Safety magazines in Australia

In Australia there are safety magazines and then there are safety magazines but which are the publications that are obligatory reading for safety professionals and practitioners?

National Safety magazine, published on behalf of the National Safety Council of Australia (NSCA), has been the safety magazine of choice in Australia for many years.  It has developed a degree of authority in the safety profession that is beyond the status of the NSCA.

The Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) has a publication principally distributed to its 3,000 members that, through several incarnations, has tried to establish some professional authority but is unlikely to match National Safety magazine.  The SIA until recently competed with itself through the production of the Australian Safety Matters magazine published by its West Australian Division.

The level of influence of these safety magazines is difficult to determine as National Safety does not list circulation figures on its website.  The NSCA’s advertising rate card does however say this about National Safety’s readership:

“National Safety is mailed to NSCA members and magazine subscribers 10 times per year. We also supply magazines each month to all BHP Billiton’s charter flights to and from Olympic dam.

National Safety is read by qualified safety industry professionals in a range of businesses across Australia. These professionals stem from a variety of industries with a strong representation from manufacturing, building, construction, mining and professional services.”

The advertising sales company working on behalf of the SIA’s publication, OHS Professional, MediaVisionAust published an analysis of the readership of the SIA’s publication, although circulation figures are not provided. The figures are below:

OHSE Management 65%

Includes: National, State, OHSE Manager, Advisor, safety co-ordinator

Director & Executive Management 16%

Includes Director, MD, Director OHS, CEO, principal, owner

OHSE Consultant 14%

Includes OHSE Risk Advisor, Consultant, Senior & principal Consultant

Training 4%

Includes training manager, training consultant, training officer, teacher, lecturer

Other 1%

These figures, based on unknown criteria, may indicate a profile of the SIA’s membership given that the magazines does not go far beyond that.

If these two National Safety has by far the most original content and the most interesting editorial positions.  It also adheres to its publication dates by providing 10 issues per year.  OHS Professional is meant to be quarterly but there is some unreliability in delivery.

SafetyAtWorkBlog will have a look at “trade” publications and regulatory magazines in another article.

Kevin Jones

Disclaimer: Kevin has written for National Safety magazine as a freelance writer and content written by him has been republished in the SIA’s OHS Professional publication.

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Categories communication, evidence, media, OHS, risk, safety, UncategorizedTags ,

4 thoughts on “Safety magazines in Australia”

  1. Different publications (blogs included) have different audiences and different messages in mind. National Safety and your own blog, Kevin, are great sources of OHS thinking and strategy.

    It would be a mistake, though, to forget the trade publications that are focused on products and services – after all, these point the reader to the tools often needed to make a practical difference to safety at work.

    1. Trade publications will be written about shortly. If you know of any that you are particularly fond of, please let me know as I may not be getting it.

    1. Tony, if you are pointing out the lack of a \”W\” in OHS, I would heartily agree that Welfare is rarely discussed in safety magazines and they are worse off as a result.

      There seems to exist a split between the OHS discipline and the Rehab or Return-To-Work sector. This is a false demarcation and, probably, originated and is being perpetuated because each discipline is governed by separate legislation. This will continue to be the case for the next few years as both legislations are harmonised separately. Good employers dismiss the split and manage the person rather than focus on compliance, or profit, first.

      National Safety magazine does cover rehab issues occasionally but no-one covers all the issues relevant to providing a safe and healthy work environment.


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