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.
Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, has been prominent in recent seminars about sexual harassment, particularly in the entertainment industry. In February 2018, Jenkins spoke at a seminar in Melbourne hosted by Screen Producers Australia and provided strong advice on how businesses can control sexual harassment.
Jenkins began her presentation with an uncomfortable reminder that business has been lax in addressing unlawful workplace behaviour.
Below is the first video of what we hope to produce weekly – a SafetyAtWorkBlog Update. This short weekly video is an informal wrap up of some of the SafetyAtWorkBlog articles and a quick mention of what is coming up soon. This episode also mentions a couple of interesting safety-related books.
Please let me know your thoughts on this initiative.
In previous writings about gender and occupational health and safety (OHS), the work of Jerald Greenberg was mentioned, particularly his book “Insidious Workplace Behaviour”. His perspective seems even more pertinent today as many of us are weaving our way cautiously through communications and interactions with our work colleagues as we clarify what is acceptable behaviour so as to avoid offence or accusations of bullying and sexual harassment.
SafetyAtWorkBlog’s position is that sexual harassment is part of OHS and safety management systems due to the potential physical and psychological harm, in a similar way that bullying became an OHS concern.
Greenberg researches organisational behaviour and has written about corporate misdeeds and misbehaviour but he identified many precursors to some of these incidents.
A recent SafetyAtWorkBlog article promoted in LinkedIn has generated many responses, mostly from people who have not read the whole original article, about whether sexual harassment is or is not an occupational health and safety (OHS) matter. Below is a summary of some of those comments. Continue reading “Commenters split on who manages sexual harassment”