Safety is missing from productivity debates

A March 2012 report from Safe Work Australia reminds us that the issue of productivity and safety is not a new ideological battle. The report states that “In 1995, an Industry Commission study estimated that only 25 per cent of the total cost of work–related injury and disease was due to the direct costs of … Continue reading “Safety is missing from productivity debates”

OHS – the missing element in productivity debate

On 7 August 2012, the Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, verbally attacked the Federal Government over its COAG program and lack of support for  productivity initiatives.  The criticism of productivity sounded odd as the Victorian Government has dropped out of the reform program for occupational health and safety laws yet OHS is understood to have a positive effect on … Continue reading “OHS – the missing element in productivity debate”

The productivity debate in Australia misses the opportunities presented by wellbeing

At the moment Australian business is campaigning on the need to increase productivity rates in Australian workplaces.  It, with the recent support of some State governments and ideological colleagues, is seeking to achieve this by weakening the recent changes to the industrial relations structure encapsulated in the Fair Work Act.  Fair Work Australia, trade unions and industry associations are primarily focussed on the … Continue reading “The productivity debate in Australia misses the opportunities presented by wellbeing”

Where is the OHS debate on zero hours contracts?

Australia is experiencing a period of industrial reforms that is returning some power to workers and, according to some critics, the trade union movement – working hours, same pay for the same job, changing employment status, right to disconnect and more. A curious omission is a discussion of the concept of Zero Hours Contracts. This …

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Old working hours concepts persist as subtext in new debates

One of the most contentious occupational health and safety (OHS) elements of industrial relations negotiations is the issue of working hours. And one of the most effective ways to prevent physical and psychological harm is by talking about working hours. The evidence for harm from excessive and often unpaid hours is clear, but some assumptions …

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Industrial manslaughter debate reveals commitment and misunderstandings

Industrial manslaughter laws passed through the Queensland Parliament on October 12 2017.  The debate about the laws on that day is an interesting read as it illustrates some of the thoughts about workplace safety in the minds of policy decision makers, business owners, industry associations, trade unions and safety advocates. Lawyer for Herbert Smith Freehills, … Continue reading “Industrial manslaughter debate reveals commitment and misunderstandings”

Autonomy, safety, diversity, equality and productivity

Discussion about gender in the workplace peaks each year around International Women’s Day on March 8.  Occasionally there is renewed localised interest when an issue pops up but the issue of gender permeates our thoughts, our planning and our conduct all the time. Recently, SafetyAtWorkBlog had the chance to ask some questions about gender and …

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