Innovation rather than complaints needed on safety

Moree, Australia – November 25, 2010: A farmer performs a maintenance routine on his John Deere combine harvester in Moree a major agricultural area in New South Wales, Australia.

The Victorian “Labor” Government has submitted its Workplace Manslaughter legislation to its Parliament. Debate is likely to begin, in earnest, from November 12, 2019. There were several surprises on which various business associations have expressed concerns, one surprise was that businesses seem to have been ignored by the government.

In many ways, the challenges are less about the legislation than what those business associations plan to do about occupational health and safety themselves.

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Tough but fair – Allan Fels

Allan Fels has served the Australian public for decades as the head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, a Mental Health Commissioners and recently a Royal Commissioner for the Victorian Government in its inquiry into mental health. His level of activity and the breadth of that influence is extraordinary and should be no surprise that his service has overlapped and influenced workplace health and safety.

That experience has generated a book – Tough Customer – in which Fels reflects on his public service roles but also about how his life and that of his family have influenced his view of the world and his policy priorities. SafetyAtWorkBlog was able to speak with him for a short while earlier this week on the topics of

  • mental health
  • workplace health and safety
  • executive and political perspectives
  • the gig economy
  • ethics and social justice
  • the ACCC.
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Podcast on WHS colloquium

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Yesterday the Centre for Work Heath and Safety held its first colloquium of occupational health and safety researchers. It comprised of 15 research presentations, a keynote speaker and a workshop about the 2023 World Congress for Safety and Health at Work to be held in Sydney, Australia.

SafetyAtWorkBlog was lucky to attend and will be writing at least one article about the event for subscribers soon, but I was also able to speak with the Centre’s Director, Skye Buatava, about the event. The audio is available through the links below

Kevin Jones

Getting the most out of your conference experience

National Suicide Prevention Conference, Melbourne, July 2019

Single-day occupational health and safety (OHS) symposia, colloquia and seminars seem to be increasing in popularity in Australia. The latest that SafetyAtWorkBlog attended was for the Victorian Institute of Occupational Safety and Health but Tasmania had a couple last year and in the upcoming months is one in Perth, one in Tasmania and another in Sydney. The advantage with this format is that

  • the event is cheap (some are free)
  • it is easier to take one day away from work than two or three days
  • the costs of running them are minimised,
  • local delegates have minimal travel costs, and
  • although the pool of delegates is usually local, it can be more diverse.

These seminars occupy the middle ground between webinar and conferences and, as a regular at these events, SafetyAtWorkBlog has some tips for organisers and delegates that will increase the value of attendance.

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Step into the light, be proud, be an institutional value adder

All Australian businesses are experiencing disruption.  Some are embracing this as Change, but not enough. As occupational health and safety (OHS) is an unavoidable part of running a business, it is being similarly disrupted. So what can one do?  I chose to read a short book called “On Disruption”. I purchased it because of the title and I had recently shared the media room at the ALP National Conference with the author, Katherine Murphy.  That the book wasn’t about OHS but about the disruption experienced by journalism, newspaper publishing and mainstream media, didn’t bother me as, being a blogger, it should still be of interest either way.

And it was.  But what was surprising were the parallels between journalism and OHS.  I shouldn’t have been surprised as both are, or claim to be, professions.

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