Responsibility and its denial

Occupational health and safety (OHS) laws are intended to clarify who is responsible for workplace health and safety and to assist those responsible to fulfil their OHS duties. But responsibility is hardly ever discussed in reality except after an incident. A core question at that time is “Who was responsible?”, with the social subtext being …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

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 …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Marnie Williams talks of farm safety, responsibility and a radical future

WorkSafe Victoria’s Executive Director, Health and Safety , Marnie Williams, has had a horrid week. Last Saturday, while being ill with a cold, she stood in for the Victorian Industrial Relations Minister at a Migrant Worker Forum, at which she was asked “what you gonna do about it?”. However she continues to make herself available, …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Ministerial responsibility in finance but not in workplace safety

Ministerial responsibility seems to be advantageous in financial policies but irrelevant to workplace safety going by actions by Australia’s political leaders.  This week former senior (Labor) parliamentarians, Mark Arbib, Peter Garrett, Greg Combet and Kevin Rudd, will be fronting the Royal Commission into Home Insulation to explain their lack of due diligence on workplace safety matters.  This …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Employees’ OHS responsibility and working beyond the maximum hours

One of the most powerful motivators for behavioural change in workplaces is the legislative obligation on employees to not put themselves at risk of injury nor to act in such a way as to place others at risk. Reported in the Australian media on 31 March 2010, Fair Work Australia has ruled that employees in … Continue reading “Employees’ OHS responsibility and working beyond the maximum hours”

60 Minutes, Dust and Responsibility for Workplace Safety

On 8 June 2008, a US 60 Minutes report on combustible dust joined the conga-line of critics of the Occupational Safety And Health Administration.  The tone of the report is set by the reporter, Scott Pelley’s introduction stating that it is OSHA’s responsibility to avoid the explosions.  For OHS practitioners and professionals this is a peculiar statement … Continue reading “60 Minutes, Dust and Responsibility for Workplace Safety”