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  • Simon Mulholland

    Dave Collins, I was advised to contact you by Phil La Duke as I have an interesting Helath and Safety issue in the UK. I am in the Horse Industry, on the fringes, providing SAFE pony powered, all terrain wheelchair access. I told you I was fringe. The problem I face is that I have written a Risk Assessment and cannot find any evidence of “good practice” in the UK Horse Industry. Do you have any industries in Australia with a total deficiency of “good practice” who might be able to advise me on the next step.
    Details of my safety system are here Hope this helps.

    • Hi Simon – I love your approach to understanding and embracing risk. Those who fear “Safety” do not think about or understand the dangerous by-products of risk aversion in the “Nanny State”. What harm are we doing to people by not allowing these kinds or well controlled activities? I am not sure I can give you a precise answer to your question but I guess you could turn to any of the extreme or adventure sports/activities for examples? I terms of best practice, surely you are setting that standard in your niche? If you have properly thought through all of your risks and what could go wrong, have consulted with all the relevant people, constantly entertain doubt and learn from any mistakes then surely that is best practice? I am not sure if I would use the term “risk free” as that is never possible and may create some over confidence – instead perhaps say something like risks are well undershorts and appropriately managed??

      • Simon Mulholland

        Dave, there are two issues. One, that Pony Axe S is safe. Obviously there are location based risks. A helicopter may crash in the field you are in and kill you. I can’t stop that. Bt if it misses you, the fact that the pony will be scared and bolt isn’t an issue. It is for the rest of the horse based industries, just not for Pony Axe S. The second issue is “consulting with relevant people.” I have tried for 16 years to talk to the UK Horse industry but have never been allowed to show any organisation what I do. At least two people have died becuase organisations have refused to look at, and accept my safety systems. I had to get them checked out by Kingston University Engineering Dept because no UK Horse organisation has any system for checking vehicle safety.
        I can show you all the evidence, and the cases are shown in my Risk Assessment which is available here
        Seriously, I have not been able to discuss safety with anyone from the UK Horse organisations for 16 years. Is that a record. I can produce my Insurnace record, and extensive references and the Kingston University engineering report. I just can’t find any “relevant people” in the UK.
        I need help badly.

        • Hi Simon

          I have had a little involvement with horse racing industries in Australia and likewise here they are very traditional in their thinking and very reluctant to change. For example, the industry has been trying to introduce new racing vests and helmets here for many years and presented some very good evidence and science to support the change. However, the jockeys have resisted strongly on many grounds including comfort, lack of consultation and safety (they claim the vests mean they cant roll properly when they fall and the heavier helmets mean more neck injuries – of course these claims are rubbish but they are also hiding behind safety as they have no better arguments). The problems are the same in industries like mining and construction where there is considerable fear and sunk cost in systems that just don’t work. The key here has been to identify people who can think critically and support a better way of doing things and work closely with these people, others will see that success and follow. Do you even need to associate yourself with the horse industry? What about working more closely with disabled organisations where the focus is more on mobility using horses rather horses for mobility if you know what I mean. I hope you dont mind me being honest in saying that I found your risk assessment a little confusing. It may be easier to get thru to safety people if you stick with a standard matrix type format they are used to where you briefly list the risks, the possible outcomes, the rating of that risk and the effectiveness of the controls. I like your examples of helicopters crashing and taxis but unfortunately they may dilute the facts, send the wrong message and confuse some safety people who may only think in linear and binary ways

