Dis-harmonisation over OHS laws

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Victoria’s largest OHS conference and trade show has ended.   The shadow of the impending harmonisation of OHS laws hung over both events.  The OHS message throughout the conference was one of nothing to worry about. WorkSafe’s Ian Forsythe felt that Victoria was well-placed for minimal disruption as the OHS laws in that State had been thoroughly reviewed by Chris Maxwell QC in 2003.  Forsythe described the current OHS review as “Maxwell on steroids”, a good line for the conference audience but one that reflects the, often, smug approach of many Victorians to the harmonisation process, an approach not shared elsewhere as shown by a front-page article in The Australian on 9 April 2011.

The Business Council of Australia is concerned about the different interpretations of the laws by each of the states.  This has been a possibility from the very start of the reform process because the focus was always harmonisation, not uniformity. Continue reading “Dis-harmonisation over OHS laws”

Beware OHS statistics quoted in media releases

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On 6 April 2011, at the Safety In Action conference in Melbourne, the Safety Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Management released the findings of their 2011 Business Survey.  The 2010 survey was discussed in an earlier blog article.

SafetyAtWorkBlog was allowed to see a version of the survey results prior to their public release next week but according to the media release of 6 April:

“More than 40 per cent (41%) of the occupational health and safety (OHS) personnel surveyed did not believe their organisation had a ‘well entrenched OHS culture.’ That view was shared by a quarter of human resources (HR) personnel and senior managers involved in the survey. In contrast, just 11 per cent of CEOs and Board members held that view.

Furthermore, almost half of OHS personnel (49%) who participated in the survey believed that efforts to minimise Continue reading “Beware OHS statistics quoted in media releases”

Australia’s Safety Week

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The last week of October each year is Safety Week in Australia.  It exists under different names in each State but everyone coordinates events for the same time each year.  Below are some  links for further information, some are more developed than others.

In 2009, I was a Safety Ambassador for Safe Work Australia and found that if one was prepared to give, the rewards were ten-fold.

If you are in Australia I strongly recommend attending one of the many free OHS information events.  If you are outside Australia, regularly check the Australia OHS regulator websites for some innovative approaches to safety and its promotion.





Australian Capital Territory (yes, the ACT has a month of activities)

Western Australia

South Australia

Kevin Jones

ICAP Congress of Applied Psychology is a neglected OHS resource

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In July 2010, Melbourne Australia is hosting the 2010 conference of the International Congress of Applied Psychology.  What was an OHS consultant at this conference?  The question should be why wasn’t OHS consultants at this conference?

This conference is not about workplace safety, per se.  It is about how people think and communicate.  It provides research (some would say evidence), often about how people relate to each other at work.  The exciting content of this ICAP Conference makes the Safety In Action Conference look like a history lesson.

The conference has made the full program and the speaker abstracts online, for free.  Both are big PDF files but are excellent resources for those OHS professionals looking for the latest research into bullying, driver safety, health & wellbeing, organisational behaviour, leadership, fatigue, stress and other issues. Continue reading “ICAP Congress of Applied Psychology is a neglected OHS resource”

Prominent OHS regulator addresses ASSE conference

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The Gulf of Mexico disaster has dominated American media but in mid-June 2010, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, David Michaels, spoke to the national conference of the American Society of Safety Engineers.  The full video of Michaels address is available online at http://vimeo.com/12591365 (Other safety associations should take note of this conference openness)

In his speech, Michaels talks about the poor application of safety incentives as well as a range of other related issues.

SafetyAtWorkBlog will include more reports on this conference later in the week.

Kevin Jones