As readers would realise, the transcripts for the Australian Senate inquiry into industrial deaths are fascinating. It is worth looking at the other presentations and questions on the day when the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry received a grilling as this provides insight into how to present to a government inquiry addressing occupational health and safety.
The Senate Committee has probably heard more from relatives of deceased workers than has any other similar inquiry, perhaps even the Workplace Bullying inquiry in which this Committee’s member Deborah O’Neill participated. This is an indication of the shift in OHS over the last few years where the human impacts of workplace safety failures, what some describe as the “lived experience”, gain an influence that used to sit with professionals and acknowledged subject matter experts.
Mick Buchan of the West Australian branch of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union made an impassioned presentation to the Committee’s Public Hearing on 30 August 2018 based around a real incident and WorkSafe’s response but also, perhaps more importantly, a clear understanding of the aims of the Committee and familiarity with the Committee’s discussions, submissions and hearings.