The hill that OHS needs to climb for respectability remains a mountain

The current Australian debate about sexual harassment at work illustrates the forces ranged against occupational health and safety (OHS) being seen as a legitimate approach to preventing psychological harm. Entrenched Industrial Relations perspectives appear to be the biggest barrier. Such barriers are not always intentional and have evolved over years and decades as cultures and …

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A respect at work council is not enough

Australian discussions about workplace bullying and sexual harassment at the moment is in a mess indicating that insufficient work has been spent on clarifying what these terms mean, how the consequences are managed and whether the harm can be prevented. In Parliamentary debate on the 2020 Budget, the Liberal Party’s Sussan Ley, said: “The Morrison …

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The people deserve more respect from their politicians

According to Hansard, Western Australia’s Opposition Minister for Local Government, Tony Krsticevic put a Question on Notice to the Government about WorkSafe WA’s activities and meetings in relation to the City of Perth. The Council is currently undergoing an independent inquiry into its governance and workplace behaviours.  The investigation is scheduled to take 12 months. Krsticevic asked:...

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“The regulator should be respected, but not feared”

How different can occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators be? A review into WorkSafe Victoria was announced in February 2015 but the review into its equivalent in South Australia, SafeWorkSA, is more progressed and has released a public discussion paper entitled “Transforming Work Health and Safety Performance“. Its suggestions should be noted by James Mackenzie …

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Australian IR Minister calls for dignity, respect and trust in workplace safety

28 April is the annual day of remembrance for those people who have died at work.  It has various names depending on local politics but the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, established by the International Labour Organization.  This year ceremonies are being held on many days around April 28.  On Wednesday 24 April, Australia’s Workplace Relations Minister, … Continue reading “Australian IR Minister calls for dignity, respect and trust in workplace safety”

Where do workers and managers learn about respect?

The origins of workplace bullying behaviour seem many.  One of the issues to, hopefully, emerge from Australia’s inquiry into workplace bullying is how to prevent and minimise bullying, but to do so, one will need to identify the causes.  And these causes need to be more than an amorphous, unhelpful concept like “workplace culture”. David Yamadamake this … Continue reading “Where do workers and managers learn about respect?”

“Respect Agenda” – seriously?

Recently the Victorian Premier, John Brumby reshuffled his Cabinet and created a new portfolio the “Respect Agenda”.  The Minister with responsibility for the portfolio is ex-footballer Justin Madden.  Very little has been revealed about the agenda, which has been launched after a major international kerfuffle over serious racist attacks against Indian students.  It is likely … Continue reading ““Respect Agenda” – seriously?”