Summer brings critical risks to look out for

Date 14 December 2018

Summer safety is front of mind for OSPRI’s staff and contractors – at work and at home.

Health & Safety culture is at the heart of OSPRI’s work. Much of the company’s operational activity is focused on rural and wilderness areas of New Zealand, often remote, and staff and contractors face several critical risks that need attention and management.

OSPRI has refreshed its guidance to workers on the risky situations that the summer season brings, particularly around scorching windy weather, busy roads.

Working around vehicles – from motorbikes to helicopters – is a leading cause of injury in the rural sector, as is working around animals. In OSPRI’s line of work, with many staff and contractors involved in 1080 possum control, another critical risk is confrontation. Good guidance on both risks is here.

But one critical risk that is often overlooked is: Working Outside.

Farmers and rural contractors face them every day, but there are serious risks to a worker’s health and safety from working in the outdoors. Exposure to hazards such as heat, cold, dust and ultra-violet light can cause short-term or long-term illness, and in extreme cases, death.

To stay safe, it is important to plan:

  • Always check the weather forecast and plan work accordingly
  • If there’s a storm coming, perhaps a postponement is sensible
  • Be prepared to adapt to changes by having, and using, the appropriate gear for changing conditions.

Summer safety is also important around home and family too – it’s no use being H&S conscious at work only to go home and fall off a ladder while painting the roof.

Stop, think, assess, respond. Those four actions should ensure you’re prepared to encounter the worst New Zealand’s harsh conditions can throw at you.

That means you’ll get home safely after a day’s work in the great outdoors.