Look to the source of workplace conflict, exploitation and injustice

Occupational health and safety advocates are pushing for safety management and strategies to refocus on people by talking about “people-centric” approaches and recalibrating legislation to re-emphasise prevention.  This push parallels society’s frustration with political strategies that favour big business, the under-investment in education and health care systems and companies that announce record profits at the same time as sacking staff.  That frustration is becoming accepted by political parties that are starting to apply more people-centric policies or by countries and States that are appointing representatives from outside the mainstream political organisations.

At a closing event for National Safe Work Month on 1 November 2017, WorkSafe Victoria’s CEO, 

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Industry group expresses concerns about new safety Standard

An odd media statement was released by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on 23 October 2017 regarding the new international occupational health and safety (OHS) management system Standard ISO45001.  Several days later Standards Australia released a statement that supported and clarified ACCI’s position

ACCI states that

“….the draft standard is still several months away from being finalised”.

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New quad bike safety taskforce has a mid-2018 deadline

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On 24 October 2017, Australia’s Ministers for Employment and Small Business announced a new taskforce led by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that will conduct an investigation into quad bike safety.  What is different about this taskforce is that it is

  • a Federal taskforce,
  • looking at the introduction of a “quad bike product safety standard”, and
  • coordinated by the ACCC drawing on the experience of State and Federal workplace safety authorities.

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Is the future of OHS based on a flawed past?

It seems that we are constantly being urged to innovate, to be creative and to think differently.  This is equally true in the discipline of occupational health and safety (OHS), but part of thinking differently in the future should also involve reassessing the past.

It is often said that many the OHS performance indicators, predominantly Lost Time Injury (LTI) calculations, have shown a “plateau-ing” of safety performance.  From this common position, companies have moved to new OHS training strategies that involve behaviours, values, cultural norms, safety culture and other employee and organisational recalibrations.  But what if the case in support of these strategies was not as strong as first thought?  What if the “plateau-ing” did not exist or the increase in performance was not as strong as the LTI-based data seemed to indicate?

Academics,

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Half time at the Future of Leadership

This month the “Future of Leadership” conferences are travelling Australia.  The Melbourne stop, on 21 September, started really well with three on-topic speakers but declined strongly after morning tea with at least one speaker who had nothing to say about leadership.  At the half-time break, one hopes that the conference gets back on track because when it was, it was very good.

This leadership conference is very different from occupational health and safety (OHS) conference because it talks about a concept in such general terms that the audience can impose whatever context it chooses.  As this blog is about workplace safety, predominantly, OHS context was paramount.

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