EU and Australia improve academic links – again

RMIT University has been active in OHS education for some time and it is hoped that the OHS lecturers might wander down the corridors and knock on the door of Professor Bruce Wilson.

On 28 May 2010, RMIT university launches its European Union Centre (EUC).  According a media notice about the launch, the EUC intends to

“..promote a better understanding of the European Union and EU-Australia relations….”

and, according to Professor Wilson

“…offers a footstep into Asia for Europe, to help address deep-seated challenges.  The Centre will use RMIT’s strong linkages with Asia to enhance European understanding and engagement with the region, tackling vital issues such as the future of cities, people mobility, border security and climate change.”

The EUC has a fairly broad brief and will conduct a variety of events, seminars, etc on matters of mutual interest.

SafetyAtWorkBlog spoke briefly with Professor Wilson to see whether OHS would be a matter of interest.  He said it would and mentioned the issue of working hours in Europe was of particular OHS relevance.  Professor Wilson is no stranger to labour relations and OHS as he was  the Director of the Union Research Centre on Organisation and Technology Limited (URCOT).  Given that the UK is part of Europe, the EUC may be a local avenue for information about Commonwealth OHS laws, cases and precedents.

SafetyAtWorkBlog has written elsewhere about the similar challenges between Australia and the European Union on the harmonisation of OHS laws.

Further details of the EUC’s launch are available through the university.  The launch will centre around a keynote address  by his Excellence David Daly, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to Australia and New Zealand, entitled “The Lisbon Treaty: Making Europe a stronger partner in the World”.

EUC Part 2

Curiously, another university in Melbourne, Monash, has its own European Union Centre, the Monash European & EU Centre.  This MEEUC (?)  was relaunched on 22 April 2010 and also had David Daly attend.

The Monash University EU Centre has a four-year head start on RMIT’s EUC and it is certainly worth looking at due to the interesting research projects that Monash has undertaken since 2009.

The question needs to be asked whether Melbourne needs two European Union Centres?

Both centres were approached for comment. Professor Wilson advised that

“…Monash has a very strong academic reputation with an internationally renowned European Studies scholar as its Director, RMIT is positioning its Centre as an opportunity for bridging several sectors, building on its strong industry engagement profile.  Both Centres are at the heart of their university’s strategic direction, which tells you something about how they are differentiating themselves in the current climate of change.

At the same time, it is a clear expectation of the EU Centres program that the Centres do cooperate, and that will certainly characterise our relationship with the Monash Centre.  We have already had one meeting directed to exploring possibilities, and there will be more.  Already, both Centres have co-sponsored a seminar.”

The Director of the Monash European and EU Centre, Professor Pascaline Winand, has advised SafetyAtWorkBlog that EU Centres throughout Australia are “contemplating working together”.

Kevin Jones

Note: Kevin Jones studied at Monash University in English and Classical Civilisations but in the days before the internet and when the library was filled with drawers of index cards.

Categories consultation, education, OHS, research, safety, UncategorizedTags , ,

2 thoughts on “EU and Australia improve academic links – again”

  1. I would like to see the catalogue of ohs improvements at coal face level that either of these organisations can point to with pride at any time in the future. The thousands of gigabytes of reserach and essays written about OHS matters don\’t seem to have come to much in respect of injury reduction in the last decade, so I have to agree with Rosemary\’s sentiments, it gets a failing grade from me.

    Like Rosemary, I am mired in the daily reality of dealing with the aftermath of gross dereliction of safety standards by small employers in the main who have little grasp of their responsibilities and whats more blame the injured worker for any injury incident in the majority of cases. If we are not dealing with that mind set, all of the esoteric research, training programs, software programs and the like have zero value.

    The application of all of this research at the coal face would be a sight to behold so, I ask the questions, Who is responsible for making this happen and who is accountable if does not happen ????

    The reality of the failure of the \”OHSW PROFESSIONALS\” is in the medical clinics and doctors rooms for original injuries with a good smattering of system caused anxiety and depression illnesses just for the privilege of having your compensation case managed by a spiteful case-manager who in the main, does not give one damn about your circumstances and has the imperative of the bottom line before all else.

    How many of the OHSW Professionals have really ventured into the real world of hurt with injured workers? I can assure you, not many.

    When you work with injured workers on a daily basis you really do understand where the system is going wrong and the frustration is that no one appears to give a damn.

  2. interesting thing is no amount of university study for the OHS industry has reduced the number of injured workers.
    workers still go to work everyday in unsafe workplaces, OHS training is given but injuries still happen.
    am I missing something, or is it that regardless of the top-shelf education some people have within the OHS system it just does not translate into daily practice in the workplace.

    cynic or realist I am not sure which I am, all I know is that today I had as many phone calls from injured workers as I always have.
    a nurse of 20+ years has been so badly punched in her face that she may have to have her eye removed.
    there is a lot of OHS in the medical system, so how or why did this incident happen?
    how can any one claim that training in OHS is going to reduce or prevent injury/illness/death?

    maybe it has just been a very long day for me, or maybe it is time to accept that regardless of the university training OHS is failing and failing badly.

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