Small regional conferences often work better than major city-based conferences as the atmosphere is more relaxed, delegates are more approachable and there is less pressure to attend some grand trade expo.
Last week I was invited to speak at the inaugural NSW Regional Safety Conference & Expo in Newcastle New South Wales. I was able to chat with the organizer of the conference, safety professional Sarah-Jane Dunford about the conference and the Hunter Safety Awards that were on that night. The audio of my chat is also available at Podbean.
The recent RTW Forum in Melbourne had one speaker who analysed the workers compensation data for mental health claims. Dr Shannon Gray was able to draw some clear statements on workplace mental health from Australia’s national claims data and provide clues on what the workplace safety profession needs to do to reduce psychological harm.
Gray and other speakers at the forum had access to a lot more data than has been available in the last few decades and they, rightly, continued to stress caution in analysis.
On 12 December 2017, part of Australia’s screen and television industry held a forum in Sydney about sexual harassment in the sector and what could be done to reduce this workplace hazard. This initiative occurred a day before an open letter was published about sexual harassment in the music industry. There is a momentum for change on sexual harassment in the workplace, but it is at risk of resulting in a fragmented approach which will generate turf wars, confusion and, ultimately, ineffectiveness.
It’s Jacaranda season in New South Wales which increases the pleasure of visiting the State for a safety-related conference. It has been over a decade since SafetyAtWorkBlog attended a conference of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Association of Australia (HFESA), little has changed in the organisation of the conference as HFESA had this conference pretty well organised even a decade ago.
The conference is a comparatively small affair with around 100 delegates, a minimal trade exhibition and only three streams. But that is all that is needed. The focus is on two elements:
- good quality presentations, largely from HFESA members; and
It is perhaps the latter where HFESA has it over some of the other safety-related associations.