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.
Australia is to have a Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. What’s this to do with occupational health and safety (OHS)? Not a lot, at first blush. OHS professionals and safety practitioners need to watch this Royal Commission because it could led to a fundamental reassessment of corporate culture. The OHS discipline is beginning to understand that it operates within that organisational, or corporate, culture; the same culture that will be examined over the next twelve to eighteen months.
In June 2016, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation showed an investigation report into the detention of children who had broken the law in the Northern Territory. The revelations of maltreatment were so confronting that a Royal Commission was announced by the Australian Government very shortly after. The Commission’s final report was tabled in Parliament on November 17 2017.
All Australian workplaces are subject to clear occupational health and safety duties and obligations that relate to workers and to those who may be affected by the workplace and activities. (The SafetyAtWorkBlog article “Royal Commission into juvenile detention should include OHS” discusses this at length.)
A brief search of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory shows an acknowledgement of the OHS perspective but with little discussion of it. Continue reading “Detention Royal Commission touches on workplace safety”
Over the last few months, SafetyAtWorkBlog has received several new OHS-related books for review. There’s not enough time to undertake a deep review of each book so here is the first of a series of quick reviews.
“Then I went, ‘Oh hang on, I’ve normalised so much of this as part of my industry…. This last three months has really made us all take a long hard look at what we have even let ourselves think is acceptable.” – Sacha Horler
Such a statement is familiar to those working in the field of occupational health and safety (OHS). This normalisation, or habituation, has underpinned much of the discussion of what builds a safety culture – “the way things are done round here”. As a result of revelations and accusations pertaining to Gary Glitter, Rolf Harris, Jimmy Saville, Robert Hughes, Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Spacey, the entertainment industry around the world has been forced to assess the fundamental ethics on which sections of its industry are based. Continue reading “What do Weinstein, Spacey and others have to do with OHS?”