HSRs are one option for Consultation, not the be-all and end-all

WorkSafe Victoria’s obsession with Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) was displayed at last week’s 2023 WorkSafe Awards night. The HSR of the Year nominations generated rowdiness in the audience, absent from the rest of the evening. The political context for emphasising HSRs in workplaces is understandable; there is always a close (and financial) relationship between …

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Can we move on from HSRs, please?

Occupational health and safety (OHS) needs new thinking. One of the most important elements of successful OHS comes from Consultation – a sensible process and one required by law. A major process for OHS consultation in those laws is through the Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs). This legislative (recommended) option was practical but is now …

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International Conventions are attractive but largely academic

Last week, Australia’s Parliament released an information paper on a “National Interest Analysis” of International Labour Organization Convention No. 187: Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention adopted in Geneva on 15 June 2006. Does this mean anything to the local occupational health and safety (OHS) profession? Yeah, Nah, Maybe....

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Is Safety Leadership for everyone or just the executives?

At last week’s Asia Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organisation conference, I bumped into Jen Jackson, a young creative thinker on occupational health and safety (OHS) and the author of “How to Speak Human”. We had a quick chat about OHS leadership and gender issues. Below is an edited transcript with a link to the …

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Past findings may offer strategies for the future

Further to the recent article about the 2004 Maxwell Report, it is useful to note the recommendations peppered throughout the report, as collated by K Lee Adams. Although aimed at the Victorian Workcover Authority and WorkSafe Victoria, these are interesting ideas that could be asked of any occupational health and safety (OHS) authority currently. Some …

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What does the IPCC report on climate change say about work?

Global warming will affect the way we work.  This was acknowledged in the most recent report from the International Panel on Climate Change.  The 3,676-page report cited several research papers related to these changes.  Below is a list of those papers and comments on the abstracts, where available. Vanos, J., D. J. Vecellio and T. …

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Is red tape justified?

One of the interesting features of the Psychological Health regulations proposed by the Victorian Government last month is the requirement for employers to provide regular six-monthly reports on psychological incidents. The Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) states that: “…the proposed regulatory amendments will require employers to keep written records of prevention plans for prescribed psychosocial hazards …

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