“So far as is reasonably practicable” is often used by scoundrels

On May 4, 2006, John Della Bosca advised the New South Wales Parliament: “The Government will clarify that the general duties and obligations under the Act apply so far as is reasonably practicable. Ensuring the health and safety of employees will mean eliminating risks to health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable. Where …

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OHS needs to face some moral questions

Regular readers may have noticed that I want to push the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession to think deeper and more broadly about their usually chosen career’s political and socio-economic context. The reasons for OHS’ overall lack of success in making work and workplaces safer and healthier are not only within those locations and …

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Safety Systems of Work receives some clarity

Employers and their representatives have long claimed to not understand their occupational health and safety (OHS) obligations and include OHS in their spurious claims of government “red tape”. These claims have become a business mantra but it is BS. OHS is not separate from running a business, making business decisions, or even designing a business …

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Psychosocial laws may encourage political risks

In December, Australian law firm Maddocks launched its 2023 Year in Review. Two items were directly relevant to occupational health and safety (OHS) – Sexual Harassment and Psychosocial Safety – both addressed by Catherine Dunlop. The size of the challenge ahead on both these topics was shown by the Australian Financial Review on December 7, …

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Excessive heat is another reason to redesign work

There seems little doubt that global warming is now a reality. It has been forecast since the 1970s at least, but the fact of creeping change needs a turning point, and it seems that the current Northern Hemisphere Summer is that point. The Southern Hemisphere’s turn is only a few months away. Few are talking …

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Industrial Manslaughter laws for New South Wales? Join the queue

Speculation is occurring about the introduction of Industrial Manslaughter (IM) amendments by the incoming Labor Government in New South Wales. It is likely, as the Australian Labor Party, when in opposition last year, introduced an IM Bill into Parliament. But Industrial Manslaughter laws promise more than they deliver as the push for these laws is …

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“Some of you may die, but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make”

Recently at the Central Safety Group, I offered two business options to prevent and manage the risks of mental injury at work – Employ more people or Descope company expectations. This was glib, but I was trying to simplify the decisions that employers will face if they choose to meet their occupational health and safety …

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