          • Simon Mulholland

            Dear Dave,
            the Risk Assessment is confusing. Absolutely. That is why I need help. I note the Australian horse racing people focus on PPE just like the UK. Surely that should be the last resort. They are also carrying whips as a safety gadget. Seriously, the Jockey Club in the UK insist that the whip is a safety device which is why jockeys have to carry one. I have read all the available literature, and nobody has produced an instruction manual for how to use a whip as a safety device. If you are carrying me on your back, and you get scared by something, will me hitting you with a whip reassure you. If the answer is yes, I am worried.
            The biggest single risk in the horse world, is doing things the way the horse people insist. Whips bits and spurs all make accidents more likely.
            My Risk Assessment is confusing because I have to discuss all the issues that the horse industry actively ignore, like bolting. Nobody else in the UK horse industry discuss bolting. Riding for the Disabled, ignore the issue completely despite bolting horses maiming two of their people in avoidable accidents that I know about.
            Suppressing the data on injuries is standard in the UK horse industry, but it is a closed shop. I have friends in Australia who use wheelchairs, and they want me to bring the system over to make Australian beaches accessible for people who use wheelchairs, but the first comment in the disability community is “I know somebody from Riding for the Disabled” So immediately, they want to consult the group who actively refuse to look at safety systems and boast that nobody in the horse world will accept my safe vehicle.
            Is there a safety group in Australia who would talk to my University Engineering contacts to do a long range assessment of what I do. I am being blocked from working in the UK by traditional horse types. I really need someone to actually look at the safety, who comes from a safety background and is clearly independent. Any Australian safety group would do the job.
            My Risk Assessment is simple. Don’t do what the traditional horse poeple tell you. Release the horse from the vehicle if it is scared, or you are scared. Follow those two rules. You are safe. Loose horses go and eat grass. They don’t mug old ladies or steal kids mobile phones. I have tried teaching Obama both those useful skills and he just won’t do it.

          • Hi Simon – I hear you – it comes down to poor leadership – when it all gets too hard to make a decision then invoke safety!! That is the reason I maintain this website 🙂 There have been quite a few disputes here over the use of whips in racing – i dont know horses very well but I dont get how that would calm one down????

            I suggest to make contact with Tom Gibson from Human Impact Engineering – I have worked with Tom and he is a good bloke who has worked closely with the thoroughbred and harness racing industries in Australia to improve safety of both PPE and sulkies and modification of standards and rules of racing – he may be able to steer you in the right direction. Contact details here:

          • Simon Mulholland

            Many thanks. Sent Tom an email. Hoping to get Pony Axe S working in Australia as I have friends in Gold Coast who use wheelchairs and who also want to get on the beach. Simon

  • Davyd

    I came to this site looking for information on safe balustrade heights. The BCA sets a minimum height: 1m. But this should not be confused with a reasonable or safe height. As an architect I set the safe height of balustrades, particularly those above 2m off the ground, at 1100mm. The reason for this is that it is above the centre of gravity of most people. The centre of gravity is a mechanical pivot and a person off balance will find it hard to recover from a pivot where their centre of gravity is above the pivot point. So a topple by a drunk over a 1m high balustrade will likely result in a fall and injury or death, the topple being very difficult to recover from. At heights above 5 metres, I set the balustrade at 1200mm high. If the railing is at the top of a high-rise tower, I set it at 1500mm to prevent people with a propensity for vertigo from feeling discomfort.

    • Dave collins

      I totally agree with you! Compliance is not the final answer and will create more risk at times. If we start to think critically, consider human traits & decision making and discern risk properly we’ll then we get better outcomes and compliance will just take care of itself

  • yipsta

    Hiya guys,
    can’t seem to find anywhere a ‘Australian (or NSW) standards of construction’ for perimeter timber fencing. – What gauge timbers for what height for what spans between posts for what depth to sink posts etc.-
    I have been told that it falls under the category 10B? Non Habitable Structure? and therefore no ‘code’ as such applies. Can you provide any comments on this (apart from the ‘dividing fences act’ which calls a fence something to stop cattle roaming from property to property)

    • Riskex

      I’m no expert of thsi stuff but I think that is correct – best bet is to check with local Council

  • GLEN

    Thank you for that will wait for your reply and will ask the question

  • GLEN

    I have installed a new Balustrade at my unit in Kirra Qlds with glass panels and a top rail which is 100mm wide with a 50mm lip at the back we have now been told that it is illegal as it is not to the Building Act, I have been through the Act but it does not mention anything about the top rail is there any where I can look to set my mind right

    • Riskex

      dont have a copy of the bca on me at moment but will get back to you later in week, I dont know of anything specific in that regard? – who told you? get them to put in writing which section you have breached for starters

  • Stephen Manning

    I am in the final throws of completing my studies in WHS and I am required to conduct an OHSNA {Needs Analysis}, I have done quite a bit of research into the matter but am unable to find a suitable tool that I can use.

    It woould be appreciated if someone could point me in the right direction as to where I could locate one. I have looked at SWOT templates and a few others, but being in the unemployment que I am finding assistance and guidance dificult to obtain.

    Thanking you in advance


  • David Cousins

    We manufacture the Pendulum skid tester, can we assist anyone?

