Engineered stone and deadly silica risks seem here to stay

So Australia did not ban the importation of engineered stone. The Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) have issued a Communique and a joint media release outlining their decision. It’s a political slap in the face to the trade unions who went hard on the ban. Many organisations supported the call to ban the importation …

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Other OHS politics you might have missed

November 2022 was a very busy month of politics (and a football World Cup) which distracted many of us from our usual monitoring of OHS announcements. Below is a summary of some of those from the last couple of weeks. The South Australian Parliament has sent its Work Health and Safety (Crystalline Silica Dust) Amendment …

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OHS legal changes you might have missed

If you needed confirmation that the mainstream media is disinterested in occupational health and safety (OHS) unless there is a disaster or the incident can be narrowly categorised as sexual harassment, bullying or suicide, last week, the Australian Parliament passed important amendments to the Model Work Health and Safety laws. It seems OHS cannot compete …

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You don’t have to talk about OHS to talk about OHS

On November 16 2022, Tony Burke, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, spoke at the National Press Club in Canberra. Although his portfolio has occupational health and safety (OHS), workplace health and safety was mentioned only once in passing. In this instance, that’s okay because he is trying to pass a major piece of industrial …

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The man on the stair who isn’t really there

On August 26 2022, Australia’s Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Tony Burke, spoke at a union conference.  This is not an unusual event for Ministers, but the timing of Burke’s address was less than a week before a major Jobs and Skills Summit – the hottest political event in town at the moment.  The …

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Hope clearly did not work. What’s next?

In the Weekend Australian newspaper, workplace relations journalist Ewin Hannan reported on a presentation (paywalled) made by the Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke to the Attorney-General’s Department staff. (Safe Work Australia, currently, exists in this department)  From Hannan’s report, the focus seems to have been on industrial relations but it’s useful to consider …

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Australia’s Wellbeing Budget and Living Standards Framework is on its way

Australia’s new Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, shows an awareness of the importance of good mental health in Australia’s citizens and workers but his strategy, which remains in its infancy, has some problems. In one of Chalmers’ first interviews after the Australian Labor Party won power last month, he was asked about the Budget he will be …

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