There are two distinct sides to the health & safety issue in a construction business: ticking the “We have a H&S system” box, and actually making it an active part of daily operations.

Paying for an off-the-shelf system and putting a sign up is a good start, but it will do little to prevent accidents unless the H&S message becomes part of your company culture and is worked on consistently. With the new regulations coming into force in NZ that dramatically increase the liability on company directors if things go wrong, there will be no place for old fashioned, she’ll be right attitudes on the building site regarding safety.

Getting workers on site to proactively think safety is not something that will happen overnight however, especially if it hasn’t been a regular part of their daily activities. What may help will be some simple tools and procedures that are easy to implement and can be transferred to people both in written and verbal form very quickly. One such tool was an acronym I saw that a US company uses to reinforce the safety message on a daily basis, called TRACK. I have changed one element to suit our situation better and I believe is something that could help field team to quickly assess situations and take the appropriate actions.

The acronym means the following:

  • T – Think through the task.
  • R – Recognize the hazards.
  • A – Assess the risks.
  • C – Control the hazards.
  • K – Keep a record of events.


Interested to hear from you if you also have some simple systems or tools that could help others in this space. Please post a comment or email me at

Andy Burrows

The Trades Coach