Fixing the future by planning for the future

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) often sets the occupational health and safety (OHS) agenda, as it did on workplace stress and bullying.  On 21 May 2018 the ACTU released a research report entitled “Australia’s insecure work crisis: Fixing it for the future“.  The opening paragraph provides a clear indication of the report’s tone:

“The incidence of non-standard work in Australia is alarming. The fact that our national government and some employer groups seek to deny this reality and refuse to support reforms to better protect workers in insecure non-standard employment is a disgrace.”

There is a lot of useful information in this report but there is also a lot missing, a lot that could affect workplace safety.

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An EU donation benefits the NZ OHS profession

Earlier this year the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) was the beneficiary of funds granted as part of an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) after a company breached occupational health and safety (OHS) laws.  This month it was the turn of the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management (NZISM).

As a result of an OHS prosecution of Fletcher Constructions by WorkSafe New Zealand, an Enforceable Undertaking was agreed to and one of the obligations was a $10,000 donation to NZISM.  The EU says the donation is intended

“… to assist its work in supporting and providing educational development opportunities for health and safety professionals in New Zealand.”

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Still treating the symptoms of mental health

Suicide prevention continues to be a growth area in rainsingfund-raising and awareness raising.  On 17 May 2018, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull released a video supporting a treadmill challenge in support of suicide prevention.  It seems an odd campaign when there have been various walks and other events in the past that have more of a public statement that being on a treadmill in a gym.  But this is not the only odd suicide awareness event.  Last week, Winslow Constructions had a program launch that was also a little odd and a campaign that is worthwhile, as far as it goes.

In May 2018, Winslow Constructions held a media event on one of its residential construction projects to the north of Melbourne. 

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Grenfell’s “race to the bottom” equally applicable to workplace health & safety

Occupational health and safety (OHS), building safety and public safety often overlap but never more so than in the instance of the Grenfell fire of June 2017.  The UK Government has just released the final report into the incident and there are many interesting lessons for workplace health and safety and its social role.

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OHS – The Hidden Profession

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Australian research usually makes use of the industrial and activity categories created by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).  This creates a problem for research into the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession because there is no specific category for the OHS professional.  Perhaps even more importantly, it creates problems for readers of these research reports because we risk imposing an interpretation on the data that is false.  SafetyAtWorkBlog sought clarification from the ABS.

The ABS has a category that seems Continue reading “OHS – The Hidden Profession”