Health and safety win for Corrections

Receiving the award on 31 May at the SKYCITY Convention Centre. (L-R) Vince Arbuckle, Christine Stevenson, Cheryle Mikaere, Chris Fry, Ray Smith, Mike Cosman (Cosman Parkes Ltd), Jo Field, Neil Cherry, Carolyn van Leuven and Terry Johnson from Simpson Grierson.Corrections has won the 2017 award for ‘best board level engagement’ in health and safety at the New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety Awards.

These are the biggest workplace health and safety awards of the year and celebrate the best initiatives. Corrections was a finalist alongside Air New Zealand.

Corrections has a unique risk profile; not only do we manage sometimes violent and volatile offenders and prisoners, we also use vans, trailers, forklifts, cranes, farm and forestry machinery. Our staff deal with dogs, pigs, cows, bees and hazardous chemicals. We run industrial kitchens, nurseries, light engineering and building sites. Alongside our 9,000 or so staff are many thousands of volunteers, contractors and staff from other agencies.

Improving health and safety across all our sites began at a senior level. Our Health and Safety Risk Governance Committee (HSRGC) is made up of the Executive Leadership Team and an independent health and safety expert. The committee has been meeting since October 2013, and over the last four years has reviewed almost every aspect of the organisation to see where we can improve processes and manage risks.

Initiatives overseen by the HSRGC include:

  • upgrading our vehicle fleet
  • upgrading security at our sites
  • introducing new de-escalation techniques, personal protective equipment and the Physical Readiness Assessment for custodial staff (see back page)
  • introducing Site Emergency Response Teams
  • introducing new processes for managing fatigue
  • working with contractors or third parties to ensure the safety of all those we work with
  • implementing the Everyone Safe Every Day strategy.