Eastland Port’s health and safety initiative replicated by others

A health and safety induction process for truck drivers using the trailer hoist at Eastland Port has received the ultimate compliment – after seeing the port’s online video, Wellington’s CentrePort plans to develop a similar video to add their safety system.

The chief executive of Eastland Group which owns the port, Matt Todd, says a company-wide focus on improving health and safety led to the innovative video.

“Our aim is to make sure that everyone on every Eastland Group site is safe. That means anyone using the port needs to be aware of the hazards and risks in the area, and how to operate equipment properly. We were looking for more effective ways to allow a number of people to understand the safety procedures, without having to take them wandering around the actual site.”

The trailer hoist video was shot using a drone, and features a driver demonstrating safe use of the hoist. Mr Todd said all truck drivers wanting to use the hoist at Eastland Port must watch the video online, then complete a multi-choice questionnaire. Drivers who receive a hundred percent pass rate are then issued a Dallas tag which electronically unlocks access to the trailer hoist.

“To date we’ve had a fantastic response from the drivers themselves, and from the companies which employ them,” said Mr Todd.

“It’s nice that CentrePort like this enough to do their own version and we’re happy to share the script and questionnaire we developed. It’s essential that industries work together to improve the safety of those that are at risk, but our primary focus is on reducing the potential for accidents for those that use our hoist.”

Mr Todd thanked Pacific Haulage for their help in making the video.

He added Eastland Group was close to implementing electronic health and safety inductions for Eastland Port’s entire site, and also for its geothermal plant near Kawerau. Video inductions for the company’s debarking operations in Gisborne and Northland were also under consideration.

As a further commitment to health and safety, Eastland Port is hosting a trailer hoist safety day on Friday 4 September. The company will give demonstrations of the equipment, answer questions and provide a barbecue for various companies involved in the forestry industry. Mr Todd said he hoped the event would become a regular one.