Liability, COVID19, Manslaughter and Working from Home – Welcome to the new OHS

Last week WorkSafe Victoria followed some of the other Australian States by requiring employers to report positive COVID19 cases as “notifiable incidents”. (If they can do this fro COVID19, shouldn’t it be possible to do the same for mental health disorders?) Expanding the pool of notifiable incidents is of little practical consequence but it is …

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Is it OK to lie to your employer while working from home?

[Guest Post] By Simon Longstaff (reproduced with permission from Crikey) Each week, The Ethics Centre’s executive director Dr Simon Longstaff will be answering your ethics questions [in Crikey]. This week: “ My employer sent me a questionnaire designed to test if my home working environment meets basic standards. If I’d answered truthfully I would have …

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The health and safety of working from home

The second of a series of articles based on support from academics at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) focuses on the occupational health and safety (OHS) issues related to Working From Home (WFH), a situation that many Australians face at the moment. SafetyAtWorkBlog put some questions on WFH to ACU and Dr Trajce Cvetkovski, senior …

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Good COVID OHS book

Late last year, lawyer Michael Tooma and epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws published “Managing COVID-19 Risks in the Workplace – A Practical Guide”. Given how COVID-19 is developing variants, one would think that such a hard copy publication would date. However, the book is structured on the occupational health and safety (OHS) obligation of managing risks, and …

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Bad work “habits” are part of the problem

The headline immediately caught my attention: “Five bad habits to dump before resuming work” Australian Financial Review, January 4, 2022 Such is the power of the click-bait headline. This article is aimed at middle managers and those working from home. It is in the Australian financial/business newspaper so articles about individual empowerment and entrepreneurship rather …

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The OHS benefits of “work to rule”

In May 2020, “work to rule” was touched on in a long article about the future of work. “Work To Rule” is a phrase that is rarely heard now, as the industrial relations (IR) conversation has changed, but it is more relevant than ever. The industrial relations context for working to the rules is illustrated …

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Progressive report on construction industry culture

An analysis of the safety culture in Australia’s construction industry was launched in October 2021 by a coalition of construction companies under the Construction Industry Culture Taskforce rubric. The Report proposes some interesting and significant changes including capping the working hours to no more than 50 hours and no weekend work. This suggestion is of …

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