Willox talks safety, fluidity, insurance and manslaughter

Innes Willox of the Australian Industry Group (pictured right) is a well-established figure in Australia’s political and industrial landscape.  As such he was a good choice to be the first speaker at a small safety conference in Melbourne Australia.

The best speakers about workplace safety are often those who do not speak about safety but those who speak about a world that includes occupational health and safety (OHS).  

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Broken Windows seems to work

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I have written before about the use of Broken Windows theory in an occupational health and safety context.  Earlier this year another OHS professional, Bryan McWhorter, wrote about his success in following this approach.

One advantage of talking about this theory is that it applies a concept from outside the OHS field to affect worker and manager behaviours.  A safety professional can use the theory’s origin story to show a different approach to safety management.  It allows a rationalisation for enforcing safety on those “long hanging” hazards. Continue reading “Broken Windows seems to work”

Tassie Coroner releases his safety findings on 7 quad bike deaths

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Coincidentally, as an article about quad bike safety was being uploaded to this blog, details of the release of Tasmanian coronial findings were received.  The findings were released by Coroner Simon Cooper on August 25 2017 and were not reported widely.

The Coroner investigated seven deaths related to quad bikes but only two occurred on workplaces or as part of performing work – Heather Richardson and Roger Larner. Curiously, WorkSafe Tasmania did not investigate these work-related deaths.   Continue reading “Tassie Coroner releases his safety findings on 7 quad bike deaths”

New OHS management elements in ISO45001

Following yesterday’s article on the impending international occupational health and safety (OHS) management Standard, ISO45001, some readers have asked for more details. David Solomon, the Head of the Australian International Delegation of ISO45001 provided a table that compares the elements of ISO45001 with AS4801 and OHSAS18001.

According to Solomon there are several elements that are new to ISO45001, ie. not included overtly in AS4801:

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Reviewing fundamentals is part of cultural change

The most recent stuff-up by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has strengthened calls for a Royal Commission into Australia’s finance and banking sector. This is of interest to workplace safety professionals because it contains the liveliest current discussion about corporate cultures – how flawed ones are supposedly behind the errors and how proactive ones are supposed to be the solution.

Occurring at the same time is a growing social movement that is recalibrating occupational health and safety (OHS) to see workers as humans of value rather than units of labour.

Paralleling all of this is increased attention on the sociology and psychology of work, perhaps linked to a decline in the neoliberalism of the past forty years.  As Australia enters the time of OHS conferences and Work Safe Month in October, it may be worth considering a couple of fundamental questions, such as absolute safety, AFAIRP, and invisible hazards.

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