Safety Systems of Work receives some clarity

Employers and their representatives have long claimed to not understand their occupational health and safety (OHS) obligations and include OHS in their spurious claims of government “red tape”. These claims have become a business mantra but it is BS. OHS is not separate from running a business, making business decisions, or even designing a business …

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Tough Treatment for Asbestos Contamination and Thyssen Krupp’s Exit Plan

It’s been years since I have seen anything in the Australian press about companies or individuals being penalised for asbestos contamination. That despite workers telling me since being back in Australia, they have suspected asbestos when demolishing older domestic, cultural and industrial structures or even while digging shallow excavations in preparation for construction or mining. …

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Hits and misses at Melbourne’s worker memorial

For the first time, the International Workers’ Memorial Day in Melbourne, Victoria, occurred in a park without a memorial stone with its anachronist crucifix motif. It was also thankfully sunny. The traditional location for the event in the shadow of Trades Hall was sometimes bitterly cold. The changed location was the most obvious difference to …

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Work mental health and construction industry negotiations

Australian trade unions are in a difficult position on the matter of workplace mental health. New regulations require employers and, to a lesser extent, workers to act on a positive duty to prevent psychosocial harm. However, how does one achieve the necessary changes without being financially penalised? Recently, the Victorian Secretary of the Construction, Forestry, …

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A Neverending Story – Supply chain safety dispute

Several weeks ago, Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics, a prominent Australia trucking company, entered receivership. It seems the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU), as part of a long campaign, chose to take another potshot at one of Australia’s few supermarkets, Aldi, accusing it of “pressuring supply chains” when the average profit margin in this sector has been described …

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Silicosis campaign is about safety but is also about politics

The calls for banning engineered stone‘s importation are curious and likely to be acted on later this week. Politicians, unions and some OHS associations have undertaken a risk assessment and determined that elimination is the most effective harm prevention strategy. Previous risk assessments of silicosis have been reported on in this blog for some time …

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HWSA on psychological health at work

The Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) is a strange concoction. It operates separately from Safe Work Australia but has some overlapping memberships. According to SWA, HWSA: “is made up of representatives from work health and safety regulators across Australia and New Zealand. They work together to promote and implement best practice in work health …

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