Published on : Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Mr. Faulkner, the co-founder of Auditz.io, an online safety management system wants to help reduce the number of tragedies in the adventure tourism industry by providing the tools to manage safety in the industry.
Auditz.io is an online safety management system which was launched just over a month ago, to help ensure businesses were compliant with health and safety rule and industry best practice.
Mr. Faulkner has direct experience in the industry, having been involved in adventure tourism for about 16 years.
That started as a kayaking instructor in the United Kingdom and France and continued with an involvement in extreme sports and high-risk environments.
He became aware of some of the challenges the adventure tourism industry faced, in terms of providing better safety management systems when he was a police officer in both the UK and Queenstown, Mr. Faulkner later became a helicopter pilot.
While working at Aurum Helicopters, he spent a winter developing and writing a helicopter safety management system.
Although they knew how to fly helicopters and operate safely, it felt like they were also being tested on their ability to create ”a beautiful looking document”, he said.
He believed adventure tourism operators genuinely wanted to comply with the rules but they lacked the tools.
Adventure activity operators have until November 1 this year to undergo and pass a safety audit to become a registered adventure activity operator under the Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2011.
They otherwise face action under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.
Mr. Faulkner said that New Zealand’s tourism industry was diverse, with ”hundreds” of operators ”in every little corner” of the country and that was what made the industry ”world class’.
While the regulations were put in place for the best reasons – to prevent lives
being lost – the tools were not there for people to build those systems, he said.
Mr. Faulkner and Brian Graham formed Peak Software about a year ago, modelling it on Xero and they wanted to replicate that for safety. It gave operators, regulators and industry associations the ability to put in information that was relevant, he said.
If people suddenly started to get audits done, there was potentially going to be a ”huge bottleneck”. But with the software, auditors could log in and instantly view a company’s safety management systems.
It reduced that bottleneck and it also meant safety consultants could give operators the knowledge they had to manage safety, while for the operators themselves, they had a simple platform to pro-actively manage safety.
It was ”as easy to use as Facebook” and it had already attracted interest from companies such as Southern Discoveries. Feedback had been ”phenomenal”.
There was the provision to customize the software to any industry in any country and the potential was ”unlimited”. Every industry had problems with health and safety, he said.
Jolanda Foale, from Heliview Cromwell, said Auditz.io took the pain away from building a safety management system for the company’s new heli biking operation.
Tags: adventure tourism