Brodie Panlock – the catalyst for new bullying/stalking laws

“Brodie’s Law” is gaining considerable attention in the Victorian newspapers in anticipation of the introduction of the Crimes Amendment (Bullying) Bill 2011 in Parliament but it may be unreasonable to label these changes “Brodie’s Law” as, although Brodie Panlock’s suicide and the related court actions were the catalyst for the Bill, the proposed Bill is … Continue reading “Brodie Panlock – the catalyst for new bullying/stalking laws”

OHS and the death of Brodie Panlock from bullying

On 8 February 2010, four workers at Café Vamp, a small restaurant in Melbourne Victoria, were fined a total of $A335,000 for repeatedly bullying, or allowing bullying to occur to, 19-year-old Brodie Panlock.  Brodie jumped from a building in September 2006.  Her family watched Brodie die from head injuries three days later.  They were unaware …

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Tooma on Mental Health – Review

Michael Tooma is probably the most prominent occupational health and safety (OHS) lawyer in Australia. His latest book is, a little pretentiously, called “Michael Tooma on Mental Health“, but it fits with the series of OHS-related publications he has written for Wolters Kluwer. Unusually for a lawyer, there are only two chapters that specifically discuss …

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OHS, organisational culture, sex abuse and the Catholic Church

The discussion of “organisational culture” has tried to remain apolitical or amoral, but it always relies of case studies to illustrate the academic and ephemeral. Largely these studies involve major disasters, but few people work in heavy industry, chemical plants, or offshore oil rigs. Better examples could be sought by looking at other industries, such …

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COSBOA is outraged over mental health and jail

On September 24 2019, the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) called for the withdrawal of the Boland review into Australia’s work health and safety (WHS) laws. In a media release COSBOA’s CEO, Peter Strong, states: “The report solely focusses on workers, giving zero consideration to the mental health of employers and the self-employed….”

Accountability, responsibility and possible jail time

Lawyers speaking at occupational health and safety conferences can be a bit hit-and-miss. Some are interested in minute complexities of law. Others are not comfortable talking about legal technicalities with non-lawyers. The presentation also depends on what the conference delegates want, and this can differ from day to day. But sometimes, a conference hears from …

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Humour, bystanders and safety

Effective consultation is a core element of building a functional safety management system in any workplace.  This involves talking and listening.  Various occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators have pushed this point in the past usually with static images of mouths and ears but WorkSafe New Zealand has released a series of videos in support …

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