Why we take health & safety seriously
Cutting corners when it comes to health and safety can cost you more than money. Because workplace injuries have a ripple effect, our duty of care to our staff, their families and our customers is to ensure we’re working to best practice when it comes to health and safety. Sometimes this means an extra person is required on the job, or additional safety equipment is required.
Darlene Henshaw, Operational Manager, All Pumps says New Zealand has one of the worst health and safety accident-at-work rates in the developed world and the ‘she’ll be right’ culture needs to change. Because All Pumps are not prepared to put their team at risk, there are practices and procedures in place to keep everyone safe.
“We are professional, and there is a level of pride we have in what we do. We do insist on doing things to best practice and that includes health and safety,” she says. “I like to think it reflects on the other work we do, we’re not cutting corners even though we are aware it costs money for the customers and us, it’s just the right thing to do.”
What do these practices look like on a job site?
Job Safety Analysis – On every single job our team attend it is a legal requirement to complete a job safety analysis prior to commencing work. It can take around ten minutes and the technician is personally responsible for this even if it’s something simple like ducking under the front deck and changing a filter.
Confined spaces and awkward access – Any time one of our team puts their head and shoulders into a pit this is classified as a ‘confined space’ entry. A second person will be required on the job to monitor gas levels before, during and after the technician is in the pit. This second person is legally responsible for issuing a permit for their co-worker to enter, and this legal document must be date/time stamped.
If there is any situation which makes access potentially difficult for our technician – getting him out or getting himself out should there be an incident, that is classified as ‘awkward access’. Having a second person enables us to have a plan in place for a prompt and safe rescue if required.
If you have hard to reach equipment, we provide quotes to modify access so you avoid the additional costs next time. For example, adjusting the pipe work in a storm water chamber so you can remove the pump without reaching right down to the bottom of the pit.
Difficult manual handling – Sometimes this is more than just heavy lifting. If pumps or heavy equipment is in a difficult spot and needs to be approached from an awkward angle we may need additional people to help with safe lifting.
Equipment – Some of our health and safety charges are around the equipment we are required to use – harnesses and equipment needs to be safety checked and up to date. When working with sewerage much of our protective clothing will need to be disposed of after each use to avoid contamination.
Darlene says sometimes it’s difficult to know whether we’ll need a second man on a job or not. Any information you can provide us with when you call to discuss your job, the better equipped we will be to decide.
Cordoning of the worksite with safety cones
Disposable overalls keep our technicians safe and free from contamination