Firefighter Safety and Wellbeing - Our Commitment

Marlborough Kaikoura Fire & Emergency New Zealand Fire Fighter Safety and Wellbeing - Our Commitment

1. The Marlborough Kaikoura Fire & Emergency New Zealand Work-Safe Culture

Requires everyone to promote a work-safe environment through the use of High Reliability Organisation principles:

  1. On the fire ground, all personnel are aware of and use the “LACES” concept in fire hazard management;
  2. Requires everyone to be “Risk-Aware” in their duties;
  3. Requires everyone to be aware of their own safety and that of work colleagues;
  4. Requires everyone to “Walk the Talk” – To enact the safety messages that are preached;
  5. Requires everyone to be prepared to say “NO” if they are not trained in a work task that has an inherent risk or do not feel safe engaging in that work task;

High Reliability Organisations embed these principles in their work culture:

  1. Doubt What They Expect To Happen – If but for a moment to contemplate the unexpected;
  2. Are Reluctant To Simplify – Without analysing the consequences of those actions or inaction;
  3. They keep “The Big Picture” in focus – And are not distracted by inconsequential detail;
  4. Defer To In-Place Expertise – They drive the decision making down to the work area that needs to make them;
  5. Are Resilient In Their Work Culture – They are prepared to listen to all levels of the organisation and to modify approaches as needed;

 “We actively seek data that confirm our expectations and this can lead us to a conclusion that says: I never saw it coming”

Our Firefighting management and operations rely on leadership, teamwork, training, experience and currency at all levels; but as a HRO:

  • We purposefully doubt our own expectations on the fireline;
  • We know that both experts and novices alike are susceptible to overconfidence;
  • We understand the phrase: Optimism Bites….;
  • We do our best to “See It Coming”;


The LACES concept of managing risks whilst working on a rural fire encompasses:

L     Lookouts for crews working on the fire ground so changes in the fire environment that could threaten the crew are detected in time for actions to be taken.

A    Anchor points for any direct and/or indirect fire attack are establish to eliminate the possibility of a fire threatening crews and cutting off an escape route

C    Communication protocols and plans are pre-set prior to any initiation of fire attack so good Sitreps are delivered from the fire ground and any threat warning can be delivered quickly to the fire ground crews.

E    Escape route are identified and marked prior to any fire attack by crews.

S    Safe zones are identified and marked prior to any fire attack so that crews know how and where to retreat if the fire environment changes to an eminent threat.

The Marlborough Kaikoura Fire & Emergency New Zealand is committed to providing and maintaining an environment and system of work that is safe and without undue risk to employees and others.  We will strive to protect employees from accidental harm and our property from accidental damage through consultation and a focus on continuous improvement.

It is our intention that people at all levels in our business shall be committed to achieving the highest standards of Health and Safety management throughout the organisation.  To this end, all employees will be inducted to the Marlborough Kaikoura Fire & Emergency New Zealandstandard and it shall be reinforced to them that Health and Safety management is an integral part of our workplace and work practices.  Employees will share in the benefits of maintaining a healthy and safe place of work.  Maintaining safe working practices and reporting any unsafe acts or incidents shall demonstrate their commitment to safety.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility.  No one in this organisation should feel compelled to work unsafely.

We shall at all times ensure that:

  •  Hazard identification and control procedures are operating throughout the workplace to prevent personal injury.
  • Consultation with employees and volunteers regarding Health and Safety management is valued and occurs regularly.
  • All equipment is maintained in a serviceable state and any defect or fault reported immediately.
  • All employees will be provided with the necessary support for the safe and structured return to work after an injury.
  • All employees are provided with necessary instructions and adequate training.
  • Personal protective equipment is provided as required and its safe use understood and encouraged.
  • All practicable steps and precautions are taken to ensure the safety of our stakeholders and people threatened by fire.
  • All operations in the workplace will comply with the applicable, relevant health and safety statutory requirements.
  • A comprehensive and up-to-date plan for all emergencies is in place.

Individual employees will meet their obligations to take all practicable steps to ensure their own and others health and safety, and are encouraged to become actively involved in assisting management achieve a healthy and safe workplace.

2. Organisational Responsibilities to Health and Safety and Wellbeing

Executive Team will exercise due diligence to:

  •  Acquire (and keep up-to-date) knowledge of work health and safety matters;
  • Understand the nature of rural fire fighting operations and the general hazards and risks associated with them;
  • Provide appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise the health and safety risks associated with the company’s operations;
  • Make sure the authority has appropriate processes for receiving information on hazards, risks, and incidents, evaluate that information, and respond in a timely way;
  • Make sure there are processes in place so that the company complies with its legal obligations.
  • Verify that appropriate resources and processes have been provided and are being used;

It is the responsibility of Senior Management to ensure that safety and health related matters are promoted to all staff.

Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  •  Making sure all new staff, and visitors are inducted in the relevant Health & Safety procedures – Section 8.0 Marlborough Kaikoura Fire & Emergency New Zealand  Health Safety Induction Checklist;
  • Making sure all new staff, contractors and visitors are inducted in the relevant Health & Safety procedures – Section 8.0 Marlborough Kaikoura Fire & Emergency New Zealand Contractor Pre-Qualification Questionnaire;
  • Identify tasks or areas that fail to comply with Health & Safety standards and initiate the appropriate corrective actions;
  • Leading hazard management;
  • Ensuring all accidents/incidents are accurately reported, recorded and investigated;
  • Ensuring Worksafe New Zealand is notified of any incidents or accidents of a serious harm nature in a timely manner;
  • Ensuring staff training on Health & Safety matters are kept up-to-date and documented;
  • Supervise rehabilitation programmes or back to work activities for injured employees;

All Employees and Volunteers

The Health and Safety in Employment Act places the onus of responsibility for Health and Safety on employees as much as the employer.  It is imperative that all staff actively participate in identifying hazards, reporting accidents and near accidents and avoiding any action that may cause harm to themselves or others.  This includes:

  •  Working in a safe manner to protect themselves, their fellow workers and all plant, property and equipment;
  • Only operating equipment for which they have been trained and instructed in and hold appropriate certificates for or with Manager or Supervisor’s authorisation or specific supervision.
  • Abiding by all displayed rules, safety regulations, policies and procedures;
  • Keeping their work area or equipment clean and tidy and maintaining a high level of housekeeping;
  • Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment;
  • Ensuring no action or inaction while at work causes harm to any other person;
  • Being familiar with all emergency equipment in the work area and all emergency site procedures;
  • Not willingly interfering with or misusing items or facilities provided, in the interest of safety;
  • Reporting all accidents, injuries and near accidents as soon as possible using the accident reporting form and taking all reasonable action to eliminate their recurrence;
  • Reporting any hazardous condition, situation or event;