This week Australia has been experiencing a safety roadshow built around the Deepwater Horizon movie and two guest speakers. The afternoon sessions have been well attended and the discussion fruitful but does the film improve the viewers’ understanding of safety or misrepresent it?
Australia Post features regularly in the mainstream press. Recently, the media and Government discussed the pay packet of its Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Fahour, but a safety management issue has been bubbling along for some time and reappeared this morning in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) “Australia post investigated over alleged manipulation of injury rate for bonuses” ($paywall).
The AFR writes that
“Comcare is investigating Australia Post over allegations that some senior managers manipulated data on injured employees’ absences from work to meet key performance indicators and secure hefty bonuses.”
This is allegedly done by
- “delaying injury claims,
- recording workers on sick leave when they are really absent on injury, and
- paying for medical expenses in lieu of workers lodging compensation claims.”
Occupational health and safety (OHS) law in the United States has little impact on that of any countries outside of North America. But the response to those OHS laws by US and multinational companies indicates corporate approaches to workplace safety and this can spread round the world. The anticipated strategy to worker safety under the Presidency of Donald Trump is expected to be harsh, if he attends to it at all.
“There is a dominant view that there will be a weaker OSHA under the Trump presidency. This is driven largely by historical analyses of past Republican administrations and President Trump’s anti-regulatory rhetoric. I anticipate that OSHA will continue to be active, but will emphasis cooperative and voluntary programs over enforcement. In addition, I anticipate fewer large safety and health standards being issued under a Trump presidency. “
Jen Jackson is a communications adviser who has come to prominence in the occupational health and safety (OHS) sector in Australia over the last 12 months for lots of reasons. She is young, female and talks clearly and sensible – all elements that many do not associate with OHS. Jackson is always worth listening to…
SafetyAtWorkBlog has been critical of the use and sale of generic Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) for work tasks that can be managed through simpler and freely available job safety analyses (JSAs) and face-to-face communication. On 27 January 2017, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) launched generic inductions.
The CCI asks and answers, in its media release:
“So why is it that so many workplaces don’t provide an induction? Our Members are telling us that they don’t really know what information they should be giving to a new starter.”
An internet search of the WorkSafeWA website would have led one to its “
Over the last 9 years SafetyAtWorkBlog has established a solid presence in the OHS online world. It has gained international notice and awards and has a voice much larger than its pool of subscribers and followers. Occupational health and safety needed voices after years (decades?) of OHS professionals being overly cautious about expressing their well-informed opinions and creating debates and, sometimes, controversy.
Now it is time for the SafetyAtWorkBlog to take the next step in its sustainability.
For the SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue to grow, a subscription model will be introduced from February 4 2017. For an annual subscription, followers will be able to access exclusive safety articles and interviews. Occasionally articles will be published for free but over 90% of content will be available only to subscribers. Continue reading “Important changes to SafetyAtWorkBlog”
It took a long time but Wiley has published a Dummies guide on Health and Safety At Work. The lack of an occupational health and safety (OHS) book in this series has always been a mystery particularly when the Dummies” market seems to be, primarily, small- to medium-sized businesses. This edition is written for the UK market but the vast majority of the book is applicable to any jurisdiction that is based on the original UK OHS laws. But is it any good?
SafetyAtWorkBlog dipped into several chapters of the book to see if it was on the right path.
In 2016, Professor Andrew Hopkins urged occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals to abandon safety culture. In the December 2016 edition of OHS Professional magazine ($), he writes further about this position.
Several of Hopkins’ statements make the reader stop, sit up and reflect. He writes
“What people do is something company leadership can indeed control, while what people think is neither here nor there“(page 28 – emphasis added).
POW!, there goes a lot of the safety training that is provided.
Over the Christmas break I was cleaning out some files and found some old SafetyAtWork podcast files that used to be on iTunes around a decade ago. The information and perspectives remain important and to preserve the files I have uploaded them to SoundCloud.
One is an interview with Professor Michael Quinlan shortly after the Beaconsfield mine inquiry. The other is a presentation to the Central Safety Group by freelance journalist Gideon Haigh about the corporate approach to asbestos and compensation off the back of the publication of his Asbestos House book.
More will be posted over the next few weeks.
The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster has faded to become another safety leadership failure to be discussed in the OHS and risk management courses but some new research ($ paywall) in Critical Perspectives on Accounting provides a fresh perspective on BP’s safety culture and leadership prior to the major disaster by deconstructing the speeches of the the then-CEO, Tony Hayward.