Does your equipment meet current standards?

In Health and Safety, June 20213 MinutesBy Tracey MurphyJuly 6, 2021

We all love a bargain, a chance to get something cheaper than it would be if it were new – a favourite piece of equipment, clothing or vehicle we’ll appreciate forever. It’s not as flash as brand new, but it still works, and we don’t want to let it go.

Whether equipment is bought at a bargain or is a trusty old friend, we need to be sure that it is safe and meets current standards. Unfortunately, ‘but it’s always been like this; it was top of the range when I got it’ is no excuse if something goes wrong.

‘I’m the only person who uses it; I wouldn’t let anyone else near it’ is no better.

Regardless of how good a bargain it was – or how old a friend – we must ensure our business equipment meets current standards.

This may be guarding, emissions, fireproofing, reflection or any one of a dozen things.

How do we know when standards change? For starters, if it’s a bargain, ask why. If an organisation is selling it to upgrade, there is a high chance that standards have changed.

If you have had your old friend since Adam was a boy, there’s an equally high chance that standards have moved on.

One quick way to identify changes – or just the current standards – is to check out WorkSafe New Zealand’s website. It has a list of most of the current guidelines and Approved Codes of Practice. Some of these are on the industry association’s website. The WorkSafe website would normally tell you this.

An even quicker way is to ask your health and safety consultant. They may not know every guideline or code, but they should understand where to find it and interpret it.

You might not necessarily need to let go of the bargain or old friend, but you may need to give it a birthday and bring it into the modern-day.


About Tracey Murphy

Tracey Murphy is the owner and director of Safewise, a health and safety consultancy. She has more than 12 years experience working with organisations from many different industries. Tracey holds a diploma in health and safety management and a graduate diploma in occupational safety and health. She is a professional member of the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management and is on the HASANZ register.

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