Discussion of corporate culture includes OHS even when it doesn’t

The political debate about the dysfunctional culture of Australia’s banking sector has diminished to a discussion, and that discussion continues to bubble along, mostly, in the Australian Financial Review (AFR).  The discussion is important for the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession to watch as any change in safety management systems will occur within the corporate or organisational culture.

Two (possibly paywalled) articles appeared this week in the AFR – “

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Industrial manslaughter debate reveals commitment and misunderstandings

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Industrial manslaughter laws passed through the Queensland Parliament on October 12 2017.  The debate about the laws on that day is an interesting read as it illustrates some of the thoughts about workplace safety in the minds of policy decision makers, business owners, industry associations, trade unions and safety advocates.

Lawyer for Herbert Smith Freehills, Steve Bell, has said in a LinkedIn post that:

“Will [industrial manslaughter laws] make workplaces safer? In my view probably not, but it will certainly affect the manner in which businesses respond to workplace incidents and external investigations.”

This perspective is understandable and valid when one considers the laws to be a part of the post-incident investigation and prosecution.  A similar view was expressed in Queensland’s Parliament by the  Liberal National Party’s David Janetzki, based on the submission by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland: Continue reading “Industrial manslaughter debate reveals commitment and misunderstandings”

Industrial Manslaughter arguments cover old ground

The Queensland Government is in the middle of a debate in Parliament and the media about the introduction of industrial manslaughter as an offence related to serious occupational health and safety (OHS) breaches.  It is both a good and a bad time for this debate. The laws are likely to pass but the debate is showing old arguments, weak arguments, political expediency and union-bashing but not a lot about improvement in workplace safety.

Timeline

Following two major fatal workplace incidents, in April 2017 the Government established an

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Australia the first stop on international roadshow over safety management Standard

The latest safety management standard ISO45001 will be active in a few months’ time.  It is the first international Standard in occupational health and safety (OHS), a fact supported by the length of time and horse-trading that has occurred in its development.  It will be an important OHS document for many countries as, for some, it is a first.  For Western countries, like Australia, New Zealand and Britain, ISO45001 is the latest in a long line of safety management standards, so the hype is more muted.

The new features of this Standard have been outlined in

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Safety At Work Talks podcast launched

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The popularity of Australian podcasting about workplace safety is increasing with a personable Sydney occupational health and safety (OHS) lawyer launching one this month. SafetyAtWorkBlog is also joining that growth with the Safety At Work Talks podcast this week.

SafetyAtWorkBlog originally podcasted a decade ago through iTunes.  I participated in a podcast series last year called Cabbage Salad and Safety.  Safety At Work Talks is going to be a series that complements the SafetyAtWorkBlog by providing exclusive interviews with prominent safety people and academics.

Safety At Work Talks already has a series of episodes recorded with Professor Sidney Dekker.  These will cover

The first of these episodes is Professor Sidney Dekker talking to me, Kevin Jones, about his new documentary “Safety Differently”. You can hear it below or at this link: https://soundcloud.com/safetyatworkblog/safetyatworktalks-dekker-doco-101017

Safety At Work Talks will be available for listening through a number of podcast platforms, including the SafetyAtWorkBlog site:

Podbean – https://safetyoz.podbean.com/

SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/safetyatworkblog

Kevin Jones