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New health & safety agency needs its own cabinet minister

New health & safety agency needs its own cabinet minister

AUCKLAND, 4 April 2013

Leadership starts at the very top, writes Bruce Taplin, group manager health, safety and environment with Vector Ltd, in the March/April edition of Safeguard out this week.

“The prime minister needs to demonstrate that health and safety is important to him, the country and the economy. A stand-alone crown health and safety agency is a start, but it needs to report to a cabinet minister. With this in place we have the positioning right from a public perception perspective.”

Taplin says every state-owned enterprise and government department should have its health and safety manager reporting directly to the CEO or board of directors – again, to demonstrate importance – and should report their health and safety performance monthly to the minister.

But what kind of performance indicators to measure and report on? Taplin calls for a mix of leading and lagging indicators. “Leading indicators drive action-oriented outcomes while lag indicators are useful in telling you where to focus the attention of your lead actions.”

Crucially, he says performance incentives should be linked only to the leading indicators, to encourage reporting and directed action.

The latest edition of Safeguard also contains:

• Award-winning initiatives from Fonterra and the Wellington Tunnels Alliance.

• A strong challenge to the notion that ‘zero harm’ – widely touted by large corporates – is a valid health and safety policy.

• Examples of ethical dilemmas faced by Safeguard readers in their health & safety roles.

• Suggestions from readers for the name of the new health and safety Crown agency due to be launched in December. (Most popular suggestion: Worksafe New Zealand)


About Safeguard

Safeguard is a bimonthly business magazine published by Thomson Reuters.

It organises the annual Safeguard National Health & Safety Conference (Auckland, 29-30 May) and the annual New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety Awards (entries close 19 April).


ENDS


safeguard.co.nz


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