Occupational health and safety (OHS) policy in Australia has been determined through a tripartite structure of representatives from Government, Industry and Trade unions for decades. It has not changed because the structure recommended in the early 1970s suited the political power structure. However, there are several indications that this tripartite consultative mechanism may be showing its age.
Recently, Safe Work Australia has been consulting OHS professionals, advocates, and commentators through Accenture to develop its next 10-year strategy document. (I have been one of those interviewed) That it is interviewing beyond its traditional pool of experts is heartening. However, it will still need to consult further and with those who have traditionally been critical of government intervention and over-regulation.