Three books that challenge OHS

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Book publisher Routledge has recently released books about occupational health and safety (OHS) that are very critical of OHS’ role, or that of the health and safety professional, in modern business. Below I dip into the

  • The Fearless World of Professional Safety in the 21st Century
  • The 10 Step MBA for Safety and Health Practitioners, and
  • Naked Safety – Exploring The Dynamics of Safety in a Fast-Changing World.

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New inquiry into sexual harassment – an OHS opportunity and challenge

On June 20 2018, the Australian government announced a National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, claiming it to be a world-first. Sexual harassment is not an occupational health and safety (OHS) hazard in many ways BUT the psychological harm it can create is. The job of an OHS person is to encourage employers to reduce work-related harm through prevention, so we need to prevent sexual harassment, just as we do for all the work activities that contribute to poor psychological health and safety.

The macroeconomic costs of sexual harassment in the workplace may be of interest to politicians and business lobbyists but this can be a significant distraction from identifying ways to prevent psychological harm, which should be the most important legacy of this type of inquiry.

Addressing the OHS impacts of

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We need a safe system of business

Throwing chocolates to delegates, audience participation, push-ups, book giveaways, hand-eye coordination exercises – not the usual elements of the opening keynote speaker of a safety conference.  Day 2 of the Safety Institute of Australia’s recent conference had a more traditional opening with presentations from a State workplace safety regulator and Australia’s occupational health and safety (OHS) agency.  If entertainment is your thing, jump for the chocolates, but if information is why you attend conferences, Day 2 was the better one.

The first speaker was

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Michalak’s evidence should change the wellbeing and OHS industries

Dr Rebecca Michalak has only recently come to my attention, mainly through challenging some of my statements on social media.  I was able to meet her and watch her presentation at the Safety Institute of Australia’s National Health and Safety Conference in May 2018.  It is likely her voice will become heard more broadly in coming years as she challenges elements of the Establishment.

Many elements of Michalak’s conference presentation can also be heard in the Fit For Work Podcast of Sally McMahon but there were a couple of statements that were notable.

Coping Strategies

“I had a theory that it’s not either/or – it’s an “it depends” thing and what I found across all well-being outcomes, six coping strategies and two samples – that’s 48 mediations – it makes no difference and in fact, most coping strategies make well-being worse.” (emphasis added)

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The people deserve more respect from their politicians

According to Hansard, Western Australia’s Opposition Minister for Local Government, Tony Krsticevic put a Question on Notice to the Government about WorkSafe WA’s activities and meetings in relation to the City of Perth. The Council is currently undergoing an independent inquiry into its governance and workplace behaviours.  The investigation is scheduled to take 12 months.

Krsticevic asked:

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