Phil Parkes (NZ) "What height do we set the bar at?”
COO, WorkSafe New Zealand
“We’ve done it. Got there. Box ticked!” Gone are the days of businesses taking a light-handed, clipboard-focused approach to keeping their people safe and healthy. In the last five years, there has been a significant evolution (some might say revolution) in workplace health and safety. We have new law. We have WorkSafe – a focused, standalone regulator. We have greater awareness.
The bar has been lifted from the floor and that has saved lives and averted injury. Yet still, we lag substantially behind similar countries in health and safety performance. Much remains to be done to build our competencies and capabilities keep our workforce healthy and safe.
WorkSafe’s Chief Operating Officer Phil Parkes will argue that improvement targets are important, but need to be constantly updated aiming points, not an end in themselves. Targets – bars – must be set beyond the obviously achievable and supported on the workplace floor through management and boards to have effect.
Phil will discuss WorkSafe’s view and approach to taking the New Zealand health and safety system beyond par with like environments to world-leading performance.
Eldeen E. Pozniak (Canada) "Do We Have What it Takes?"
Immediate Past President of INSHPO
Immediate past president of INSHPO - the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organizations - Eldeen Pozniak is one of the most highly respected occupational health and safety professionals in Canada. She also maintains an active practice in the USA.
With over 25 years of experience as a global health and safety professional, Eldeen will help us explore the concept of having what it takes, from the perspective of past president of INSHPO.
She will take us on a journey of exploring why we do what we do, before outlining INSHPO’s Occupational Health and Safety Professional Capability Framework and how it can help us focus on the roles, capabilities, knowledge and skills that we need to have to be truly successful as health and safety professionals today.
Richard Wagstaff (NZ) "Strengthening the pillar of worker engagement and participation”
The engagement and participation of workers in their own health and safety is one of the pillars of effective health and safety practice, along with capable employers and good laws with an effective regulator. President of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) Richard Wagstaff believes that, while there is always more to be done, we’re along the road towards better laws and a more capable regulator. However, he says we have yet to see widespread and effective worker participation and the benefits that flow from it.
International research shows it works best through health and safety representatives, supported by regulator, employer and unions. Richard is enthusiastic about this, because not only does better participation and engagement mean better health and safety, if done well it can also mean more productive workplaces and better jobs. He’ll talk about the research and his experience in this very important area.