Near Kill – Jim Ward speaks

Jim Ward is hardly known outside the Australian trade union movement but many people over the age of thirty, or in the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession, may remember the person Esso blamed for the Esso Longford explosion in 1998.  Just after the nineteenth anniversary of the incident that killed two workers and injured …

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US says “nothing to see here, move along”

The United States media continues to scrutinise the Department of Labor (DoL).  On March 13 2017, The New York Times (NYT) expressed concerns about the lack of official media releases from the department, comparing the actions under a Trump administration against the Obama occupational health and safety (OHS) strategy.  Some are claiming this to be a … Continue reading “US says “nothing to see here, move along””

“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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Queensland’s workers’ compensation performance is “double plus good”

The Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, called a “snap” election for the end of January 2015. On 11 January 2015, Newman tweeted: “Queenslanders injured at work are covered by Australia’s strongest workers’ compensation scheme.” This is a further example of political newspeak as what does a “strong” workers’ compensation scheme look like? Newman’s tweet included an … Continue reading “Queensland’s workers’ compensation performance is “double plus good””

A busy week in Victoria – politics, reviews and common law

Victorian Workcover Authority (VWA),was in the pages of the Australian Financial Review in July 2013 over several issues – CEO Denise Cosgrove told staff of her wonderful holiday in  Daylesford in the same email in which she advised of a review of operating budgets “including people costs” and of job losses, Former Minister for Workcover, … Continue reading “A busy week in Victoria – politics, reviews and common law”

Where to for the “the expensive and failed WorkHealth scheme”?

The Victorian Workcover Authority’s (VWA) WorkHealth program is coming to the end of its five-year life. But what is the way forward?  Has the $A600 million program achieved its aims? Aims and Results VWA’s annual report for 2008 (page 33) stated the following aims for WorkHealth, reiterated in the WorkHealth Strategic Framework 2010-12 (page 1): “Over the long … Continue reading “Where to for the “the expensive and failed WorkHealth scheme”?”

OHS statistics sound good but do not reflect reality

SafetyAtWorkBlog has questioned the veracity of occupational health and safety statements by Victoria’s Assistant Treasurer, Gordon Rich-Phillips, previously.  Early in January 2013, Minister Rich-Phillips stated that: “Victoria’s workplaces had the safest year on record in 2012…” Victorian businesses, workers and policy-makers would benefit enormously if the government were to focus on achieving independent accurate data of workplace injury, … Continue reading “OHS statistics sound good but do not reflect reality”