- Finalist 2014 ACC Workplace SafetyLeigh Anne Buxton FB

It all started with a ute - a story about how small initiatives can lead to big results.

But first, GWRC - that's the Greater Wellington Regional Council to you and me - looks after the big picture; funding of transportation systems and water supply, flood protection, erosion management and much more... working with local councils to provide all the sorts of things we take for granted.

One thing GWRC doesn't take for granted is health and safety - the vision is “Being safe together - Mia tiakina tahi tatou”. 

Back to the ute - and the noxious plant control programme in GWRC's 13 regional parks and recreation areas. Traditionally rangers used a herbicide spray unit towed by a ute, with two rangers walking behind with spray guns. 

It wasn't ideal - the rangers on the ground were in hazard suits which made communication with the driver difficult, especially during tricky manoeuvres on tracks and so on.

Not that any injuries have been recorded but rangers and managers knew that things needed to change. 

So, reviews were done and a solution arrived at - a custom solution: a purpose built single unit, rather than a ute and trailer, with a platform for the sprayers and an SOP to keep everyone safe and secure. 

"That's exactly what health and safety is all about," GWRC Manager, People and Capability Leigh-Anne Buxton says. " It's a practical solution, worked through by a team, which is then shared across the organisation which will encourage others to seek similar improvements."

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