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Independent review finds need for significant improvements to health and safety at Ports of Auckland

Published: 30 March 2021
The independent review of health and safety at Ports of Auckland has found systemic problems at the Ports in relation to critical health and safety risk management and organisational culture relating to health and safety, Mayor Phil Goff announced today.
Mayor Goff says the review conducted by Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ), found a need for significant improvement at Ports of Auckland to ensure that its approach to health and safety reflects the level of risk inherent in port operations.
“Health and safety rules that keep people safe are not ‘a nice to have’. They are a vital component of good management in any workplace,” he said.
“When someone goes to work, they should go back home to their families and loved ones. “I have made it very clear to the Chair of the Ports that changes need to be made to the way the Ports run and it is my expectation that he and the board will hold management accountable for these changes. Council in turn will hold the board accountable.
“The reviewers make a number of recommendations to improve health and safety at the Ports, including new requirements for the Ports chief executive to prioritise safety over productivity and profitability, improve trust and communication between management and staff, and for a new health and safety manager to report directly to the chief executive and the Board.
“Ports of Auckland Chair Bill Osborne has acknowledged that the culture of health and safety at the Ports has been poor and has fully committed the board to implement the recommendations of the review.
“I now expect Ports of Auckland to implement these recommendations without delay and more importantly to hold management to account on monitoring and compliance.
“Council will require from Ports a regular report on changes made and progress in implementing the recommendations in the review. These reports will be made public and will ensure the Ports are accountable for improving health and safety in their operations.”
Key recommendations of the CHASNZ report include:
  • requirements for the POAL chief executive to prioritise safety over productivity and profitability, improve communication and engagement with staff on health and safety, help change risk behaviours, and resource corrective actions
  • an increased focus on safety for Ports leaders and management
  • improving the relationship with the Maritime Union of NZ
  • improving trust and engagement between executive management and the frontline workforce about health and safety expectations
  • appointing a health and safety leader at POAL, reporting to the chief executive, to reset the Port’s approach to health and safety.

The full report is available here

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