Recently I recorded my contribution to an online conference called the RTW Summit. This conference is first to Australia although other organisations have proposed such a format previously but never eventuated.
The conference has been devised and organised by Mark Stipic, a young Return To Work professional who started a podcast recently. He is intelligent and one of those people who is not afraid to take risks in the emerging world of social media.
Continue reading “Free online safety conference – RTW Summit”
The latest broadcast in Safe Work Australia’s Virtual Safety Seminar (VSS) series is aimed at the executive level of management and entitled “Why big business needs to lead work health and safety“. One of the attractions of the VSS is that Safe Work Australia is able to draw upon senior and prominent business leaders who do not often talk occupational health and safety.
This seminar included contributions from Diane Smith-Gander, Dean Pritchard, Marcus Hooke and was hosted by Jennifer Hewett.
Several important perspectives were discussed that would be helpful to the intended audience but there were also some comments that deserve contemplation.
It is common for people to play cliché bingo, where one notes down all of the cliché’s a person, usually a boss, is using and when all of the clichés have been used, BINGO! You’re job may end at that point so a silent BINGO may be best.
This exercise can be fun, particularly at conferences, but clichés can be hazardous as they can reinforce poor understandings and compound the simplification of complicated ideas or ideas that should be complex and addressed. Occupational health and safety (OHS) has some major clichés that need to be called out and examined.
Steve Bell is a partner with Hebert Smith Freehills (HSF) in Melbourne, Australia. As many law firms do, HSF conducts several events each year to inform clients and others of occupational health and safety (OHS) and labour relations issues. In March 2017 Bell, who is the regular host at these events, spoke at a breakfast seminar held jointly with the Safety Institute of Australia, and identified several safety issues as becoming prominent in 2017:
- Increased penalties
- The risk of complacency
- Increased interplay between OHS and industrial relations
- Focus on public safety elements of OHS
- the review of regulations.
Below are some thoughts on the issues raised by Steve Bell.
Part of good corporate governance is transparency. A core element of occupational health and safety (OHS) is effective consultation. These two business practices seem compatible in that they address what is good for business and what is good for the workers. But there is a snake in this garden of safety – Legal Professional Privilege (LPP).