The roofing sector has made ‘massive strides’ in health and safety over the last couple of years, ahead of the new Health & Safety at Work Act which came into force in April this year, says Graham Moor, chief executive of RANZ.
“We were given a target to reduce falls by 25 percent by 2020. However falls have already reduced by more than a third over the last two years which is great progress.”
He says there is still a long way to go, with RANZ working closely with Master Builders, Certified Builders and the Scaffolding Association to continue to work smarter and make improvements in health and safety practices.
“Although we have been collaborating with other associations for years, this heightened effort is exciting. For too long, I believe the various associations and organisations in the construction sector have operated in silos. If more of us work smartly together and take a whole site view of health and safety, we get better results and productivity goes up too.”
He says one of the issues with so many different interest groups in the construction sector is that government is sometimes unsure which ones it should be communicating with on industry matters.
“I think consolidation is necessary, with some groups needing to join together for the good of the industry rather than being a little too protective of their history. That way we can get some economies of scale, better leverage with the regulatory bodies, and reach our goals faster.”
RANZ has also launched a new Canterbury Height Safety Accord for its members, created specifically for the construction sector in Christchurch.
“Firms in Canterbury tend to like things to be black and white. However there has been a lot more grey areas during the rebuild. The new Canterbury Height Safety Accord provides the assurance of a high level of accepted behaviour when a RANZ member is on site.”
Graham says RANZ members in Canterbury wanted the initiative established and helped to put the guide together, as it gives them a point of difference from their competition from a safety and reputational perspective.
“This is a great example of how RANZ members take control of their own destiny. They understand as a single business it can be difficult to achieve a lot but with a collective group of forward thinkers we can get things done. Many RANZ members give back to the industry that gives them a living rather than be passengers in it. The more assistance the RANZ executive has with these sorts of initiatives the more we can achieve for everybody.”
Over the past year RANZ has reviewed or been represented on number of other Standards and Guidelines committees, working with organisations such as MBIE, Scaffolding Association, BRANZ, and WorkSafe New Zealand.
RANZ has also published two ‘How To’ guides on flashings and penetrations in response to the growing tendency for architects to seek information from RANZ, particularly when it comes to flashing design detail.
“These guides have excellent graphics to assist with some of the least understood installation methods. They been welcomed and are also available outside of RANZ membership – such was the importance of getting these details out there,” says Graham.