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SAWB Flash Sale - One week only - April 2020

At the moment it is hard to focus on anything other than COVID19 but workplace health and safety has always been more than just the coronavirus. The same hazards exist and the same risks need to be managed. So SafetyAtWorkBlog is providing access to its full library of several thousand articles, as well as new articles, for a discount of 50% for one week only.

From April 6 to 12, 2020, annual subscriptions are available to any individual subscriber for $125 (+GST) by clicking on this link and entering this Code – SAWBFSALE50-2020 – in the payment screen. (Credit Card payments only)

Kevin Jones

“So far as is reasonably practicable” is often used by scoundrels

On May 4, 2006, John Della Bosca advised the New South Wales Parliament

“The Government will clarify that the general duties and obligations under the Act apply so far as is reasonably practicable. Ensuring the health and safety of employees will mean eliminating risks to health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable. Where it is not reasonable to eliminate a risk, employers will be required to reduce the risks to the lowest level reasonably practicable. Practical risk management does not require employers to go to extraordinary, unrealistic lengths, and never has. Rather, it requires the management of risks that are likely to affect health and safety over which the duty holder has a level of control. This is what the Government has always said, and it has always been Government policy. This is what it intends to enshrine in legislation to give greater certainty to both employers and employees.”

Della Bosca paints “so far as is reasonably practicable” (ASFAIRP) as an integral part of eliminating risks to health and safety and it is an integral part of OHS laws, but it is also a limitation, a condition and a concession in achieving safe and healthy workplaces and one that is drastically in need of a thorough independent review.

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Barry Naismith

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Barry Naismith

Barry Naismith is the first to accept the humanisation challenge. Barry has a long commitment to occupational health and safety (OHS) and social justice. He has independently produced many analytical papers about Victorian occupational health and safety data and its broader social context. He is also behind the very active Facebook page for OHSIntros.

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Let’s humanise OHS

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Wade Needham and myself answered the questions below to provide a bit of personality to the OHS profession, which is often more serious than it needs to be. Your contribution is welcome too, just cut and paste the questions below into an email and send it to SafetyAtWorkBlog through this link. A suitable photograph would be a great addition and you don’t have to be a subscriber to participate.

  • How did you get into Health & Safety?
  • What drives you?
  • What helps you slow down?
  • OHS Regrets?
  • Favourite fiction writer?
  • What is one OHS trend you are watching keenly?
  • Person/s who you watch and take inspiration from in OHS that you think will have an increasing impact in the sector.
  • What are you most excited about in our sector?
  • What’s your favourite quote?
  • Biggest issue facing the OHS profession?
  • What do you wish you had understood about OHS sooner?
  • What would you like to see to improve collaboration in OHS?
  • What should you have been doing whilst you answered this?

Kevin Jones

Quirky safety cards

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Conferences usually provide delegates with goodie bags of promotional material from sponsors and speakers. Most of it is dross but the bags often include quirky items such as drink bottles, stress balls, baseball hats, sunscreen, which can also be silly, but occasionally there are some that are useful and notable.

SafeWorkNSW produced a deck of playing cards where safety statements or aphorisms replaced the pictures of two-headed royalty and card symbols. This is the type of item that may be left in a glovebox of a car for times of imposed idleness, but I have only seen playing cards used once on a worksite (exempting the playing of Uno by tax office employees in the early 1980s at the morning break after the tea ladies brought chocolate and cream buns). A construction site I was working at was “rained off” one day and the cards came out.

The use of such safety playing cards is intended to be a useful subliminal way of reminding workers of the importance of safety. Given that the longevity and success fo safety posters is very limited, the card strategy may be worth considering by other organisations.

If you have an example of a useful OHS promotional item, please send through an image and/or a description via this email link.

Kevin Jones