New mental health code and regulations

Last week Safe Work Australia released its “Managing psychosocial hazards at work – Code of Practice“. It offers solid guidance on psychosocial hazards reflective of the work already conducted by Victoria, New South Wales and other jurisdictions and in support of the new regulations in the Model Work Health and Safety laws. In connection with …

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A workplace injury could include adverse effects on physical, mental or cognitive conditions.

I recently refreshed my Lead Auditor in OHS training – the first time since Australia updated its Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Standard to ISO45001. It was challenging on some issues but generic on others. Due to the recent heightened awareness of psychosocial hazards in the workplace, I was watching for how this hazard …

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Psychological regulations and control

Recently International SOS conducted a webinar on workplace psychosocial hazards and controls. Parts of it were clearly marketing and promotional, but some of the speaker’s content was fascinating and useful. The seminar’s structure was good because it included a global perspective and a local Australian. The speaker from a worldwide standpoint, Dr Rachel Lewis, used …

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“There is too little time and the ask is too big to try to change the system”.

There are many similarities between the management of occupational health and safety (OHS) and environment protection. Both seek to prevent and/or mitigate harm, and both have similarly focussed legislation. However, this similarity extends to vulnerabilities in each approach. Neither discipline is solely responsible for the lack of progress in prevention and protection, but both have …

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‘Enough was Enough’ over a decade ago and the mining industry failed to act then

The recent report on sexual harassment at West Australian mine sites deserves national attention for several reasons.  The stories are horrific, partly because many of us thought such stories were in the distant past.  The fact that many are recent should shock everyone into action.  The report “Enough is Enough”is highly important, but its newsworthiness …

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Look beyond employee perception surveys for clues about toxic workplaces

CNBC recently published an article called “These are the 5 biggest signs of a toxic workplace“. This American article by Jennifer Liu reflects a common approach in these types of articles of focussing on office-based work and not going beyond the Human Resources (HR) perspective, even when alternative data sources are available. Those five signs …

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On psychosocial hazards, HR and OHS are getting closer……. slowly

In narrow terms, the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession has largely neglected the management of psychological harm in workplaces. Human Resources (HR) has been the “go-to” on this issue, but various government inquiries have identified major shortcomings in the HR approach. In a recent podcast, Tony Morris of law firm Ashurst interviewed an HR …

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