Professor Niki Ellis speaks about OHS, CSR and resilience 2

Next week the National Comcare Conference is held in Melbourne Australia.  One of the keynote speakers at the conference is Professor Niki Ellis, a prominent Australian OHS researchers and consultant  who is also heading up the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR). On a sunny September 5 2011 I was able to spend half and hour with Niki at a noisy cafe outside Victoria’s State Library talking about: The profile of OHS is Australia as a profession The importance of a practical application for OHS research (what Niki refers to as “interventionist research”) The need for innovation More…

France Telecome’s CSR report is telling but sets high expectations Reply

In 2009, France Telecom’s management practices came to global attention as a result of a spate of over 20 suicides that were identified as work-related.  On 6 June 2011, France Telecom released its Corporate Responsibility Report that covers the period of the management turmoil touched upon in earlier SafetyAtWorkBlog articles. The document is an impressive document that sets an enormously high benchmark on a range of corporate and personnel issues but one will find no mention of suicides.  The best indication that this was a company in crisis is the level of inquiries, reviews, audits More…

CSR and public health 4

The recent conference of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) gave considerable attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR).  It could be argued that this shows the ASSE is years behind many others but it could also be argued that CSR has a practical longevity in workplace safety that may have faded in other CSR areas. A recent article in Health Education, “Workplace health promotion within small and medium-sized enterprises” may provide some clues for forward planning on mental health, wellbeing and OHS.  The authors* write: “There needs to be a clear distinction between activities More…

CSR in firing line on asbestos compensation Reply

SafetyAtWorkBlog has not reported on the asbestos compensation problems faced by James Hardie Industries directly because in 2009, the issue is one of corporate responsibility more so than workplace safety.  The reality is that asbestos kills and victims deserve compensation.  The fact that asbestos companies are avoiding their responsibilities is of little surprise. In Australia, most of the focus has been on James Hardie due, principally, to its corporate conduct to the Australian stock exchange and its prosecution by the financial regulators.  But another asbestos miner and building product manufacturer is at the Australian Courts in December 2009. In some ways, More…

Do workers have a human right to workplace health and safety? 11

It is common for workers, particularly trade union members, to insist that workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace and work.  Often this is said to be a Human Right.  But does occupational health and safety (OHS) involve Human Rights or is the claim simply trade union hyperbole?