Rory O’Neill was a member of a panel at the 23rd World Congress for Safety and Health at Work, ostensibly, about Safety in Design in high-risk industries. It is fair to say he was expansive, engaging and provocative. It was a rare opportunity to hear him speak in person. Below are some examples of his challenging and, in some ways, traditional approach to occupational health and safety (OHS).
Practicing my own advice of talking with people you don’t know at conferences, last night at post-conference drinks, I was told about love and protection.
The 23rd World Congress for Safety and Health at Work was officially opened last evening after a day of occupational health and safety (OHS) workshops. The indigenous Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony were excellent, and from the number of delegates recording the dancing, entertaining and enlightening. The same cannot be said for the speeches.
This afternoon, the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work commences in Sydney. Already important information is being released, with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) being first out of the block, setting the broader occupational health and safety (OHS) context.
In a media release dated November 27 2023, the ILO says:
The working-from-home (WFH) debate continues in business newspapers with tension about what the employer and worker want. The Australian Financial Review (AFR) has its regular voices from business groups saying that it is damaging productivity for workers to be away from the offices as much as they are, but also reporting the lived experience of working from home with workers identifying positive social and familial benefits.
On November 25, 2023, the newspaper confirmed that Amazon Australia is using career progression as a nudge for workers to come to the offices more frequently.
Next week, the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work will occur in Sydney, Australia, with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of delegates from Australia and abroad. I will be reporting on the Congress from before it starts on Monday to its conclusion on Thursday with articles each day, at least a wrap-up of each day and exclusive interviews with global occupational health and safety (OHS) speakers and delegates.
Now is a great time to subscribe to the SafetyAtWorkBlog, starting at only A$24 for a monthly option. Links to all new articles will be emailed to you as they are posted, and you also have access to over 3,000 OHS-related articles, including exclusive content from the 21st World Congress in Singapore from 2017.
And if you are attending the Congress, stop me to say hi, take a selfie, or tell me about your lived experience with OHS.
The push for workers to return to offices for the majority of their working hours or full-time continues but is one step forward and two back, or vice versa. This is partly due to mixed mainstream and online media messages from conflicting and confusing sources. This is not helpful when one is trying to make a decision on the best available evidence.
A recent example was in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) on November 22, 2023 (paywalled). A commercial real estate services provider CBRE, has released quarterly figures that say workplaces in Melbourne are “only a little over half-occupied on average”. According to Tom Broderick of CBRE: