In a few weeks time SafetyAtWorkBlog will be reporting on the Safety in Design, Engineering and Construction conference to be held in Melbourne. The conference organisers interviewed me on my thoughts on workplace safety. The interview is available HERE but you may need to provide your contact details.
The odd thing about the interview is that a safety conference organiser chose me for the interview yet I am not a speaker at the conference they are organising. IQPC is the company and the August conference in Melbourne is Safety in Design, Engineering & Construction 2011.
“It’s very nice to have you here. Now, as a commentator on safety and OHS, you’d know that there’s a lot of talk surrounding the Harmonisation process. How do you think the legislation will change the OHS landscape, and do you think there are any particular areas that will translate into normal practices across all work sites?”
“No, I think it will have a particular impact on national companies, those that operate across jurisdictions, so it will be very important to them because that’s where the cost savings are meant to be coming from by reducing the administrative duplication, but that deals with only about 5% to 10% of companies in Australia. For those companies that operate within just a single state jurisdiction, Harmonisation isn’t going to impact them overly much. There are going to be some changes to the state legislation because the national model legislation has to be implemented at each State level, so individual States will see some changes. But those changes, by and large, are not radical in terms of how safety is managed. It’s certainly a considerable shock for some companies – particularly on issues of union right of entry and prosecutions and those sorts of things – but if you have a look at the management of safety in a work site, I don’t think the Harmonisation process is going to change the way it is controlled and managed.”
In my experience many conferences produce a “teaser”, in audio or video, of the keynote speakers, in particular. This is intended to generate some enthusiasm for the conference in order for people to register but it also introduces speakers with whom the audience may be unfamiliar. As with any advertising it is difficult to quantify the benefits of such strategies but with the phone interview mentioned above, there is little cost other than 10 minutes of time, once the recording process is established, and so perhaps the return on investment is not of great significance.