Issue 46 – February 2013
Peter Fisher, a Nelson health and safety consultant, has been recognised for his work in writing international safety standards for earth moving equipment.
Peter started writing a code of practice for New Zealand machinery in 2000 as the government tried to cut down the average of 12 deaths per year on the equipment. Three years later, he finished the world-first code, which the Government pushed through despite some opposition from in Japan and the United States, which wanted New Zealand to 'slow down' on implementing the code.
By that time, Peter, who worked as a machinery inspector for the Department of Labour for 34 years, had been contacted by the International Organization for Standardization from Geneva, to see if he could come to their planning meeting and give a paper on the code he'd written.
He says the meeting was a surprise as his 20-minute paper turned into an hour and a half with questions coming from representatives the world over. He was then asked to lead a group to write an ISO Standard for the whole world.
The group finished the Standard – which required tip over and roll-over protection structures among others – which came into effect in 2006. Peter says it's very similar to what he wrote in his initial code of practice for New Zealand.
All of the experts who work on Standards are volunteers and Peter says he was almost speechless when told he would be recognised for his efforts with the Standards New Zealand Meritorious Service Award. 'The lady had to ask if I was still there. I was absolutely blown away, to be recognised by peers, I was absolutely astounded.'
Nelson MP Nick Smith congratulated Peter on his achievement when the pair met at Nick's Nelson office last month.
Summarised with permission from Nelson Weekly, 8 January 2012.
- ISO 12117-2:2008 Earth-moving machinery – Laboratory tests and performance requirements for protective structures of excavators – Part 2: Roll-over protective structures (ROPS) for excavators of over 6 t