On 1 February 2019 the Minerals Council of Australia issued a media release about occupational health and safety (OHS) in the mining industry and, in particular, Industrial Manslaughter laws. SafetyAtWorkBlog approached the MCA’s CEO, Tania Constable, for clarification.
The release stated:
“The MCA cautions that the introduction of Victorian Government’s industrial manslaughter laws will give rise to unintended consequences which impair, rather than enhance, health and safety outcomes at Australian workplaces. These laws will not contribute to general or specific deterrence or improvements in health and safety outcomes. This must be the priority, not imposing oppressive and unnecessary criminal liability on selected individuals”
The Minerals Council of Australia has released its 2019 policy platform called “The Next Frontier: Australian Mining Policy Priorities”. The mainstream media will focus on taxation and jobs data given that Australia will face an election in the first half of 2019 but there is a specific chapter on occupational health and safety (OHS).
Some media reports on the recent suicide of another Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer indicate a change away from the dominant perspective of addressing the individual worker rather than institutional factors.
This article is not denying that suicide is a personal decision. It is an act that most of us do not understand and struggle to do so; this is partly because, unless a note is left or the person spoke to another about their intentions, we can never be sure why someone takes their own life. As a colleague explained to me, we try to rationalise an irrational act, or at least an act that seemed rational to the person at the time.
The Australian Federal Police has had several
The trade union movement was instrumental in showing that workplace bullying was a pervasive problem in Australian workplaces. Many Codes of Practice and guidances for workplace bullying and occupational violence were written shortly after the action by the Australian Council of Trade Unions almost two decades ago. But, for some reason, although sexual harassment was mentioned in those early documents, it never received the attention in occupational health and safety (OHS) circles that, in hindsight, it should have.
Perhaps a more sustainable and effective strategy would be to focus on the “harassment” rather than the “sexual”, or in