“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… MASS HYSTERIA!”

Victorian businesses and occupational health and safety (OHS) people are hungry for advice about managing psychosocial hazards at work if the scenes at today’s Work Health and Safety show were any indication. The sad part of the popularity of the topic is that some of the advice being given is wrong or outdated.

Is safe work a basic, or fundamental, human right?

Early this century, according to a draft conference paper* in the SafetyAtWorkBlog archives, the late Eric Wigglesworth OAM posed the following question: “In addition to our basic human rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, should there also be freedom from injury as a basic human right?” The expectation of a safe and healthy work … Continue reading “Is safe work a basic, or fundamental, human right?”

Wrong safety messages from Australia’s resources minister

“IMPROVED SAFETY FOR URANIUM WORKERS” is the headline of a media release from Australia’s Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson.  The 9 June 2011 statement concerns the positive initiative of new health monitoring for those workers in the uranium mining and milling industries, but it also betrays a perspective that is dominant in the thinking … Continue reading “Wrong safety messages from Australia’s resources minister”

A mental health book for leaders and HR professionals

Australian lawyer Fay Calderone has published a book called “Broken to Safe – Tackling Toxic Workplace Cultures and Burnout”. The intended readership seems to be “leaders” and Human Resource (HR) professionals. Occupational health and safety (OHS) is mentioned occasionally, but OHS professionals will find much to frustrate them about this self-published book....

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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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The Spiritualism of HR

“Trust us” is one of the riskiest phrases anyone can use. It may be even riskier to accept it. In workplaces, it is often the start of a relationship, but it can also be the start of betrayal. Part of the risk in starting any new job is that new employees must accept their introductions …

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Is HR the problem or the solution?

Occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals often report to the Human Resources (HR) manager. This makes sense to those who create organisational and reporting structures, but it also implies that OHS is a subset of HR and that worker health and safety is a subsidiary of personnel management. OHS and HR have a tense relationship …

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