Passing the OHS baton

Leo Ruschena has been a fixture in the occupational health and safety (OHS) scene in Victoria Australia for many years.  In a short while he retires from his work as an OHS Lecturer with RMIT University.  Retirement often means that knowledge and wisdom becomes less accessible to the public so SafetyAtWorkBlog spent some time with him recently and asked him to reflect.

Ruschena began his career as a chemical engineer with an economics degree working for nine years at Mount Isa Mines. In the mid -1970s he received a scholarship to study occupational hygiene in London UK, achieving his Masters.  At that time OHS was an emerging area of study, legislation and political discourse.  As Ruschena sees it:

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Leadership conference was hit and miss

The Future of Leadership roadshow was only partly about its topic.  Much of it felt like a professional development day with interesting speakers and storytellers.  By providing stories of failure, reconciliation, and unlearning the organisers could argue that they were also creating future leaders.

A previous article briefly discussed Dan Gregory’s presentation.  One additional element was the catalyst for his Directorship of White Ribbon – a poster which reframed the issue of violence against women as an issue that men can affect. Gregory was advocating being open to alternative perspectives of your reality, your lived experiences, career, communication and profession.  He challenged the audience, as Daniel Hummerdal does his safety audience, to look differently, to look creatively and to analyse our personal and organisational motivations.

Like all good conference speakers, Dan Gregory does not tell you what to think but how to think, and treats the audience like adults who are in charge of their own decisions.

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David Caple provides the latest in reality-based OHS thinking

Recently David Caple gave his annual address to the Central Safety Group in Melbourne.  Caple (pictured above) is a prominent ergonomist, an adjunct professor at the Centre for Ergonomics & Human Factors, La Trobe University, a representative on several government OHS-related committees and has an enviable information network.

Fresh from the Singapore OHS conference, Caple speculated on the future of the workplace safety profession at a time when many are indicating an increasing demand for OHS services and advice.  He used a graph of the membership of the Safety Institute of Australia to illustrate part of the challenge.

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Was it worth going to the World Congress on Safety and Health?

I travelled to the 22nd World Congress on Safety and Health in Singapore as a delegate and a media representative from my home in Australia.  Was it worth attending? Yes and no.  That may seem a weak answer but I attended in two capacities with two purposes – as an occupational health and safety (OHS) professional and an independent media representative.  Both were satisfied a little bit and both could have been better.  Here’s a personal report on my professional and media experiences at the World Congress.

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Recent safety videos

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The recent World Congress on Safety and Health at Work held a quite extensive media stream under the banner of the International Media Festival for Prevention. One of the entries, “Shoelaces“, has already been mentioned on this blog but there was a much greater variety.

These videos may be several years old (the Congress is held every three years) and can be watched from several perspectives.  Several, like “Shoelaces”, offers an immediate emotional impact.  Others require or deserve several views.  Almost all of them should be appreciated for the creativity that they have applied to the topic of occupational health and safety. Continue reading “Recent safety videos”