In May 2015, SafetyAtWorkBlog wrote an article about a research report that questioned the Safety Institute of Australia’s (SIA) push for certification of occupational health and safety(OHS) professionals and the accreditation of tertiary OHS courses. The article caused quite a stir and a lively dialogue. Pam Pryor of the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board (AOHSEAB) provided a response to the research findings which did not seem to address, clearly, the points raised in the original article. In a recent edition of the Journal of Health Safety and Environment, AOHSEAB’s Chair Emeritus Professor Mike Capra wrote a letter to the editor (not available online) to clarify and rebut. The debate continues but does not necessarily progress. More…
Over two months ago, SafetyAtWorkBlog sought basic and innocuous information from the office of Victoria’s Industrial Relations Minister, Robin Scott (pictured right at the Workers Memorial in April), about the MacKenzie review in to WorkSafe Victoria that was announced in February 2015. No response was received until 28 July.
A spokesperson for the Minister advised SafetyAtWorkBlog that all details of the review are Cabinet-in-Confidence and therefore cannot be released until Cabinet has discussed the review. An update will be available when that occurs.
It seems odd that information, such as an inquiry’s terms of reference, should be so hush-hush. More…
Last week it was the Citi Safety Spotlight on ASX100, now it’s the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) with data on workplace safety and mental health of the S&P/ASX200. The good news is the ACSI report is publicly available for download. The bad news is that the report is very limited. More…
Recently a couple of media outlets referred to a report produced by Citi into workplace safety issues related to the top 100 companies on the Australian stock exchange. The report, seen by SafetyAtWorkBlog, “Safety Spotlight: ASX100 Companies & More” (not available online), provides a useful insight to the ASX100 companies’ safety performance but Citi also undertook several thematic analyses which are curious but not always as helpful as expected.
To read the full article, complete the contact form below stating “Please allow me access to the Citi blog article” and a password will be emailed to you, as soon as possible.
Recently a reader brought to our attention a research report from Edith Cowan University that used SafetyAtWorkBlog as an important source of occupational health and safety (OHS) dialogue. “A ‘Once in a Generation Opportunity’? Narratives about the Potential Impact of OHS Harmonisation on Smaller Firms in Australia” by Rowena Barrett, Susanne Bahn, and Susan Mayson, illustrates, amongst many things, that social media can be a useful source of information for OHS research.
The main article referred to in the paper is one concerning lawyer Andrew Douglas with most attention given to the comments.
Barrett, Bahn and Mason have continued to research how OHS is seen by the small business sector in Australia. A more recent (2013) paper, available online, is called “The unmet promise of occupational health and safety harmonisation: continued complexity for small, multi-jurisdictional firms“.
The Age newspaper’s front cover for 15 July 2015 was dominated by an article about happiness. The article is worth reading as it is built upon statistics from the long-term HILDA survey (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia) that is used by many Australian researchers but, significantly, HILDA makes no reference to happiness. Various elements in the article relate to the workplace and work activity generally but a couple are of direct relevance to occupational health and safety.
“4. Be a workaholic
Work-life balance is overrated, the survey suggests. In fact, the more people work the better their health is. Employees can work more than 51 hours in paid work and 81 hours of total work (that’s more than 11 hours a day) without any detrimental effect on their wellbeing, according to the report.”
Australian occupational health and safety (OHS) professional, Paul Breslin, is continuing his research into the use and application of the Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) in the construction industry. His latest paper, recently published in the Journal of Health, Safety and Environment (subscription only) asks an important question:
“If administrative controls are one of the lowest levels of control measures under the hierarchy of control, why has the Safe Work Method Statement become a central element in ensuring safety in the Australian construction industry?”
Breslin’s article title summarises the frustration of many OHS professionals where safety relies on lower order controls of the Hierarchy of Control, such as the administrative controls like SWMS. More…
After reading this morning’s article on mental health costings, a vigilant reader has suggested an alternative source for the $A11 billion cost figure. It is also a report about which this blog raised serious questions when the report was released in May 2014. The “new” report seems to confirm the concerns in this morning’s article over needing to dig to find the original data sources of workplace hazards. More…
Consulting firm Deloittes recently announced the merging of its occupational health and safety (OHS) and sustainability sectors in order to provide better customer services. In the article Deloittes says about the importance of workplace mental health:
“Given that one in six working age Australians live with mental illness including depression, that is costing Australian businesses at least $11 billion dollars each year, this is a growing area“.
But the source of this statement is unclear and this lack of clarity may be contributing to some of the inexactitudes in the mental health/wellbeing debate. More…
Part of the core duties of any occupational health and safety (OHS) regulator is the production of data. Recently Safe Work Australia (SWA) released its “Key Work Health and Safety Statistics” for 2015 and given the amount of media attention on workplace mental health, one would expect mental health to be one of the key statistics. It’s not.
In fact mental health is referenced only once in the document on page 28. The table states that for the decade of 2000-2001 to 2010-2011
“mental disorders…did not display a clear overall trend of increase or decrease”.
This is significant in the context of workplace mental health reporting. Is the reported increase in workplace mental health a myth? Safe Work Australia’s statistics seems to support this. More…