Manawatū District Council used SafePlus to evaluate how well they were managing three key risks central to their organisation – mental health, contractor management, and working alone.
The assessment involved visits to multiple sites, including roads and parks managed by contractors. The assessors talked to people at all level of the council to understand how things are actually done.
This ‘deep dive’ into critical risks can reveal strengths and barriers to safe and healthy working not previously recognised by the organisation. Businesses receive a report with a rating of developing, performing or leading, and tailored advice and guidance on how to improve.
Frances Smorti, General Manager People and Culture says the SafePlus report has helped inform their health and safety strategy for the next three years. The report showed there was a gap in due diligence at the officer level (elected councillors and executive team), and they’re working to reduce that.
To prepare for the assessment, the Council also completed a self-assessment of their health and safety practices using the SafePlus criteria. This assessment involved the CE, executive leadership team, and all the HSR’s. This process was useful in getting everyone to agree on their strengths, and areas they needed to improve.
Although a pre-assessment isn’t a requirement for a SafePlus assessment, it’s important to prepare your workers for it.
To get the most out of SafePlus, staff need to understand why you’re doing it. They also need to be comfortable having open and honest conversations with the assessors, and not be afraid to suggest areas where the organisation can improve.
“The feedback we received from those involved in the process – health and safety reps, managers and team leaders, the executive team – was all very positive.”