Diocesan Health and Safety
HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE
As you are aware, the new Health and Safety (H&S) legislation has now been in place for nearly a year. Its intention was to make NZ sit up and take notice and indeed it has done just that.
We are now nearly a year ahead and Worksafe has acknowledged there has been quite a bit of anxiety caused through lack of understanding of what to do and how to go about it. They have recently released guidance to support small, low risk organisations such as ours and we wish to share this with you. Their focus is:
Making workplaces safer by focusing on key risks and getting these right rather than spending time on all hazards.
Putting practices in place that are reasonable for the risk and size of the organisation, so not causing significant cost and time managing something that has a low risk.
Starting with a H&S plan and working together to achieve the goals.
Taking this into account, the Diocesan Council is appointing a new Safety Group whose purpose will be to develop a H&S plan and work on joint safety initiatives, in order to support you with your own management. We are being guided by a Safety Specialist who has had years of experience with organisations such as ours and making safety simple. Our goal is to work together with you to create a culture of safety and well-being across our Diocese that supports our gospel value of caring for everyone who works or worships at or visits our churches in any capacity. What does this mean for you?
1. You will be asked to participate and provide feedback on specific safety topics which we will be working through in sequence as we go through this together.
2. We will provide safe working guides for key risks and other relevant safety issues that we all face.
3. We will strive to support you with professional advice to address your concerns – this may be through training, coaching and online support.
4. Diocesan Council will be better informed of our safety progress and how we are partnering with our ministry units.
5. We will strive to cut costs and save time by looking to consolidate contractors and maintenance contracts where possible and support you with checking their own safety.
The journey we wish to take is one that is focused on our key risks so that we do not cause harm to others and ourselves. We would welcome any volunteers to support us on the Safety Group who will meet monthly. The role will require some of your time and work to support the initiatives. If you’re willing to be considered for appointment to the Safety Group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 16 March 2017.
We will keep you informed every step of the way and of course, be asking for your feedback as well.
We thank those ministry units who continue to be proactive in their efforts to keep people safe, especially the work they have done to promote safe working cultures, keep environments safe, and for sharing with others their experiences and resources.
Thanks also to everyone for supporting our goal of promoting and applying good standards that keep us and those we work with and serve healthy and safe.