Addendum: Chris Smith and the prevention of harm

The earlier Chris Smith article mentioned the earlier incidents that, given his recidivism, the control measures implemented failed or were inadequate. If these incidents had involved occupational health and safety (OHS) concepts and investigations, the latest incident may never have occurred. OHS is big on investigations and contributory factors but usually after an incident. OHS …

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How could OHS have helped manage Chris Smith?

SkyNews and radio host, Chris Smith, has been dismissed due to inappropriate behaviour at a company Christmas party. This type of behaviour has been on the occupational health and safety (OHS) and Industrial Relations radar for a long, long time. Recently the psychological impacts of this type of behaviour have come to the fore, placing …

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HR, welcome to the OHS world and start getting used to it

In an article on burnout in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on December 10 2022 (paywalled), there was a peculiar quote and some paraphrasing of Sarah McCann, chief executive of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), indicating the size of the challenges facing human resources professionals in preventing psychosocial harm in Australian workplaces. …

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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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HR inching its way to an OHS epiphany

A new Human Resources (HR) article shows some promise in addressing the institutional factors that lead to poor mental health in workers. The website for Human Resources Director asks, “Should HR be concerned about employee economic insecurity?” I would ask, “how can it not be?” given that Australian research over the last twenty years and …

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HR and OHS remain “nice-to-haves.”

The recent HR/OHS article was an article originally intended to link to International Women’s Day regarding “female” business roles and influence. Coincidentally my social media feeds popped up a 2015 article from the Harvard Business Review entitled “Why We Love to Hate HR…and What HR Can Do About It“. The author, Peter Capelli, reminds us …

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Venus and Mars = HR and OHS but doesn’t have to

Twenty years ago, John Gray published a bestseller that discussed the binary split between Men and Women, a division that was allowed to reflect humanity’s biology and social constructs until very recently.  Since the publication of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”, our understanding of gender has almost been revolutionised from the reality …

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