  • owenhyde

    Here is owen hyde, I’m very interested in guest posting at your sites/ blogs.
    I discovered you by your site. I have gone through your site, I was really impressed and wanted to get involved. i am having a unique content for ” Fashion store” to share as a guest post.I am mailing you my few ideas which you might be enjoyed.
    My title is ” Maurices is latest fashion and saving money”. This is the destination where they are selling fashionable, traditional wear for everybody at lowest prices with high discounts. They provide various coupons like Discount Coupons , Promo/Promotional Coupons with their codes
    I kindly request you to mail me, I can send you my guest post . let me know what you think, I hope all is well.
    With thanks and the best regards,
    Owen Hyde.

    • Riskex


      Can you tell me how that article could be in any way relevant to this site??


  • Dave, thanks for linking to me. Here’s the link that I just put up to your site – .

    Also, I’m looking for someone from Australia to join our team – . I believe that you already know James. No real obligations, we’re just friends who hang out and help each other whenever we can. Might you know of anyone who might be interested.

    Dave Weber

  • Dave, thanks much for linking to my website. I have done likewise and linked to your site too – .

    On the personal side, I worked for a subsidiary of BHP Billiton for a few years. Never had the chance to go to Melborne, but certainly did meet with many of the home office types who came to the USA.

    One last thing, I’m looking to add a team member from Australia to our little Safety Awakenings group – . I believe that you already know James. Might you know of anyone from Australia who might be interested in joining us? Not a big committment, mostly just promoting each other’s site/business and helping each other out when we can.

    Dave Weber

    • Riskex

      Thanks heaps Dave – Yeah I know James and I would be honoured to join your little team!!

  • Hi Dave. I really like your website. I have one too called . In the next few weeks I will be adding a links page to my website. Would you like to exchange links?

    Thank you,
    Dave Weber

    • Riskex

      Thanks Dave – Likewise! I have already written a few posts about some of your resources – I’ll add you to our links list


  • georgina escuer

    Please advise if you have a distributor in the US for the protection nets for balconies
    Thank you

    • Riskex

      Please contact the distributers here via the link in their website

  • Todd Bently

    I’m wondering if you’re currently accepting guest posts. I
    have a few articles I’d like to contribute, but wanted to check with
    you first.

    • Riskex

      Yes but please read our rules – we are very selective – must be totally relevant and useful to our readers

  • toddbently

    Are you interested in taking new guest posts?

  • Jouko

    Well Done, Dave. A very useful site and thanks for all the ‘free’ advice. Regards, Jouko

    • Riskex

      thanks Jouko!

  • I am the Safety Officer for the Mens Shed at Labrador, on the Gold Coast. As we are all volunteer members of a non-profit association, we are not subject to the OH@S laws a such but still have to show Duty of Care and Due Diligence etc, for our members.
    To have access to this free resource is wonderful, and time saving.

    • Riskex

      Thanks Tony – that is a great organisation you are part of – glad we were able to help out


  • Hanumant Katkar

    Dear Sir
    Please tell from where i suppose to get Construction site ,open Plot site physical Security and safety Rules notes in Hindi and Marathi and also intimate me what is legal procdure require for Building construction as per indian Law Waiting for your reply
    Thanks and regards
    Hanumant katkar

  • Jamieson K

    I love this website. I have put it at the top of my favorites list. So helpful. Thanks, Jamie K Harrison

    • Riskex

      Thanks for your feedback – glad we could help

  • Alf Gullotta

    Could you please contact us in regards to the take 5 program? WE wish to undertake the risk management system in our work place.


    • Riskex

      Hi Alf

      Where are you located?


  • SIS


  • leigh emerson

    i have shared some information with international colleagues – specifically want to know whether the Riskex Risk Calculator is available in nonEnglsih e.g. Spanish / French?

    • Riskex

      Thanks for sharing 🙂 – sorry only English at this stage

  • My Rehab physiotherapy Brisbane team offers mobile rehabilitation nursing care Brisbane created for people with difficulties in co-ordination, balance and mobility, who struggle managing their daily activities and health care.

    • Riskex

      why dont you tell us a little bit more about what you do? Write me an original article and I’ll publish it

  • calgary

    I recieved this in a e-mail from a colleague just thought I would share with you.

    Definition of a Safety Professional

    Sandwiched tightly between Top Brass and the teaming masses sits a wild-eyed individual madly singing a safety tune. He’s the most misunderstood, maligned and unsung person in all the world of business. He’s the proverbial “SAFETY PROFESSIONAL”.

