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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: New Zealand Institute of Health and Safety (NZISM)

The country’s largest health and safety professional body is appealing for a more detailed overarching health and safety approach to be used at the border as Covid cases slip through the net and affect the country.

The New Zealand Institute of Health and Safety (NZISM) says it hasn’t been approached to provide advice and feels a valuable resource of high quality health and safety expertise, and practical measures, is being overlooked.

Robyn Bennett, President of NZISM, says she is surprised and is lobbying for MiQ, the Government and all organisations, especially those at or close to the border, to apply a worker health and safety lens over all activities.

“We are simply not being used enough to manage this very long term issue, at a time when it’s never been more important.  

“Until now, an operational approach has been taken and on the whole it’s worked.  However, the obvious weaknesses need to be addressed to keep our good record and avoid undue stress and disruption to workers and communities.

“This is the bread and butter of what we do every day – supporting better health and safety whether at border facilities, or any other organisation, this is no different.”  

Robyn Bennett says border management will continue to be paramount even when a vaccine arrives.  The risk is complacency as people who are vaccinated will let their guard down and could become a risk to others.

“The vaccine will not be a fail safe – combining a vaccine roll-out with QR tracking and a tight border control, with health and safety at the heart of the process, is the most effective continued response.  A strong health and safety response is imperative to ensure our continued success”.

NZISM is the largest professional body for health and safety in New Zealand.  It has an internationally aligned accreditation programme and Continual Professional Development (CPD) for its members that delivers the highest standards of health and safety professionalism and subsequently, healthier and safer workplaces.  It bridges the gap between the heightened need for health and safety post-lockdown and its 1,900 members across the country, and 13 branches.  It has more than 60 corporate supporters and its membership is made up of professionals and practitioners working across a broad range of industries and sectors – www.nzism.org

MIL OSI