DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - FRONT PAGE -

The Main­te­nance En­gi­neer­ing So­ci­ety of NZ (MESNZ) is throw­ing its weight be­hind WorkSafeNZ’s pro­file cam­paign in­tro­duc­ing the new Best Prac­tice Guide­lines for the Safe Use of Ma­chin­ery.

The new guide­line, which aligns New Zealand with Aus­tralian safety codes sig­nals sig­nif­i­cant change in how busi­ness oper­a­tors need to as­sess their guard­ing and op­er­at­ing risks.

The guide rep­re­sents the first step in the new Crown agency’s strat­egy to­wards im­prov­ing health and safety sta­tis­tics in New Zealand.

While MESNZ has ex­pressed some reser­va­tions about the im­pact and ef­fec­tive­ness of shift­ing to­wards a sig­nif­i­cantly more weighty guide, it has proac­tively part­nered with WorkSafeNZ to try and make the new guide as prac­ti­cal and achiev­able as pos­si­ble for en­gi­neers and man­u­fac­tur­ers.

The so­ci­ety’s view­point fo­cuses on deal­ing with the be­havioural psy­cholo­gies un­der­min­ing en­gi­neers best guard­ing ef­forts rather than adding cost and com­plex­ity to in­dus­try.

Anec­do­tal feed­back from Aus­tralian en­gi­neers re­veals the Aus­tralian code should not be treated with rose tinted glasses and logic is of­ten the first vic­tim. MESNZ is con­cerned that in­dus­try adapts a rea­soned and log­i­cal ap­proach to the new guide­line and does not fall vic­tim to ov­er­en­thu­si­as­tic in­ter­pre­ta­tion and il­log­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tion with no im­prove­ment in in­jury sta­tis­tics.

The so­ci­ety has ac­tively cham­pi­oned sim­plis­tic so­lu­tion paths for in­dus­try in the de­vel­op­ment of the guide­line and sup­ports the fi­nal prod­uct now in the pub­lic do­main.

Karl Hay­ward, chair­man of MESNZ, says: “Man­u­fac­tur­ers and en­gi­neers need to be acutely aware of what is in store for them with the new guide­line.

“There are re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and changes that need in­formed and sen­si­ble ap­pli­ca­tion if the re­form is go­ing to bring real change.”

As well as a new look guide­line sup­ported by a tool­kit, and 40 ma­chine spe­cific fact­sheets, MESNZ has pro­vided a pub­lic Guard­ing Prac­ti­tioner list on its web­site.

MESNZ mod­er­ates the list and pro­vides rat­ing feed­back from mem­bers.

To­gether with ACC, WorkSafeNZ will be run­ning a na­tional road­show in June, vis­it­ing 12 re­gions around the coun­try to launch and pro­mote the Best Prac­tice Guide­lines for the Safe Use of Ma­chin­ery.

With in­dus­try be­ing tra­di­tion­ally slow on the up­take of new re­quire­ments, the road­show will be of in­ter­est to em­ploy­ers, en­gi­neers, health & safety rep­re­sen­ta­tives, health & safety man­agers, and man­age­ment in gen­eral.

The free sem­i­nars will pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity to learn what the guide­lines mean for em­ploy­ees and busi­ness, hear from ACC, learn about tools to up­skill staff and meet WorkSafeNZ in­spec­tors.

More in­for­ma­tion about the road­show can be found at

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