Staying safe at height

Five years ago you would have been hard pressed to find scaffolding on your average residential house build. You probably wouldn’t have seen safety nets or harnesses either. And fall arrest systems such as air bags were totally out of the question. But you might well have seen a painter using a fully extended ladder leaning against a wall. You’d …

Standards overhaul underway for height safety equipment

By Jo Bailey New standards for height safety equipment are a work-in-progress, as new technology introduced over the last few years has significantly changed the industry. “Some of our current standards are now pretty old and haven’t been updated until now due to costs. At the moment the AS/NZ Standards Committee has started a new project to update the current …

Three questions to a safe work site

If employers with staff working at heights can answer three questions about their projects with a definitive ‘yes’ they should be on the right track to providing a safe environment for their employees and meeting the new Health and Safety regulations, says industry expert Doug Carson. “The first question to answer is ‘do you have a written plan?’ This must …

Non-complying bucket trucks major issue

An issue that has been brewing in the elevated work platform (EWP) sector for some time, could compromise safety and potentially cost contractors thousands of dollars. Mike Breen, board member of the Elevated Work Platform Association (EWPA) says second-hand bucket trucks that don’t meet New Zealand regulations (AS/NZS1418.10) are being imported from Japan and illegally sold for this purpose. “Almost …

Safety major focus of EWPA

Safety has been the primary objective of the Elevated Work Platform Association (EWPA) since its inception in 2003, says its CEO, Phil Tindle. “Mobile elevating work platforms are useful but complex pieces of equipment that are often used for access in hazardous areas. The aim of EWPA is to promote the best and safest practices for the use and maintenance …

Gather the facts when buying a second hand EWP

There is no doubt that buying second hand is a cost effective way to become an owner of a Mobile Elevating Work Platform. However people must ensure their EWP meets New Zealand and Australian Standards (AS/NZS1418.10, 2011), otherwise the cost may be high, whatever the purchase price. Phil Tindle, CEO of the Elevated Work Platform Association (EWPA) says buying second …

Training essential for safe operation

Since it was established 13 years ago the Elevated Working Platform Association of New Zealand has advocated for consistently high standards of training for operation, maintenance and certification of EWPs. “Quality assured, unit standard based NZQA operator training is now widely available from a number of independent trainers throughout New Zealand, something that has been encouraged and endorsed by the …

SARNZ helps members to scale new heights

There will be a subtle name change when Scaffolding, Access & Rigging NZ releases its new industry guidelines later this year, says chief executive Graham Burke. “We are calling the new document Good Practice Guidelines for Scaffolding rather than Best Practice Guidelines, as we believe the name Good Practice is a better reflection of minimum requirements. There can be a …

Skill shortage critical

It’s no surprise that a shortage of skilled people has been identified as the most critical challenge facing the scaffolding industry in a recent survey sent out to members of the Scaffolding, Access & Rigging NZ Inc (SARNZ). “Like most sectors involved in construction, we have a lack of skilled people available to meet the current demand,” says the association’s …

New chief executive, new direction for SARNZ

Scaffolding, Access & Rigging NZ (SARNZ) has come a long way since its inception in 1994, when it was formed by a group of scaffolders and riggers getting together to talk about industry issues. The organisation has recently appointed Graham Burke as its first ever chief executive, a newly created full time position. In his challenging new role, Graham will …