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Safeguard Winner 2017

The Safeguard New Zealand Workplace Safety Awards were held on Wednesday evening the 31st of May at a gala dinner at the Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland. These awards commenced in 2005, and this year 15 awards were presented in front of an audience of over 600 who celebrated the achievements of a wide variety of businesses and entities.

PF Olsen won the award in the Best Collaboration Between PCBU’s category, for “initiating a project involving multiple PCBU’s to clarify and improve the expectations on forest contractors and forest service providers when they come onto a working forestry site.“

A PCBU is a person conducting a business or undertaking. In forestry, a number of PCBU’s can work in the same or adjoining area. This contracting chain typically involves a forest owner or manager, contractors, subcontractors, and specialist service providers for activities such as refuelling, repairs, training, auditing etc.

Two incidents, both involving service providers, highlighted the need for further focus on the 3C’s to consult, co-operate and co-ordinate where there are overlapping duties between PCBU’s. At the same time, Sheryl Dawson CEO of McFall Fuel approached PF Olsen letting the Company know that it required more clarification on what was required around interactions with contractors when they as service providers would come onto forestry work sites. The forestry guidelines were good, but very general and it was clear that a collaboration between the PCBU’s would be helpful in determining these requirements.

A project management team, a sub-committee of PF Olsen’s Central Safety Committee (CSC), was established in July 2016. It comprised PF Olsen staff and contractors, one other larger forest owner and a range of service providers e.g. Gough Group, Waratah NZ, Bridgestone NZ, Truck Stops NZ and McFall Fuel. These service providers have a national reach, making the project work useful for the whole of the industry.

This sub-committee then set about clarifying the various possible interactions and exactly what the contractors would provide to – and would require from – each service provider prior to site entry. This included forest owner permits, written procedures for each task, hazard and risk assessments, site inductions, communication protocols and relevant emergency procedures. A draft guidance was circulated amongst staff, contractors and service providers for feedback. This team then developed a training guideline to ensure a thorough understanding of the more complex provisions.    

PF Olsen’s Health and Safety Manager Nic Steens presented this guidance along with risk management training to 330 individuals around New Zealand, including all staff, senior contractor representatives and their service providers. This training has enabled safety systems to be updated in line with the HSW Act 2015.    

We have received very positive feedback from service providers, especially who interact with other forest owners, about the quality of their interaction with other PCBU’s in the forests we manage.   One of the project’s greater benefits is that the PCBU’s now understand how they should act at a forestry worksite, and in particular what constitutes appropriate safety behaviours. They are also appreciative of the clear protocols around how to cease work when it deviates from their own safety and risk management systems.

PF Olsen thanks the many contributors to this achievement and while we are proud to be recognised as an industry leader in health and safety, the key driver is our goal toward zero harm and improving safety in the forest industry.