the bank.
When you are having your toolbox meetings or discussing health and safety with staff, ensure to reinforce the point about “working in a bubble”. Different place - same rules. Treat every workplace as if it was your own because it is.