Friday, 6 November 2020

Keeping you safe while visiting our sites


Health, safety, and environmental management are often seen as areas where the fertiliser co-operatives can lead and promote safer workplaces for all within our industry. Over the course of the last 18 months, Ravensdown and Ballance have been reviewing site safety and environmental risks, specifically those related to people and vehicle movements on our sites, along with product handling.  

The review was prompted by serious harm injuries and significant near-miss incidents experienced by both co-operatives, involving contracted carriers, spreader operators and shareholders. Given the large crossover of commercial operators and customers calling on both co-operatives, it makes sense for us to collaborate on what has typically been a very difficult area to manage - vehicle standards. Collectively, our vision is for a workplace where both site visitors and employees are kept safe from harm. We are also committed to improving environmental outcomes, particularly around the management of spillage and run-off events.  

Vehicle safety 

There are a number of interpretations around what constitutes a suitable, safe-to-load vehicle; however, the following points provide a guideline: 

  • Any vehicle that allows a load to be safely carried to its intended destination without failing 
  • The vehicle must allow the product to be secured and covered safely  
  • The vehicle will not cause our products to impact the environment in any way. 

In our view, when you visit our sites and interact with our employees, you are part of our working family, and we need to keep you safe wherever you’re working, not just while you’re visiting our sites. So Ravensdown and Ballance will jointly launch this initiative as a standard for operators across all fertiliser works, stores and quarry sites. 

What will this mean on-site? 

To that end we will commence roll-out of common minimum vehicle standards. These will apply to all vehicles entering our sites for delivery and collection of products. The standards will apply to both commercial operators and shareholders. 

Over the coming months you will be provided with specific details of what the standards are. We will be looking at a soft rollout over a number of months, and we would appreciate your feedback and ideas during this time to assist in refining the standardsWe have already made some changes based on feedback received from commercial operators, the NZGFA and Road Transport Forum. 

Information will be available at all our despatch points and we will send out reminders in the lead up to implementation. We want to ensure everyone is aware of the expectations over this period, in advance of the standards coming into force.  

For most of you, it will mean little to no change on how you currently operate. For those where a change is expected, please have a chat to us about what this means for you, and we can jointly discuss potential alternatives.  

So, keep an eye out for further information coming your way soon. For now, all we ask is that you keep yourselves and those around you safe during this busy period.