St Andrew's first dedicated Health and Safety Manager

30 November 2023

St Andrew's College new Health and Safety Manager, Art Preuss.


St Andrew’s College has appointed its first dedicated Health and Safety Manager, Art Preuss, who has an extensive background in health and safety management systems with a range of national and global organisations.

This is Art’s first foray into the education sector and he is enjoying the opportunity to provide support and guidance in a completely new environment. “I’m impressed with what St Andrew’s has been able to achieve without a dedicated health and safety resource to date, and am excited to bring my skills and craft to improve and refine the College’s safety management systems. Having a well-engineered and streamlined process leads to safer environments for all our people, especially our tamariki.”

Although working in education is different from Art’s previous roles with Enable Fibre Broadband, NZ Post, Health Alliance (Health New Zealand), Cushman and Wakefield, Countdown, and TNT Express, he says the safety risks are similar, including traffic and pedestrians, construction and worksites, hazardous substances, contractor management, events (both off and onsite), and the ‘people factor’, including well-being and mental health.

During his first few months in the role, Art has made significant strides, with his initial focus to connect with key internal and external stakeholders, review the College’s hazard and risk register, create a new hazardous substance (chemical) register, and develop a new risk assessment template. “Several risk assessments have already been completed for areas like the Drop-off Zone, Preparatory School driveway, Cleaning Department, and St Andrew’s vehicles.”

Art is enjoying the fast-paced environment at St Andrew’s, where he says no two days are the same. “One day I might spend time in the Science labs, then walk around with the cleaners to see how they keep themselves safe, and the next I might be off to Castle Hill. I love the fact I touch lots of different areas of our College.”

Keeping staff, students, contractors, and the worksite safe during the construction of the new Performing Arts Centre and other building developments at the College is another key part of Art’s role.

The various onsite and offsite events run by the College, the lease and hire of its equipment and facilities, and various student trips, including to overseas destinations, also keep Art busy. “After a year at St Andrew’s I’m sure I will have encountered as many events as I have in my entire working life to date.”

Art has also presented to a group of Year 10 students about the importance of assessing and managing risk in the school environment. “Having the ability to share real life experiences to support the learning and development of our students, is really important to me.”

Originally from Samoa, Art was raised and schooled in Auckland and spent most of his career there. He and his wife, Charlotte, and family moved to Christchurch in February 2020, pre-pandemic. At the time Art was the Safety and Well-being Manager for NZ Post. He was then Health Safety and Well-being Manager at Enable Fibre Broadband for two years before joining St Andrew’s.

Art enjoys being part of a ‘great team’ led by the People and Business Manager, Justine Scott, and getting to know new people in the St Andrew’s community. The ultimate aim of his role is not to ‘wrap students in bubble wrap,’ he says. “If health and safety is involved right from the start we can control risk and provide a safe setting where students can enjoy the experiences they need in order to learn and thrive.”

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