The reader’s comments on online articles can be very revealing. Below is a discussion of some of the comments posted on The Australian website in response to an article about the accuracy of workplace fatality data in the mining industry. Given that this is one of the few mainstream media articles about occupational health and safety (OHS), they are telling.
One commenter asked the newspaper:
“… if one of your accountants based in the Sydney office were to have a car accident in Parramatta while driving to work in the morning, would you include that in your OHS statistics as a workplace fatality?”
This past week most media have been reflecting on the last twelve months or the decade. There are two ways of applying this practice to the SafetyAtWorkBlog – statistics and most-read. Let’s look at statistics first.
This year the SafetyAtWorkBlog posted 225 articles, not including this one, with an average word count of 1,030 words – the equivalent of a 230,000 word book on occupational health and safety (OHS). For those Annual subscribers that equates to just over $1.00 per article which I think is a pretty good return.
Continue reading “Most-read OHS articles in 2019”
Deutsche Welle‘s regular program “World in Progress” reported on Work in its December 18 2019 edition. It includes discussions of exploitation and trafficking of Nigerian women and South Korean workers being pressured to reluctantly attend work functions. Of particular relevance to the theme of this blog is the last report in the program when workplace psychological health is discussed.
By the time you read this, one of Australia’s States may have Industrial Manslaughter laws. One sad part of all of the IM argy-bargy is that it has focused on the penalty of going to jail rather than on the enhancement of occupational health and safety (OHS) which can prevent harm. Part of this seems to be because people are uncertain how to talk about OHS. For instance, some arguing against IM laws have started talking about making these laws fair. But fair to who?
Recently the Australian Industry Group released a media statement titled “Industrial manslaughter legislation must be fair“. Firstly, although the IM Bill is a piece of legislation, it is not an Act or Regulation in itself. It is an amendment to the existing OHS Act. But this Act and its Duties hardly gets discussed in the current debate, which is a bit curious but convenient.
Barry Naismith of OHSIntros has provided excellent independent analysis of Victoria’s occupational health and safety (OHS) data for many years. His latest “Deaths at Work” report (available publicly for a limited time) includes a detailed discussion on the social context of Victoria’s proposed Industrial Manslaughter (IM) laws.
But of more immediate interest is Naismith’s longitudinal analysis. One of his graphs showing death statistics back to the commencement of Victoria’s modern-era OHS laws in 1985 supports the statement popular with politicians that the rate of work-related deaths is declining over that time but Naismith points out that the five-year trend to 2018 is reversed and that this is part of the justification for the IM Laws.