The Safety Anarchist

Professor Sidney Dekker has a new book out called “The Safety Anarchist – 
Relying on human expertise and innovation, reducing bureaucracy and compliance“.  Last month Sidney spoke exclusively with SafetyAtWorkBlog about the issues of governance, risk assessment, the safety profession, bureaucracy, centralisation and the cost of compliance.  The full conversation is available at the Safety At Work Talks podcasts and below.

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Look to the source of workplace conflict, exploitation and injustice

Occupational health and safety advocates are pushing for safety management and strategies to refocus on people by talking about “people-centric” approaches and recalibrating legislation to re-emphasise prevention.  This push parallels society’s frustration with political strategies that favour big business, the under-investment in education and health care systems and companies that announce record profits at the same time as sacking staff.  That frustration is becoming accepted by political parties that are starting to apply more people-centric policies or by countries and States that are appointing representatives from outside the mainstream political organisations.

At a closing event for National Safe Work Month on 1 November 2017, WorkSafe Victoria’s CEO, 

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Can flexible work arrangements apply in the construction sector?

On 30 October 2017, the Safety Institute of Australia and RMIT University held their annual OHS Construction Forum.  This year’s theme was flexible working arrangements – a brave choice that did not really work but was indicative of safety in the construction industry generally.

Several speakers discussed well-being generally and how flexible working arrangements were critical to fostering an appropriate level of  wellness.  One, a labour lawyer, outlined the legislative obligations that companies have to those types of arrangements with reference to equal opportunity laws, industrial relations and anti-discrimination obligations – sadly the workplace safety laws and obligations were not mentioned.  In all of the wellbeing-themed discussions, the application to the on site construction workers was rarely, if ever, mentioned.

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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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