A shaky start leads to a terrific book on incident investigation by Michael Tooma Reply

There is one word that should not be used as an adjective in relation to workplace fatalities – impacted. Workers fall from roofs and the concrete floor has an impact on them. Workers hit by mobile plant or crushed in machines die from the impact. An impact results from the transfer of energy and this transfer of energy in workplaces can kill. “Impacted” is used by those who do not feel comfortable differentiating between “affect” and “effect” and it is surprising to find the term used in the opening chapter of Michael Tooma’s latest book, More…

New Tooma OHS book augurs well for the rest of the series on due diligence 6

Tooma is a leading figure in Australia’s analysis and application of occupational health and safety (OHS) laws.  He has also been a regular author for publisher CCH.  His latest book on workplace health and safety is entitled “Due Diligence: Duty of Officers”.  The process for harmonisation of OHS laws in Australia continues to be a rocky one but there are some elements emerging that, even if the laws are not applied in each State, will change the way that OHS is perceived in workplaces.  The increased involvement and accountability of senior managers has been a More…

Tooma takes aim at the Environment Minister over accountability 6

Participants at the 2010 Safety In Action conference and the 2010 ASSE Conference will be familiar with lawyer, Michael Tooma‘s faith in due diligence to improve safety management in Australia.  In the lead-up to his appearance at another Australian OHS conference in October 2010 he has again restated his faith but this largely ignores the changed political context of OHS harmonisation on which the new Work Health and Safety laws are based. I have mentioned Australia’s current peculiar political position elsewhere.  The uncertainty of Federal politics overlaps and could greatly affect the OHS harmonisation process, or rather, its application.  It seems even more likely that More…

SafetyAtWorkBlog’s top two articles for 2016 2

As 2016 comes to a close, I have dipped into the statistics and found the two SafetyAtWorkBlog articles that had the highest readership in 2016 were articles discussing the thoughts of Michael Tooma and Andrew Hopkins. Both of the articles were challenging – one of the existence or relevance of safety culture and the other about how occupational health and safety (OHS) is desperate for a change and struggling to start that change. The statistics should not be surprising as both Tooma and Hopkins have a high recognition rate in the Australian OHS field and More…

Selective duty of care being applied by the Australian Government 8

Australia’s work health and safety (WHS) laws confirmed the modern approach to workplace safety legislation and compliance where workers and businesses are responsible for their own safety and the safety of others who may be affected by the work.  The obligations to others existed before the latest WHS law reforms but it was not widely enforced.  The Grocon wall collapse in Victoria and the redefinition of workplace in many Australian jurisdictions through the OHS harmonisation program gave the obligation more prominence but has also caused very uncomfortable challenges for the Australian government – challenges that affect More…