Detention Royal Commission touches on workplace safety

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In June 2016, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation showed an investigation report into the detention of children who had broken the law in the Northern Territory.  The revelations of maltreatment were so confronting that a Royal Commission was announced by the Australian Government very shortly after.  The Commission’s final report was tabled in Parliament on November 17 2017.

All Australian workplaces are subject to clear occupational health and safety duties and obligations that relate to workers and to those who may be affected by the workplace and activities.  (The SafetyAtWorkBlog article “Royal Commission into juvenile detention should include OHS” discusses this at length.)

A brief search of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory shows an acknowledgement of the OHS perspective but with little discussion of it. Continue reading “Detention Royal Commission touches on workplace safety”

Action on insurance for OHS penalties slows down

In all of the discussion about the new industrial manslaughter laws in Queensland, the topic of directors and officers liability insurance has been overlooked.  As mentioned in an earlier article

“….the Queensland Government has promised to ban insurance products that pay occupational health and safety (OHS) penalties imposed against employers.”

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Model for improving safety reporting

A lot of safety professionals “froth up” about aviation safety. Challenging occupational health and safety (OHS) concepts have originated in this sector so it is worth keeping an eye on aviation safety research.  A new article has been published called “A holistic approach to evaluating the effect of safety barriers on the performance of safety reporting systems in aviation organisations” (not Open Access, sorry) by Muhammad Jausan, Jose Silva, and Roberto Sabatini from RMIT University’s, School of Engineering – Aerospace and Aviation Discipline.

Jausan, Silva and Sabatini developed a new model that

“… can help to determine the cumulative effect of organisational, working environment and individual barriers on the performance of a safety reporting system in an aviation organisation.”

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Industry group expresses concerns about new safety Standard

An odd media statement was released by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on 23 October 2017 regarding the new international occupational health and safety (OHS) management system Standard ISO45001.  Several days later Standards Australia released a statement that supported and clarified ACCI’s position

ACCI states that

“….the draft standard is still several months away from being finalised”.

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The big accounting firms are due to shake up the OHS sector

On 15 August 2017, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) ran an article (paywalled) that should have sent shivers up the spines of occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals throughout Australia. The article titled “Audit chief sound warning on big four rush to consulting work” in the hard copy newspaper discussed the future consulting strategies of the “big four – Deloitte, Ernst Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC):

“The four firms are all aggressively chasing growth by moving into management and technology consulting work. They are also hedging their bets by branching out into other types of professional services ranging from law through to strategy work and even marketing advisory.”

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