An Independent health and safety review has found the need for significant improvements at Ports of Auckland.
The review found systemic problems relating to health and safety risk management and organisational culture relating to health and safety, Mayor Phil Goff has announced.
Goff said the review, conducted by Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ), found Ports of Auckland’s health and safety approach didn’t reflect the level of risk inherent in port operations and that it needed to be addressed.
Goff said Auckland Council would now hold the Ports’ board to account.
“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,” Goff 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.
He said the reviewers had made a number of recommendations, 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,” he said.
“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.”