MEActive - August 2016

26 August 2016

CEO COMMENT:  Health and Safety Cases

The new Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA), which was in large part a response to the Pike River tragedy, has now been in place since April this year.  We have seen a lot of engagement from manufacturers on these changes, and it appears that a lot of work has been done to understand and adapt to these changes, adding to Health and Safety (H&S) efforts of manufacturers in the past.

We all want to make sure workers are as safe as possible - it is still early days for the legislation, and time will tell if the changes have translated into real positive outcomes in terms of incidents in the workplace.  As with any change, it will need to be reviewed in the coming years, with feedback from industry, once we have a better picture through the statistics on how it has achieved the aim of bringing down the number of workplace injuries.  At this stage however, it has at least achieved the aim of bringing H&S to the forefront of thinking in manufacturing companies – this alone may improve outcomes by improving buy in and understanding of H&S issues, from the CEO across to the factory floor.

One concern from many manufacturers has been what legal action Worksafe may take when incidents do occur, and what ramifications and costs follow.  Many of the recent cases occurred well before the new legislation was introduced, but can still give an idea of things to think about.

One case that recently ended, having started before the legislation came into force, was with the Lyttleton Port.  In a very sad situation, a father of three was killed in 2014, when a scissor crane fell.  It was found the worker was not trained to use the lift, and the company was ordered to pay $138,000 in fines and reparations.

Two weeks after the incident occurred, another case started with the same company – issues about a Snorkel Boom were raised with the company, and two weeks later a mechanical fault with the equipment was found, however, it was not removed from use.  Luckily, this did not result in the same disastrous injuries.  Worksafe found there were failings within management and they did not take all practical steps to sure the safety of their employees, and a $75,000 fine was imposed for the breach.

One take-home message from this case is the vital importance of regular maintenance on machinery, and taking immediate action when any problem are identified, taking the equipment out of use, fixing it and ensuring staff are aware and do not continue to use any risky equipment - there are consequences for not doing this, even if an injury or accident does not occur. 

Another case has involved a processing plant that used a belt slicer machine with a conveyor system.  On three separate occasions staff were clearing blockages in the equipment, and the conveyor belt and rollers pulled their hands into the blades, causing serious injury. This resulted in fines of $169,406 for a total of 6 offenses, as well as $57,000 in reparation to each of the victims. 

Worksafe highlighted the need to have proper guarding to these machines, a timed interlocked device to cut the power to the belt slicer when the guard was opened, and more comprehensive training and procedures for dealing with jams in the machine. 

The policy for machine guarding in regards to manufacturing has been something the NZMEA has worked with Worksafe to get right in the past.

These cases highlight how things can go wrong, and what Worksafe is currently doing in response.  Incidents can still happen, unfortunately, even with the best of practices, and while the above cases appear to be fairly clear, determining negligence or fault in future cases may not always be as black and white.

In a recent address to a NZMEA Leadership Network meeting, Gordon McDonald, the CEO of Worksafe, emphasised the attention his organisation is now giving to preventing damages to health resulting from long-time exposure to noise, dust and vapours. This is a notoriously difficult area in terms of connecting cause and effect, but one that ultimately can cause more damage over time than accidents do. In this area, the emphasis should be as much on reducing emissions at the source as on personal protective measures, Mr McDonald said.

AnchorNZMEA EVENTS:

The events page on our website has more information on upcoming events. Click here to view our interactive calendar.

South Island
19 September - Invitation to 137th AGM with Guest Speaker Peter Chrisp - Christchurch.
28 September - Workshop: Leader Standardised Work and Gemba Walks - Christchurch.
28 September - Workshop: Structured Problem Solving - Christchurch.
28 September - Programme: CPIM - Execution and Control of Operations - Christchurch.

North Island
29 September - Workshop: Leader Standardised Work and Gemba Walks - Auckland.
29 September - Workshop: Structured Problem Solving - Auckland.


AnchorMEDIA COVERAGE:
Where the NZMEA have been reported over the past month.

1 July - Exporter Magazine - Tourism, manufacturing and complexity. Magazine
5 July - Radio New Zealand - Australian election uncertainty adds to NZ exporters’ challenges. Internet
6 July - NZ Manufacturer - It is all about people! Internet
6 July - Scoop.co.nz - It is all about people! Internet
6 July - Voxy.co.nz - It is all about people – NZMEA. Internet
6 July - Guide2.co.nz - It is all about people – NZMEA. Internet
7 July - Voxy.co.nz - Additional measures on housing is the right move – NZMEA. Internet
7 July - Scoop.co.nz - Additional measures on housing is the right move. Internet
8 July - Stuff.co.nz - Housing boom becoming increasing issue for kiwi businesses. Internet
9 July - The Dominion Post - Housing boom becoming increasing issue for kiwi businesses. Newspaper
11 July - Manufacturers Success Connection - Domestic sales leading growth for manufacturers. Internet
11 July - Voxy.co.nz - Domestic sales leading growth for manufacturers. Internet
11 July - Scoop.co.nz - Domestic sales leading growth for manufacturers. Internet
15 July - Fridayoffcuts.com - Is NZ ready for the next manufacturing revolution?
19 July - Voxy.co.nz - New lending limits a good call – NZMEA. Internet
20 July - Sina.com - Exporters welcome New Zealand central bank curbs on mortgage lending. Internet
20 July - Woodweek.com - Is NZ ready for the next manufacturing revolution? Internet
20 July - Scoop.co.nz - New lending limits a good call. Internet
21 July - Otago Daily Times - Greens see need for manufacturing role. Newspaper
21 July - Scoop.co.nz - Minster for manufacturing a vital step. Internet
21 July - Guide2.co.nz - Minister for manufacturing ‘a vital step for NZ manufacturers’. Internet
21 July - Voxy.co.nz - Minister for manufacturing ‘a vital step for NZ manufacturers’. Internet
21 July - NZ Herald - Opposition’s call for minister for manufacturing. Newspaper
26 July - Radio New Zealand - Exporters doubt OCR cuts will lower dollar. Internet
28 July - NZ Manufacturer - Skills needs and education. Magazine
29 July - NZ Herald - Rise of the machines. Newspaper

AnchorMEDIA RELEASES:
Media releases submitted by the NZMEA during July.  Click here to read the latest media releases.

7 July - Additional measures on housing is the right move
7 July - It is all about people! 
11 July - Domestic sales leading growth for manufacturers
19 July - New Lending Limits a Good Call
21 July - Minister for Manufacturing a vital step for New Zealand Manufacturers

AnchorNZ MANUFACTURER MAGAZINE:

Click here to read the latest edition of NZ Manufacturer Magazine online for free.

The NZMEA has been approached by Doug Green, editor of NZ Manufacturer magazine.  Doug is wanting to write articles under a section called Regional Manufacturing. If you are outside of the main centres and would like to be interviewed for an article please contact the NZMEA and we will pass your details on to Doug to contact you directly.

FIGURE NZ GRAPH:

The above graph shows employment in New Zealand by industry.  Manufacturing remained the third largest employer in New Zealand in 2013.  The two sectors that employ more than manufacturing are related to services, retail trade and health care and social assistance. Average weekly incomes in retail trade and accommodation were nearly $400 less than manufacturing, while health incomes were about $200 less than manufacturing in 2015.

For more graphs related to manufacturing and exporting, as well a large collection of data on New Zealand presented in a simple visual way, visit www.figure.nz.