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5 safety tips for your workplace

1st September 2015 Print

Politicians in New Zealand are about to pass the biggest changes to safety legislation seen in the country for about 20 years. Although – as with any large piece of legislation – the rules have been hotly debated, this is a sign that the nation is taking the issue seriously and looking to take appropriate action to end a poor record in this field.

It’s a sign too that, worldwide, work safety is a big issue to be addressed. This is no longer written off as a small matter for individual firms to get to grips with.

So, with the spotlight on safety, what should you be doing at your workplace? Here are five tips to take on board to help foster safer practices…

Equipment audit

What equipment do you use? When was the last time you checked it was ‘fit for purpose’? Complete a full audit of everything you use and ensure it is in full, safe working order. This will allow you to identify any items that need to be replaced and avoid your workers being put at risk by items in a poor state of repair.


When staff don’t talk, problems arise. You need to regularly speak to the people on the ‘front line’ in order to ensure the hazards your business faces are identified and overcome at the earliest opportunity. That means a culture where everyone is empowered to speak up and knows where and how to report safety issues. Keep talking and you’ll keep safe.

New practices

As seen in New Zealand, new laws and rules are being passed and adopted all the time. Around that newer, safer practices will develop and it’s important to adopt those in your workplace. Often these practices are also more efficient and greener so there are other knock-on effects to be felt. In practice, this could be anything from embracing safer, more efficient technology like plastic media blasting from Airblast AFC  to making sure your drivers don’t get sent on long trips without first having the right training from the American Safety Council.


Many workplace hazards revolve around the effect of untidy desks or places where trips or falls are likely. It’s important to take a long, hard assessment of your workplace to see if these can be eliminated. Take a look, for example, at the layout. Do things have to be set out the way they are, particularly if they are causing obstructions or hazards? If necessary, start again from scratch and on a piece of paper plan out how to better lay out your workplace. Leaving things as they are will not help. 


One of the key times your business and its employees put themselves at risk is when they are on the road. Don’t neglect this when it comes to your safety policy. It’s important to make sure all vehicles owned by the company are fully serviced every year. It’s also a good idea to fit cameras to vans and larger vehicles. These can help cut out a driver’s blind spot and, in the case of dashboard cameras, can also avoid lengthy legal action in the case of an accident.

By looking closely at your vehicles and equipment, communicating effectively, adopting new practices and laying out your workplace effectively you’ll be well on the way to a secure business – and all without the sort of lengthy legislative process needed by politicians in New Zealand.