AI Group responds to media report on apprentice’s death

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The Australian Industry Group and its Chief Executive Innes Willox have been criticised on social media in Australia today as a result of an ABC report into a workplace fatality that occurred during the AI Group’s apprenticeship program.  The criticism has come as the AI Group is very active on matters of occupational health and safety policy to its members and government

The AI Group provided SafetyAtWorkBlog with this statement concerning the report: Continue reading “AI Group responds to media report on apprentice’s death”

Many safety lessons from one workplace death

The Coronial Finding in to the death of Jorge Castillo-Riffo is an important occupational health and safety (OHS) document. It discusses, amongst other matters,

  • A curious attitude from SafeWorkSA
  • The role of Safe Work Method Statements and risk assessments
  • Using the right plant for the right task
  • Contractual relationships
  • Construction methodology.

More issues than these are raised in the Finding and I urge all OHS people to read the document and reflect on the OHS management in their workplaces.

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Don’t be tough, be effective

Coal Mine Hydraulic Excavator and Dump Truck

On 31 October 2018, the Queensland Government got tough on safety in its mining and resources sector.  But how tough is tough? A press statement says that

“Parliament today backed maximum penalties close to $4 million for mining companies that fail to keep their workers safe. As well, mines inspectors will be able to hit mine operators with tough new fines of up to $130,550 without taking them to court.”

For those of us who do not have $4 million to cover prosecutions over occupational health and safety (OHS) breaches this may indeed sound “tough” but recent inquiries and reviews into OHS enforcement question whether financial penalties are the most effective way of improving workplace health and safety.

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Scissor Lift death findings clarify the context of OHS

If all you knew about occupational health and safety (OHS) was what you read in the physical or online newspapers , you would not know anything about safety management – or maybe anything positive.  It takes being involved with managing safety in the real world to understand how OHS operates in the real world.  But even then we only learn from our own experiences.

The 92-page coronial finding into the death of Jorge Castello-Riffo, released last week, is a tragic and detailed case study of OHS in the real world and should be obligatory reading for OHS professionals and those trying to understand the push for increased OHS, penalties and  corporate accountability.  Below I look at just one section of the Coronial Findings in this article – the Coroner’s responses to a set of proposed recommendations.

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Industrial Manslaughter is more than just a law, it is a cry for justice.

For those Australians who are watching the latest political push for Industrial Manslaughter laws, it is important to remember that the activity has a history that extends over a decade.  Many of the current arguments for and against have been addressed previously.  In August 2004, the earlier iteration of this blog, Safety At Work magazine, printed a special edition on “The Australian Industrial Manslaughter Debate”.  Below is an edited version of my Editorial in that magazine. A longer article on the issues raised in that edition is available elsewhere in the SafetyAtWorkBlog.

 

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