L-R: Vince Arbuckle, Christine Stevenson, Cheryle Mikaere, Chris Fry, Ray Smith, Mike Cosman (CosmanParks), Jo Field, Neil Cherry, Carolyn Van Leuven and Terry Johnson from Simpson Grierson.Corrections has won the award for the best board level engagement in health and safety at the New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety Awards.

The New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety Awards are the biggest workplace health and safety awards of the year and celebrate the very best health and safety initiatives. Corrections was a finalist in the Simpson Grierson best board level engagement category with Air New Zealand.

Corrections has a very unique risk profile that requires a singular focus. We have vans, trailers, forklifts, cranes, farm and forestry machinery. There are dogs, pigs, cows, bees, industrial kitchens, nurseries, light engineering, building sites and hazardous chemicals. Alongside our workforce of almost 10,000 people are many thousands of volunteers, contractors, staff from non-government organisations and other agencies.

Addressing health and safety across all of our sites began with a focus from a senior level. Our Health and Safety Risk Governance Committee (HSRGC) is made up of the ELT and an independent health and safety expert. The committee has been meeting every six weeks since October 2013, and over the last four years have undertaken a systematic review of every aspect of the organisation to see where we can improve processes and manage risks.

Some of the initiatives overseen by the HSRGC include:

  • Upgrading our vehicle fleets
  • Upgrading security at our sites
  • Introducing new de-escalation techniques, on-body cameras and pepper spray
  • Site Emergency Response Teams, stab proof gloves, body armour and Physical Readiness Assessments for staff
  • New processes for managing fatigue
  • Working with contractors or third parties to ensure the safety of all those we work with
  • Everyone Safe Every Day strategy.

The award was presented on 31 May at the SKYCITY Convention Centre to the ELT and Mike Cosman from CosmanParks, independent committee member.