Introducing Keith Barnett, our new Health, Safety & Training Advisor

11 October 2018

Introducing Keith Barnett, our new Health, Safety & Training Advisor

Meet Keith Barnett, our Safety and Training Advisor for Vertical Horizonz. Keith joined our team at the beginning of October and it is his job to provide guidance on matters relating to our general health, our safety systems and our training processes and procedures here. 

Keith spent 24 years serving in the British Military, and as a result has a very good understanding of teams working under high pressure in high hazard and high stress environments. After retiring from military service, he spent 6 years working in the logistics industry with a focus on Military and civilian transport fleet operations, then 4 years managing a mobile elevating work platform training company.

In 2009 Keith immigrated to NZ, and during his time here has been heavily involved in the delivery of industrial health and safety training. He has a passion for managing risk to mitigate harm, so that people involved in high risk work activities can make good, informed decisions about how they choose to work.

With his extensive experience in high risk environments, Keith has a real passion for safety! So with that in mind we dug a little deeper.....

Keith, what is your first memory of the importance of safety?
When I was 15 and working on a milk delivery round, the driver failed to apply the handbrake correctly whilst parking on a steep hill. As I went to pick up milk from the load area the milk float rolled backwards crushing my foot. A simple case of operator error and an early ‘safety’ lesson for me!

What has surprised you most about working within Health and Safety, Industry training?
Despite improvements in recent years, I am still surprised by the casual attitude some people have to their own safety and that of others.

What do you wish other people knew about safety in New Zealand?
The importance of taking time to look around before starting their day to gain a better understanding of their work environment – do a 360 and identify the things that might cause you, or others, harm, and then do something about it.

Tell us about something you’ve learnt since starting at VHNZ?
Working at VHNZ has reinforced my belief that there are talented people no matter where you work. I left some great people behind when I finished at my last job, and I have already seen the depth of talent and ambition here at VH, which excites me no-end. The future is ours!

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
That I was, unintentionally, caught on camera during the Richie McCaw movie ‘Chasing Great’ whilst sat on the All Black’s bench as a safety steward at the Millennium Stadium.

If you were alone on a desert island and could only take three items what would you take?
I would take my fishing gear, a device to desalinate sea water, and a solar powered record player with my vinyl collection.


The Vertical Horizonz team is very excited to have Keith on board, especially with him boasting the below qualifications!

Keith’s Qualifications in Brief

  • IOSH Managing Safely (UK)
  • National Certificate in Adult Education and Training (Level 4) New Zealand Environment
  • National Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety (Workplace Safety)) (Level 3) (NZ)
  • National Vocational Qualification in Crowd Safety (UK)
  • National Diploma in Advanced Driving (UK)
  • Road Safety Engineering Accident Investigation and Prevention (UK)
  • Heavy Goods Vehicle Driving and Maintenance Instructor (UK)