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4 November 2019
The Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ) represents workplace health and safety professions in New Zealand, and is now in its fifth year.
The Association was born out of the need to address New Zealand’s health & safety advisor capability, and form better links between health and safety professionals, New Zealand industry and government.
HASANZ Executive Director, Philip Aldridge, says that the Association is now very much in delivery mode. Last year, in order to improve the supply and capabilities of advisors, HASANZ launched a register for workplace health and safety professionals.
“The central idea of the register is to improve the quality of health and safety advice,” says Philip.
“The register details qualified and experienced health and safety professionals across a wide area, with visitors to the register able to search via location or free text input. The register has over a hundred categories, so visitors can search for specific scenarios such as ‘manual handling’, ‘stress’, ‘slips and falls’, or ‘noise’ for example.
“This has practical benefits for SMEs without an in-house health and safety resource, allowing them to search for specialist assistance or advice from a variety of external practitioners and engage the services of the professional that best meets their requirements.
“We currently have 165 people on the register with another 30 going through the validation process at the moment. The competencies of those on the register are backed up by a code of ethics and there is also information on aspects like insurance and complaints procedures included too.”
Philip says another association remit is to lift the bar around training and education of future health and safety practitioners and have people aspire to join the profession.
“We’re thinking about where professionals and specialists in the health and safety sector might be coming from in the next decade and beyond.
“Currently many businesses struggle to find good health and safety people. The picture of the industry right now suggests that 50 percent of advisors don’t have the right suite of qualifications and 50 percent are over the age of 50, so we need to think about future-proofing the industry.
“We want to essentially establish a professional pipeline, ensuring that graduates from health sciences, engineering and other disciplines, or people who come off the tools and want to establish a second career in health and safety have the resources and opportunities to do so, but in a centralised way.
“It’s a big project, but it is vital for New Zealand business that the country’s health and safety proponents and professionals have the qualifications, experience and knowledge to provide the right advice.”