A Working Group of representatives from Fire and Emergency and the Unions and Associations has been formed to provide recommendations to the Board of Fire and Emergency NZ by 30 June 2018 on the development of health standards.

The potential presentation of workplace change raises questions for most people and some may be concerned about the personal impact of introducing health standard assessments. The Working Group wants to reassure people that this work needs careful consideration with the input and perspectives of Unions and Associations and will take some time to develop. While this work is being conducted, current recruitment health standards and physical competency testing will continue as they are.

“The development of health standards is a process that will take some time and at this stage we are working on phase one of what is likely to be five phases” says Safety Health and Wellbeing (SHW) Delivery Lead, Alison Barnes, who is leading the work on health standards.

“The first phase involves presenting agreed recommendations to the Board about what the health standards might cover. These will include principles and design of the processes to undertake health assessments and will consider who the standards will apply to, how health assessments might be done, how often they might be done and how we support people throughout the process.

“This work is being conducted in very close consultation with our five partner Unions and Associations.”

Our Safety, Health and Wellbeing Policy Commitment and Joint Endorsement Statement says that nothing is more important than our people. We need to do everything we can to ensure everyone goes home safe and well every time they undertake work on behalf of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Periodic health assessments can assist in keeping people well and enable us to detect any risk to their safety, health or wellbeing early and support them through treatment to help them remain in the workplace wherever possible. Although final decisions on recommendations have not been made yet, the Working Group processes focus on open discussion and working closely together. Further information will be provided as the health standards project progresses.

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