New International OHS Management Standard is not as revolutionary as claimed

Last week Optus’ Director of Work Health and Safety, Geoff Hoad, spoke enthusiastically of the new international occupational health and safety (OHS) Standard ISO45001 as a “gamechanger”.  It is a gamechanger as much as any management Standard can be, which is, in reality, as much as any company allows it to be. Hoad’s presentation included other comments, some that were not kind to the OHS profession.

Hoad was scathing about the current Australian OHS management Standard

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Article locked

Log In Subscribe

SafetyConnect conference connects

This week’s SAFETYconnect conference hosted by the NSCA Foundation in Sydney had a very good strike rate of interesting speakers on its first day.  Only one speaker missed the safety mark – it was as if they had been handed a marketing presentation instead of safety and, regardless of the safety audience, give it anyway.

This conference was notable for the way that the ‘safety differently’/Safety II movement has moved into mainstream safety management.  The most obvious example of this was a presentation by QantasLink.

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Article locked

Log In Subscribe

Government could help progress OHS so much more

Innovation in occupational health and safety (OHS) is often encouraged by government but government processes and policy can also discourage and limit this.  An obvious example is where government insists on compliance with OHS laws in its tendering criteria but acknowledges that the tender safety criteria remains outdated and, privately, that OHS compliance is not enough to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

An important OHS document in the Victorian bureaucracy and construction sector is a

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Article locked

Log In Subscribe

SWMS deficiencies are symptoms of bigger OHS challenges

The use and abuse of Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) has been researched in Australia for several years. SafetyAtWorkBlog has seen a copy of an unreleased report prepared for Safe Work Australia that identifies major problems with the use of SWMS but that makes recommendations which seem unlikely to achieve the level of change required.

The  February 2017 report “The Efficacy of Safe Work Method Statement and WHS Management Plans in Construction” (written by

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Article locked

Log In Subscribe

University sexual assault – an OHS perspective

Free Access

The community and media responses to the Australian Human Rights Commission report into sexual assault and harassment in Australian universities continue but until the Australian Government responds, it is unclear how the risks will be reduced, particularly as many members of the current Federal Government have been openly hostile to the AHRC and its previous Commissioner, Gillian Triggs.  After having rubbished the Commissioner and the institution, how will the government respond?

Following on from the very popular SafetyAtWorkBlog article about the report yesterday, it is worth looking at the AHRC recommendations in the occupational health and safety (OHS) context.

It should be noted that OHS places the principal responsibility on the employer, in this instance, the universities and the Vice-Chancellors.  Some have already started to call on the government to play a role, with implications that it should be leading the change: Continue reading “University sexual assault – an OHS perspective”