My placements at Northpower have been very meaningful in developing my knowledge and character. My most recent placement took place in the Auckland Health and Safety (H&S) department.
With the guidance of my mentors Carl, Dave, Kevin, Lynette and Paul, I have learnt the correct way of conducting audits and writing audit reports. My experience with the H&S team has opened my eyes to procedures, regulations, and Northpower’s current standings with regards to safety. I am so grateful with all the help and expert advice the team has given me about H&S.
One of my biggest learning experiences during this placement was to never compromise safety. As much as anyone in this industry can be working for many years and be very skilled, it is still possible to slip up, make mistakes and overlook small details. When I started my cadetship, I had the impression that only a small amount of incidents occurs in the field. However, my perception was proven wrong when I became more aware about H&S.
Recently, staff from Northpower attended the critical risk controls event. It was sad to hear about the incidents that have taken place and the near misses that could have potentially injured, or taken someone’s life. Just like what one of the victims said in the video, “It all happened in a flash.” Even when procedures are followed, anything can go wrong which is why we should never take safety for granted. We must wear personal protective equipment (PPE), and wear it properly. I am reminded of what Carl always told me that “PPE is the last line of defense when everything else goes wrong”. We must safely follow standards, procedures and processes, and never take any shortcut to complete a task. Something will always go wrong when we skip the necessary steps. Each individual not only needs to ensure their own safety, but also all the other people they work with. We need to ensure safety is paramount.
During my time in H&S, not only was I focused about H&S, but the team taught me something that is also important…growth. I had the time to reflect what I can change about myself and what I can do better. This attitude will benefit the way I work with H&S. Having the right attitude and a positive mindset can also be very useful throughout the way we handle situations and even throughout our career.
There are three things that I would like for each of us to reflect on: