Health and Safety Manuals, do we need them?

In the media's sub par coverage of the health and safety law reform being passed into law, most news agencies left out that it will come into effect on the 4th April 2016, that's only 7 months and 2 days away! And no matter what the media say, every business or organisation in New Zealand will have to do stuff around safety to make sure people are safe, no one is left out of that.

Now a lot of you might be thinking, "crud, what am I going to do? I will have to get a consultant in and create a big folder or manual with all this safety stuff in it."
Rubbish, that's what we think that folder is. In October last year we did a Workshop Wednesday on throwing your safety manuals in the bin, and we thought this is a good time to revisit it.

Check out the original article here: Throw Your Health and Safety Manual in the Bin

What are safety manuals?

The idea is that all your safety processes and paperwork templates and all that annoying safety stuff gets put into a folder so you know where it is. Not a bad idea, however the problem is, they are usually so big, written using words that no one normally uses and it's so hard to find things in them.
They end up as dusty folders taking up shelf space and that no one really knows what's in it. That's why we think you should pick it up and throw it in the bin. 
Watch the video and read below for more.

3 reasons to throw your safety manual in the bin

  1. If you need to vacuum the dust off before you use it, throw it out.
  2. You bought it off some company or consultant 10 years ago, throw it out.
  3. You never intended to use it except when a safety inspector come knocking, throw it out.

So throw that safety manual in the bin and do this instead:

What do I do now?

As we said at the start, the new law will be in place on 4th April, and a big part of it is proving that you are a safe business. So how do we do this without a safety manual? We think you should start by signing up to PeopleSafe and then do these really easy and practical things.

  • First make sure you have all your staffs details, easy.
  • Then look at the jobs they do, can you prove that they are trained to do that job, do they have the right licence? Have they been told how to use that gear properly? And are they going to use it the way it was made to be used? Really easy.
  • Then think about the risks in your workplace, you don't need someone to come in and tell you what they are, you and your staff know whats risky. We suggest you find your top 5 risks and then come up with a plan to stay safe around that risk. Again, really easy.

By recording these things into PeopleSafe you will start to have a better understanding of what's actually going on with safety in your business, and you will start to get some really practical things you can do to help improve safety so people don't get hurt.

Safety shouldn't be something that is all about paperwork and stupid rules. At PeopleSafe we think safety should be really practical, something that doesn't just get done once, it should be helpful for you and your team.

So throw out that manual and start using PeopleSafe today. That way when 4th April 2016 comes rolling around you will have a few months of records and proof that you are being a safe business

Let us know what you think below in the comments or send an email to