As I visit schools and commercial/ industrial sites I am finding myself increasingly in discussion with managers and supervisors as to their liability, once the new laws come into place. The answer is simple when something goes wrong Worksafe look to hold anyone and everyone possible accountable. I have outlined some basic steps that you, as a manager, can take to make sure you protect yourself and the company you work for.


Some tips to get you started;

Safety plans: This is the first basic thing you need from your contractor before you award them a contract. These have many names – job safety analysis sheets, site specific safety plans – but in short they outline how the jobs and tasks will be done, what measures will be taken whether to isolate or minimize etc. Go through them and make sure they cover methods you agree with. For example lets say they are going to use a ladder for access and your company has a policy of no ladders- get them to change it for a work platform.

Training of teams: Make sure your contractor provides you with a training plan showing his men and their qualifications. Basic qualifications include elevated work platform tickets, abseil unit standard 15757, harness restraint, site safe – these licenses are the key to your protection however they are often overlooked by managers.

Safety qualifications: Today there are a number of pre-qualification company’s that do safety checks on contractors. Sitesafe and Appcon run them and a really robust one we have found recently is which is used by many large companys like Meridian Energy, Fonterra etc.

Safety training: As a manager or supervisor you need to undertake training on the new laws and your responsibilities. Training is found at

In closing, safety is no longer a thing for large companys or particularly dangerous industry’s. MBIE are committed to making everyone aware and responsible for what happens on their sites and they are focusing on both the city’s and smaller regions. The simple catch cry of safety is,’Take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of yourself, staff or any other stakeholders’.


Ben Waite

Ben Waite

Ben has had vast experience in the painting and industrial coatings industry. Having left school to work in the family business has meant that his experience has been learnt from the ground up. Training of teams today is a large focus for Ben, and something he believes sets National Decorators team apart from the rest. Ben has worked in the waterproofing/ industrial flooring sector for many years which gave vast knowledge to the technical coatings industry.Having been head foreman on jobs of over 5000 man hours, he currently manages over 5000 man hours every month from an operations manager’s role.
Ben has managed the Health and Safety division of the company for 5 years now along with our consultants, and is delighted at our result of 96% on the AppCon contractor database. Along with this National Decorators also successfully passed ACC secondary assessment audit.
Ben enjoys working closely with clients to understand their needs and timeframes to deliver a great result on time and in a professional manner. He loves working with the National Decorators team to inspire the members to excel, live happy lives and in turn please the great clients we work with every day
Ben Waite

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