PCBUs, farms, quad bikes and safety – a speculation

Soon another Australian State, South Australia, will be using the concept of the PCBU – the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking in its occupational health and safety laws. This concept has the potential to expand OHS laws well beyond the traditional factory fence or office and the recent discussion on the safety of quad … Continue reading “PCBUs, farms, quad bikes and safety – a speculation”

PCBUs have begun appearing

A reader has drawn SafetyAtWorkBlog’s attention to one State regulator in Australia who has already begun to apply the broader definition for “employer” in their OHS guidance material. In September 2009, the ACT Safety Commissioner published a Guidance on “Safe Structures, Systems and Workplaces“.  In that guidance, the Commissioner refers to …”New general duties to … Continue reading “PCBUs have begun appearing”

Odd sexual harassment guidance

Safe Work Australia has released an important national occupational health and safety (OHS) guidance called “Preventing workplace sexual harassment.” The advice included is very good, but the presentation is so plain and vanilla as to be unattractive – unattractive in that there is little to encourage anyone from reading what is very important information. No …

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‘No Bystanders Rule’​ Bullshit

Guest Post by Dr Rebecca Michalak About couple of weeks ago, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) featured a piece on a law firm that had introduced a mandatory approach to reporting sexual harassment – referred to as a ‘no bystanders’ rule.  To be clear upfront, here is my disclaimer – I am not directly commenting … Continue reading “‘No Bystanders Rule’​ Bullshit”

Federal leadership misses State action

Australia’s Industrial Relations Minister and Attorney-General, Christian Porter, has popped up on occupational health and safety (OHS) issues several times in the last few weeks. It is fair to say that each time he has not really shone, partly due to political ideology and partly due to constitutional structures. Some of these barriers, the Minister …

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Gig work changes that could save lives

The New South Wales government is conducting an inquiry into the gig economy, modern versions of precarious work. There has been five deaths of food delivery workers over the last few months and this has increased media attention on the Inquiry and the issues raised. On November 28 2020, Joellen Riley Munton, Professor of Law …

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The certainty of diagnosis

Occupational health and safety (OHS) is not famous for its certainty. The days of prescriptive compliance to OHS laws are, probably, never to return. But the flexibility offered by modern OHS laws and the pervasiveness of “reasonably practicable” has complicated the management of workplace health safety by increasing that uncertainty. The attention being given to …

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