Australia the first stop on international roadshow over safety management Standard

The latest safety management standard ISO45001 will be active in a few months’ time.  It is the first international Standard in occupational health and safety (OHS), a fact supported by the length of time and horse-trading that has occurred in its development.  It will be an important OHS document for many countries as, for some, it is a first.  For Western countries, like Australia, New Zealand and Britain, ISO45001 is the latest in a long line of safety management standards, so the hype is more muted.

The new features of this Standard have been outlined in

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Safety Differently – The Movie reviewed

One of the best elements of Sidney Dekker’s new Safety Differently documentary is that he is only in it for a few of its thirty minutes.  It is not that he has nothing to say but the expected audience for this documentary would already be familiar with Dekker’s take on Safety Differently.

This documentary provides what has been needed for the Safety Differently movement for some time  – case studies, trials and experiments.  It was always possible to understand the theory but it was difficult to see how the theory would be implemented.  Partly this was because the implication was that Safety II concepts replaced Safety I.  Rather Safety Differently is a transition from I to II and over a considerable time.

This documentary, which is free to view and released on October 10, 2017. includes three stories – one each from oil & gas, health care and retail supermarkets.  

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Measure the old, plan for the new

“What gets measured, gets done” is a common phrase in corporate-speak but needs to be treated with caution in terms of occupational health and safety (OHS).

In The Australian newspaper of October 5 2017 (paywalled) an article about remuneration and innovation includes a brief but telling discussion of the perception of OHS.

Sylvia Falzon is a director of the companies Perpetual and Regis Healthcare.  The article states that Falzon is a

“great believer that ‘what gets measured gets done”.

However, this belief has important limitations. 

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Hollnagel, Safety II and Captain Hindsight

The ideal outcome of attending a safety conference or seminar is to hear something new, some innovation that inspires, or gain a hint for a potential opportunity.  In occupational health and safety (OHS) this rarely happens.  So the most common outcome is clarification or reinforcement.  This was my experience at a Professor Erik Hollnagel seminar in Melbourne on October 3, 2017.

Hollnagel’s Safety II concept has been round for several years now and has had considerable influence on the thinking of OHS professionals, if no one else.  Safety II has generated several commercial and academic offshoots that provide hope for a more realistic and practical application of safety principles.

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Passing the OHS baton

Leo Ruschena has been a fixture in the occupational health and safety (OHS) scene in Victoria Australia for many years.  In a short while he retires from his work as an OHS Lecturer with RMIT University.  Retirement often means that knowledge and wisdom becomes less accessible to the public so SafetyAtWorkBlog spent some time with him recently and asked him to reflect.

Ruschena began his career as a chemical engineer with an economics degree working for nine years at Mount Isa Mines. In the mid -1970s he received a scholarship to study occupational hygiene in London UK, achieving his Masters.  At that time OHS was an emerging area of study, legislation and political discourse.  As Ruschena sees it:

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