Rail-related suicides are tragedies that ripple throughout society affecting families of the suicides as well as the train drivers, their families and their colleagues. Various strategies are being trialled but often the results of interventions are hard to quantify. At the annual conference of the
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.
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,
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.”
This week is Farm Safety Week in Australia. This means that a lot of organisations will be issuing media releases about how to either, improve safety performance (ie. reduce harm) or raise awareness of risks and safety. What is likely to be missing from the information is practical information. This is partly because of the unique nature of farmers – isolated, small businesses, politically conservative and working from home.
Safe Work Australia
On the first day of the week Safe Work Australia (SWA) released an