    This fellow’s a little bit of a strata’s… a member of none. To the employee or worker he’s a tool of management; to management, he’s just another employee.

    He finds his job interesting. He speaks for management from the “Ivory Tower” and then runs out to the Production Area, Warehouse or Work Site to hear how it sounds. He must keep his head in the “brass’ board room”, his feet in the muck… a difficult position to keep from falling off his butt.

    He has the curiosity of a cat… the tenacity of a mother in law… the determination of a taxi driver… the nervous system of a race car driver… the digestive capacity of a goat… the simplicity of a jackass… the diplomacy of a wayward husband… the hide of a rhinoceros… the speed of a rocket and the good humour of an idiot.

    He has the busiest, shrewdest, plots ingest, worry ingest, most thoroughly washed brain of any human. His mail basket is always full, his desk is a constant mess and his calendar looks like cave drawings. Nobody has been given the run-round as often, has been passed so many bucks, is left holding so many bags, and cut his way through so much red tape.
    The SAFETY PROFESSIONAL keeps the coffee plantations, aspirin plants, liquor distilleries and the midnight oil companies in business. He must tread lightly over mountains of eggs, knowing where to tread and, more importantly, when and where NOT to tread. You’ll find him everywhere… shouting loudly over the din of a bunch of roaring engines, whispering softly in the hallowed precincts of thick-carpeted offices.

    Whenever there is an accident, the SAFETY PROFESSIONAL is often called to explain why and how it happened. He’s expected to pull rabbits out of non-existent hats; when the job is thankless, he gets it. He must engineer interests in good housekeeping to people who live in garage sale clutter… promote wider responsibility to people who have a narrow focus… preach safety to people who think they don’t need it. He must listen to the phrase, ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’, until he vomits.

    Despite all the careful planning he is usually found dangling on a deadline… he’s the original cat on the hot tin roof… in the middle of a muddle and of course LATE. The master of understatement, he must make fire protection sound as essential as religion and an accident cost sound like the national debt.

    He’s supposed to be a “specialist” who can breath new life into committees and meetings… leadership into management… co-operation into supervisory personnel… responsibility into employees/workers. He must inspire without propaganda… propagandize without being obvious. He parks his 1980’s jalopy between the boss’s new Mercedes and the janitors SUV. When he’s clever, it goes unnoticed… when he stubs his toe, the world is there to see and mock it.

    To him a headache is normal; he’d have ulcers if he could afford them. He has more critics than Harry Truman. He meets more people who think they know more about safety than the company has conveyor hooks.

    He can never be right. When he simplifies, he’s pandering. When he gets a little technical, he’s over their head. Half the people wonder what he does… the other half know what he does but think he’s doing it wrong! When an idea turns out lousy and after the blame has been thoroughly kicked between the employee/worker, foreman and supervisor, it winds up in his lap.

    More people bend his ear than anybody else’s. Everybody thinks he always has time to stop and listen to a joke… hear a gripe… attend a meeting… serve on a committee. He does, and winds up taking most of his work home.

    He has no peer in the realm of praise, propaganda and procrastination. He knows he’s right; only the world think he’s wrong. If he has an idea, it was stolen. However, a stolen idea is research! Where else do you think the background material from this sad tale of woe about a SAFETY PROFESSIONAL originated?

  • Miguel Viamonte

    Hey guys, i think i can add some of my (un) safety pictures. how can i upload them?. Thanks.-

    • Riskex

      Thanks Miguel,

      Still working on a way to upload but in teh mean time you can email them to me



  • Matthew cheng

    I undertsand there are minimum legal hights for balcony balustrades. The building we work in has met the minimum hight requirements for this, but on one of the outside balconies there is a perminant
    garden bed pot plant which runs accross the whole balcony balustrade. so technically a child could possibly step onto this then get over the balustrade. Is this illegal or does the hight of the balustrade have to be increased due to this?

    • Riskex

      I cant comment properly without seeing it but if the fall from the balcony is more than 4m then it would not comply. The BCA doesnt make allowances for these situations. The planter could be considered a “floor” and so the balustrade should be 1m above. If all else fails then do a risk assessment. OHS and Common law should overide BCA requirements – like you said it is possible for a child to climb and therefore should be addressed