Updated: May 19
We interviewed Andrew to learn more about him, his specialization and his approach to workplace health and safety.
Why have you decided to work in this industry?
''I have always been passionate about safety. In New Zealand too many people don’t come home from work and that is unacceptable. In this role I can educate and ensure the workplaces I visit are safer and healthier places for all. Also I get to visit sites I would never have had the opportunity to do before. I really enjoy learning about client’s businesses which are at the heart of New Zealand’s great small and large business stories. No two days are the same and I love that.''
What is your expertise?
''I worked in the oil industry for over 18 years prior to inspecting hazardous substance locations in 2018. I have experience in working around hazardous substances from multi-million litre fuel terminals to trailer tanks and DG stores.''
What is essential in your job?
Knowledge, accuracy and an eye for detail. Also an inquisitive mind is helpful as every site is unique. Bringing an attitude of explaining things to clients is really important to helping them see the positive safety outcomes that come from complying with the regulations.
Do you have an example of preventing and avoiding incidents?
Be well rested and ready for work. Often we try to do too much in the day and that’s when things can go wrong. If you work in a role that’s repetitive make sure to take some time and look around you. Is your workplace clean and free from clutter? Are there any trip hazards or obstructions preventing you from doing your job safely? Workplace safety is a collective responsibility; we all have a part to play.
What are some things you have found in an unsafe site?
''Workplaces are dynamic, constantly changing spaces. Rubbish accumulates and can cause trip or fire hazards. Pallets propped up against LPG cylinders, or chairs and ashtrays nearby for the 10 o’clock smoko break. Rooms and outdoor areas storing incompatible substances next to each other create risks. We take a snapshot of the sites we visit. The other 364 days of the year is the responsibility of the PCBU to ensure they maintain the integrity of their hazardous substance locations. ''
What do you do in your spare time?
''I enjoy swimming to keep fit, playing the guitar and painting (pictures not houses!) to exercise the mind and motorcycling those glorious, scenic South Island roads to satisfy the soul. Come and see the mainland!''