Several weeks ago I was asked by a trade unionist to make a submission to the Australian Government explaining how the impending Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be bad for worker safety. I acknowledged concerns over labour relations but pointed out that no matter who is working in an Australian workplace, their safety must be managed. Whether they are a migrant worker or full-time employee was not relevant to the management of their occupational health and safety (OHS). The trade unionist was disappointed.
There is no doubt that football fields are the workplaces of professional football players and their support staff. So they are covered by occupational health and safety (OHS) and/or work health and safety (WHS) laws but what does this mean in relation to OHS regulators, and the sportspeople’s employers? Recently Eric Windholz looked at this particular issue.
Windholz recently published “Professional Sport, Work Health and Safety Law and Reluctant Regulators” in which he states:
“The application of WHS law to professional sport is almost absent from practitioner and academic discourse. An examination of the websites of Australia’s WHS and sport regulators reveals none contains WHS guidance directed to professional sports.” (page 1, references are included in the paper)
The example he uses to show this apparent lack of interest, even by the Victorian OHS regulator, WorkSafe Victoria, is the Essendon Football Club supplements saga. Windholz writes
“Had these events occurred in the construction, manufacturing or transport industry, for example, it is difficult to imagine WHS regulators not intervening. Yet, WorkSafe Victoria initially was reluctant to investigate choosing to defer to ‘more appropriate bodies’. It only commenced an investigation when compelled by a request from a member of the public.” (page 2)
Since the release of the 2015 Citi report into the occupational health and safety (OHS) performance of the companies in the ASX200 stick exchange rankings, this blog has received many requests for a copy of the report to assist in the benchmarking of performance. Clearly performance indicators for OHS remain contentious and difficult but this does not need to be the case.
Citi’s recent report stated that key performance indicators (KPIs) should meet three needs:
- “internal monitoring for continuous improvement to reduce incidents;
- benchmarking and sharing lessons within the industry; and
- transparent disclosure to stakeholders.”
Continue reading “National OHS performance indicators needed”
Over two months ago, SafetyAtWorkBlog sought basic and innocuous information from the office of Victoria’s Industrial Relations Minister, Robin Scott (pictured right at the Workers Memorial in April), about the MacKenzie review in to WorkSafe Victoria that was announced in February 2015. No response was received until 28 July.
A spokesperson for the Minister advised SafetyAtWorkBlog that all details of the review are Cabinet-in-Confidence and therefore cannot be released until Cabinet has discussed the review. An update will be available when that occurs.
It seems odd that information, such as an inquiry’s terms of reference, should be so hush-hush.