WA catches up on OHS penalties

The Western Australian Government is getting serious about making its occupational health and safety regime consistent with the strategies and operations of the other Australian States.  On 27 August 2017, Premier Mark McGowan stated, in a media release, that

“Penalties for workplace safety offences haven’t changed for 13 years. The substantial increases reflect the seriousness of ensuring the safety of Western Australian workers.”

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New OHS management elements in ISO45001

Following yesterday’s article on the impending international occupational health and safety (OHS) management Standard, ISO45001, some readers have asked for more details. David Solomon, the Head of the Australian International Delegation of ISO45001 provided a table that compares the elements of ISO45001 with AS4801 and OHSAS18001.

According to Solomon there are several elements that are new to ISO45001, ie. not included overtly in AS4801:

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OHS gets talked about in WA Parliament

On 17 August 2017, Matthew Swinbourn of the Australian Labor Party spoke, at length, in the Western Australian Parliament about workplace safety.  His address did not seem to be prompted by an industrial relations dispute or a recent fatality but is supportive of general occupational health and safety (OHS) principles and the changes in WA law to improve compatibility with the Work Health and Safety laws and obligations in other States.

The response from the former Minister for Commerce and Liberal Party member, Michael Mischin,  was a curious mix of rebuttals and was one of several Parliamentarians who chose to speak about workplace safety in that State’s Legislative Council.

According to Hansard for that day, Swinbourn mentioned the substantial cost burden on individual workers and their families of workplace injuries.

“Of these costs—this was a surprising figure to me—the overwhelming majority, 95 per cent, is borne by individuals and society. Workers bore 77 per cent of those costs, the community 18 per cent and employers five per cent.”

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Alt-Safety

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Last week I asked a question of a panel of occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators about ‘safety differently’.  It was something like

“Does OHS/WHS law need to change to accommodate ‘safety differently’ and are any of you applying these principles in your own organisation?”

Part two of the question was ignored and Part One needed clarification as the previous day’s conference discussion of ‘safety differently’ by QantasLink and others wasn’t obvious. The OHS profession and businesses need a new easily digestible term for “safety differently”.  Continue reading “Alt-Safety”

SafetyConnect conference connects

This week’s SAFETYconnect conference hosted by the NSCA Foundation in Sydney had a very good strike rate of interesting speakers on its first day.  Only one speaker missed the safety mark – it was as if they had been handed a marketing presentation instead of safety and, regardless of the safety audience, give it anyway.

This conference was notable for the way that the ‘safety differently’/Safety II movement has moved into mainstream safety management.  The most obvious example of this was a presentation by QantasLink.

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