Effective consultation is a core element of building a functional safety management system in any workplace. This involves talking and listening. Various occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators have pushed this point in the past usually with static images of mouths and ears but WorkSafe New Zealand has released a series of videos in support of its existing”How you can use your mouth” campaign. Thankfully WorkSafeNZ has taken a leaf from the Air New Zealand book and used humour.
Of particular interest is the brief but importance emphasis on the role of the ethical bystander.
Australia’s Fair Work Commission (FWC) has released the latest (March 2018) edition of its Anti-Bullying Benchbook. This is a regularly published document that offers background to its decisions and definitions used by the FWC through case studies and plain-English explanations. The Benchbook clearly states that any occupational health and safety (OHS) issues are to be directed to the relevant OHS regulator but the book provides useful insight to a more (and limited) industrial relations approach to workplace bullying.
A major attraction of the
Screen Australia has released its sexual harassment code of conduct. If any film project in Australia desires government funding it will need to comply with this Code. The Code is a good starting point and will need support from a broad range of elements of the entertainment industry but this Code is indicative of problems with many such codes that see the issue as a legal one rather than a safety and cultural one.
“…if we truly care about human beings and their lives, including how long people live…. we need to first understand and then alter those workplace conditions that sicken and kill people” (page 25 – “Dying For A Paycheck”)
Jeffrey Pfeffer has been doing the rounds of the Safety and Human Resources conferences for some time, talking about “dying for a paycheck”. This year he published a book of that title, a book that should be obligatory reading for occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals and, more importantly, company executives.
This book is one of the few that I have read from cover-to-cover and wanted to do so in as short a time as possible because I wanted to understand the big interconnected picture of business management and policy setting that Pfeffer discusses.
Pfeffer presents a lot of data packaged in a fresh and fascinating form but regularly complains about the lack of data. One of the joys in the book is being tantalised by what data he presents but then being frustrated when realising that that is the extent of the data available. Continue reading “Pfeffer cuts through on OHS”
Australia has received its own local focus for the #MeToo concerns about sexual harassment in the workplace. www.now.org.au is the result of a greatly increased concern in Australia, predominantly from the Weinstein issues and the Australian versions. There seems to be enough interest and expertise behind this organisation that it will move beyond awareness raising to participating in policy decision. However, there is a risk in responses to workplace sexual harassment and mental health that was summarised well by Martin McKenzie-Murray in The Saturday Paper (paywalled) on March 24 2018 and echoes WorkSafe Victoria’s workplace bullying concerns of seven years ago.