Harvard Business Review (HBR) is a justifiably respected business publication but it often sells occupational health and safety (OHS) short. A new HBR article, “Stress Is Your Brain Trying to Avoid Something“, is a case in point.
Too much of the contemporary approaches to psychosocial hazards at work focus on the individual without addressing the organisational. This often compounds the struggles of individual workers and encourages managers to blame workers instead of analysing the organisational and cultural factors that lead to a hazard or incident. More…
Any blog about occupational health and safety (OHS) will write repeatedly about leadership. Safe Work Australia advocates leadership as beneficial to OHS:
“When leaders make sure all business risks, including work health and safety, are effectively managed, and continually monitor and review all areas of their business’ performance, they will be open to opportunities for innovation, and alert to emerging hazards.”
But leadership requires someone to apply it and often, in the OHS sphere, people wait for others to show leadership rather than seeing their own potential. More…
Since the release of the 2015 Citi report into the occupational health and safety (OHS) performance of the companies in the ASX200 stick exchange rankings, this blog has received many requests for a copy of the report to assist in the benchmarking of performance. Clearly performance indicators for OHS remain contentious and difficult but this does not need to be the case.
Citi’s recent report stated that key performance indicators (KPIs) should meet three needs:
- “internal monitoring for continuous improvement to reduce incidents;
- benchmarking and sharing lessons within the industry; and
- transparent disclosure to stakeholders.”
Recently SafetyAtWorkBlog was able to spend some time with Bette Phillips-Campbell, the Manager of GriefWork, a unit of the Creative Ministries Network in Melbourne. GriefWork provides a range of support services to families of those who have died at work or due to work factors.
The conversation touches on issues including
- how GriefWork operates and is funded,
- work-related suicide,
- worker memorials,
- the application of restorative justice in the workplace context,
- how a workplace death affects company executives,
The interview can be accessed at Bette Phillips Interview 2015
If you want more information about GriefWork or how you may be able to help this service, please contact Bette on (61) 03 9692 9427 or by email.
Earlier this year Victorian MP and Minister for Small Business, Adem Somyurek, was accused of bullying his Chief of Staff, Dimity Paul. This week, Somyurek resigned from his Cabinet position but not without a press conference in which he stated that the issue was political payback and that his resignation is no admission of guilt.
As you can see from this very brief summary, party politics has infested this instance of workplace bullying, and to such an extent that the important and solid investigation report into the incident is being missed. The reports are publicly available and deserve to be carefully considered rather than relying on some of the current media coverage. More…
Most professionals, including occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals, support the use of stories or narratives or case studies to explain complex scenarios and situations. Recently, at the ProSafe 2015 conference in Melbourne, acting and theatrical skills were used to illustrate the humanity behind the nuclear disaster of Fukushima.
To the uninitiated this may sound like quantitative risk assessment of underground mining being explained through interpretative dance by bandicoots, but the actors in the Fukushima disaster scenario were captivating and the power of theatre, even in this small-scale and on a conference podium, was powerful, stimulating and engaging. And with a Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle operating in South Australia, super-topical. 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.
Rosa Carrillo of Carrillo & Associates, describes herself as a “thought leader in transformational leadership for environment, safety and health” with a “unique understanding of safety culture and complex environments”. Prior to her attendance as a keynote speaker at the SIA National Convention in September SafetyAtWorkBlog was able to ask Rosa Carrillo about leadership, trust and communication.
Carrillo is aware of the risk of transferring concepts and practices rather than translating them and tailoring them to local needs. She told SafetyAtWorkBlog:
“I am afraid that one of my core principles is that you can’t just take what someone else did to address human behavior and implement it with “minimal translation” even if it was developed in your own country. You can certainly do that more readily with technology, but even then you must customize its introduction. Most leading edge thinkers in the safety field agree that benchmarking leads you down the rose garden path. You spend lots of money and feel you are doing the right thing until the next disaster emerges.”
In September 2015 Dr Matthew Hallowell will be speaking at the National Convention of the Safety Institute of Australia. Hallowell is a bit of an unknown to the Australian occupational health profession so SafetyAtWorkBlog posed a couple of questions to him as an introduction.
SAWB: Is it possible to establish trust and open communication in a company or industry sector, that has a fractious industrial relations relationship with trade unions?
MH: “This is a truly fundamental question to the industry that applies broadly to all project management functions, not just safety.
I think trust can be developed more easily in the context of safety (rather than productivity, for example) because safety involves altruism. I think trust is most dependent on the extent to which the various organizations on a project are willing, able, and encouraged to work together to solve a problem regardless of the contract structure.
In my opinion, integrated project delivery and design-build project delivery methods offer us a new opportunity to work together and build trust because there are more shared objectives and shared incentives.
The traditional lump-sum, design-bid-build contracting strategies with typical regulations around the world (e.g., OSHA that places safety responsibility solely on the contractors and subs), severely limits the opportunity to work together on any one goal.”