In 19 February 2018, Safe Work Australia (SWA) “launched” the independent review of Australia’s Work Health and Safety laws under former Executive Director of SafeWorkSA, Marie Boland. SWA has released a 49-page discussion paper, a summary and a list of questions. Below is an initial response to some of those questions.
What are your views on the effectiveness of the three-tiered approach – model WHS Act supported by model WHS Regulations and model WHS Codes – to achieve the object of the model WHS laws?
The structure works well, when business owners know of the relevant documents.
In 2016, a survey of General Practitioners (GPs) conducted by Monash University identified that GPs frequently struggled with patients involved with workers compensation and that mental illnesses were particularly problematic.
In January 2018 Monash University, with the support of major institutions and safety
Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, has been prominent in recent seminars about sexual harassment, particularly in the entertainment industry. In February 2018, Jenkins spoke at a seminar in Melbourne hosted by Screen Producers Australia and provided strong advice on how businesses can control sexual harassment.
Jenkins began her presentation with an uncomfortable reminder that business has been lax in addressing unlawful workplace behaviour.
The Victorian trade union movement is preparing for the November 2018 State Election with one element of that campaign being the advocacy of Industrial Manslaughter laws.
At the end of January 2018, the unions “kicked off” their campaign with a meeting which reviewed the challenges and wins for injured workers in 2017 and outlined their intentions for 2018. The Industrial Manslaughter Action Kit included a petition which says: Continue reading “Victoria is ripe for Industrial Manslaughter laws”
“Every year something like 1,000 people are killed at their work in this country. Every year about half a million suffer injuries in varying degrees of severity. 23 million working days are lost annually on account of industrial injury and disease.”
The existence of this statement is of no surprise to occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals. Similar statements are made all the time. The sad surprise of this quote is that it appeared in 1972 on page 1 of the Safety and Health at Work – Report of the Committee 1970-72, otherwise know as the Robens Report.
Perhaps it is time to begin contemplating what OHS fundamentals we should apply in the next generation of workplace safety health and wellbeing laws ?