Three books that challenge OHS

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Book publisher Routledge has recently released books about occupational health and safety (OHS) that are very critical of OHS’ role, or that of the health and safety professional, in modern business. Below I dip into the

  • The Fearless World of Professional Safety in the 21st Century
  • The 10 Step MBA for Safety and Health Practitioners, and
  • Naked Safety – Exploring The Dynamics of Safety in a Fast-Changing World.

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How bad is workplace mental health and what can be done about it

The recent RTW Forum in Melbourne had one speaker who analysed the workers compensation data for mental health claims.  Dr Shannon Gray was able to draw some clear statements on workplace mental health from Australia’s national claims data and provide clues on what the workplace safety profession needs to do to reduce psychological harm.

Gray and other speakers at the forum had access to a lot more data than has been available in the last few decades and they, rightly, continued to stress caution in analysis. 

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Old books, contemporary advice

Recently I searched the book shops online for some old and rare occupational health and safety (OHS) books.  I often bang on about needing to understand OHS beyond our own professional and academic life times, as OHS, like any other discipline, continues to evolve.

Below are a few of the books I purchased.  I am not going to have time to read them all but there are snippets of interest in each of them.

There are many books that I buy new but when some of them are a couple of hundred dollars, the only option is to look at secondhand shops or head to the local WorkSafe library.

The Safety and Health guide was published in 1993 by The Safety League of New South Wales.  It includes many archaic recommendations for public and personal health but in “Safety and Health in Industry” it says this:

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Contrasting keynotes at ergonomics conference

It’s Jacaranda season in New South Wales which increases the pleasure of visiting the State for a safety-related conference.  It has been over a decade since SafetyAtWorkBlog attended a conference of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Association of Australia (HFESA), little has changed in the organisation of the conference as HFESA had this conference pretty well organised even a decade ago.

The conference is a comparatively small affair with around 100 delegates, a minimal trade exhibition and only three streams.  But that is all that is needed.  The focus is on two elements:

  • good quality presentations, largely from HFESA members; and
  • networking.

It is perhaps the latter where HFESA has it over some of the other safety-related associations.  

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