Pearls of wisdom for health and safety
21 June 2016
Pearls of wisdom for health and safety

Imagine you’re on an important job.

Time pressure is on and you can’t afford mistakes.

You have just one simple task. Loosen the nuts.

But for a minute, you stare blankly. Which way to loosen? Phew! It comes back to you. Lefty-loosey, Righty-tighty. That memory-jogger forever stored in your head.

As a business owner, do you struggle to remember everything on your plate? And with all the new health and safety legislation you need to stay on top of even more.

How are you coping?


Here’s a great memory-jogger to help you remember the important stuff when it comes to protecting your business reputation and staff safety.

PEARL’s of wisdom
Shall I explain?
PEARL stands for:
These are all important words or concepts when it comes to managing your business risks, reputation and success. Let me explain each concept in more detail.

P is for People

Have you checked the hazards to people?

In New Zealand 16 people a week die of occupational health and safety exposure. So putting people first is vital - both your own staff and others on site.

P is for people - keeping them safe. The latest legislation is focussed on encouraging every business and worker to make health and safety at work a priority. Everyone has a role to play.

Are you and your people focussed on keeping safe? Are staff armed with the procedures, skills, knowledge and equipment needed to stay safe at work?

E is for Environment

Are you considering the environment?

Making good environmental choices is important for your business’s reputation. Are your work practices and material choices minimising your environmental footprint?

A is for Assets

Are you protecting the property from damage?

Conversations with customers about damaged property can leave a sour taste after an otherwise successful project. When you’re working on site, are you taking enough care of your customers assets?

R is for reputation

Is your team clear about expected behaviours and quality of work?

Even if you’re doing a great job managing your risks to people, the environment and property, this could all be undermined. If just one person on your team leaves a bad impression because of poor workmanship or bad attitude your reputation can suffer. Are you and your team always leaving a good impression and growing your reputation?

L is for Liability

Have you eliminated or registered and managed all the risks.

Your focus should be on managing your business’s most significant risks before managing less serious risks. Ask yourself:
  • What's the worst thing that could go wrong?

  • What are the things that cause that to happen?

Once you've assessed your workplace risks then you can decide how to deal with them. Can they be eliminated? Or if not eliminated, how can they be minimised?


Remembering these 5 simple concepts you can help you avoid accidents,  comply with your H&S responsibilities, and grow the reputation of your business.  Afterall, good health and safety is good business - it's good for productivity, staff engagement, and relationships with customers and suppliers.

Encourage your staff to use PEARL to stop for a moment and check each job.
Take 5 Hazard Check:
  1.  Stop, step back, observe
  2.  Review the job in your mind
  3.  Identify the hazards and the risks to PEARL
  4.  Consider what else is happening in the area
  5.  Have you eliminated/minimised the risk?
And if in doubt. Stop.
PEARL - People, Environment, Assets, Reputation, Liability. Just like Righty-tighty this memory-jogger could save you some grief. So be proactive - remember PEARL, and more importantly, use it!
A small but wise word - a PEARL of wisdom…
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