2015 has been a big year for public attention on the exploitation of workers. In May, the Four Corners program revealed the exploitation of, largely, migrant or illegal workers in the food processing and vegetable growing sectors. In the last month, 7Eleven workers have featured, also after a Four Corners investigation in conjunction with Fairfax Media. In both cases, workplace safety has been mentioned but not featured.
In September 2015, the Victorian (Labor) Government released the terms of reference (ToR) for its inquiry into labour hire and insecure work and occupational health and safety (OHS) gains a mention. The final report is due by July 2016. It is now up to the OHS profession and its advocates to emphasis OHS’ important role in the industrial relations of vulnerable workers.