Providing free accommodation and support to families with children in hospital is a daunting job. When accounting for the health and safety of these families, staff and hundreds of volunteers, the job gets that much bigger.

Ronald McDonald House South Island (RHMSI) faced unique challenges after the 2015 legislative changes to health and safety. Most prominently was the ensuing change of being responsible for volunteers as if they were employees.

Now, all volunteers must receive training, be given set instructions or have appropriate supervision for tasks. Keeping documentation on this was going to prove challenging.

RMHSI had an onerous paper-based system, with Health and Safety Manager Zucchi Leonard calling it “quite a time-consuming process of manual data entry and printing off copious amounts of paper that would often end up not being actioned in the appropriate manner.”

Newly identified hazards were difficult to keep on top of already, and reporting incidents and near misses was time-consuming.

The challenge? Build a robust system removing paper-based processes and create organisational clarity around health and safety.


Working with Assura, RMHSI were able to gain a fully configurable system tailored to their unique needs. This also assisted in developing a positive workplace culture around health and safety.

Introducing automated health and safety processes meant that each volunteer was updated on current policies with training and instructions given where required quickly.

Zucchi Leonard says the new system “essentially removes the onerous aspects of health and safety and allows us to concentrate on daily operations and supporting our families.”

With the system in daily use, RMHSI is now able to track all incidents and concerns as they happen. Staff now work together on enhancements to current practices and on mitigating newly identified hazards.

Having a centralised overview of health and safety performance complete with reporting provides the RMHSI board insight not given by the former, onerous paper-based system.