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WorkSafe New Zealand Q&A session at Treetools

WorkSafe New Zealand Q&A session at Treetools

Richard Tregoweth - Sunday, May 04, 2014

Up until the eighties having a drink for the road or a ‘roadie’ was standard practice - for a night out with the boys or at high society dinner parties.

Of course drink driving was unacceptable behaviour even back then but most people considered the habit too ingrained in the kiwi psyche to make any difference – only those who suffered at the hand of a drunk driver seemed interested in making any meaningful change.

Correcting societal behaviour can be a real challenge for any Government.

To initiate change the government’s task was to somehow make a problem like driving ‘drunk’ socially unacceptable.

During the late eighties it dawned on regulators around the world that they could achieve their aim by adopting tactics already developed by the global marketers – they simply had to ‘sell’ the concept that drink driving was socially unacceptable.

Consequently ‘Drink Driving’ (and Smoking Cessation) became a major focus of the early social marketing campaigns - 30 years later and both habits are now considered socially unacceptable.

‘It’ll be sweet bro’ is no longer good enough

Now start thinking about health and safety in the work place.

Among other things the objective of the Health and Safety Reform Bill currently before parliament is to make unsafe work places socially unacceptable (think Pike River) – if your company has a bad safety record you will not only be heavily penalized for such practice but also stigmatized by everyone in the community.

‘She’ll be right’ and ‘it’ll be sweet bro’ will no longer be tolerated when it comes to workplace health and safety.

If the regulators do manage to change peoples opinions regarding safety in the work place (and they will) we will see major changes in the way work is quoted and completed – not to mention staff relations. These changes will have a major effect on small business in particular.

But what does this mean for the average arborist?

Well… unless you prepare for this new world you might be in for a bit of a shock!

Arborists deal with chainsaws, heavy machinery, power lines, unpredictable trees often while working at height on a daily basis – a highly dangerous combination at the best of times.

To help arborists get a better handle on the pending changes to the upcoming regulations Treetools has organized an informal question and answer session with two representatives from WorkSafe NZ.

Vadim Spice will answer questions regarding working at height and Daniel Davenport will cover off general inspection, chainsaw use and tree felling.

Vadim is the Project Team Leader Falls from Height National Programmes and comes from a background in scaffolding and rope access. He knows what he’s talking about and presents in an easy down-to-earth manner – no bullshit here.

And Daniel has a good understanding of the arb market having worked previously for Asplundh in Auckland. He is currently a WorkSafe NZ Health and Safety Inspector for the Northern Region/Manukau. Again, Daniel knows his stuff.

Both Vadim and Daniel will be at Treetools from 4:00pm Tuesday 13 May to answer any questions you may have regarding the pending changes to the Health and Safety Regulations.

Everyone attending the WorkSafe NZ Q&A Session at Treetools will receive a copy of the Arboriculture Code of Practice and the current Best Practice Guideline for Arboriculture – both these documents are official industry guides and form the basis of your responsibilities relative to the new regulations.

A few drinks and nibbles will finish off the evening – we anticipate everything done and dusted by 6:00pm unless people want to continue the discussion.

Everyone welcome to attend – Treetools will post the 'event' on FaceBook over the next few days.

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