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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Share Solutions could be resurrected

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Some readers have asked for more information about the “Share Solutions” program mentioned in a previous article. The initiative started in 1988 but this article is based on the second edition from 1995.

In 1995, pre-internet, the precursor to WorkSafe Victoria, the Health and Safety Organisation Victoria produced a Share Solutions manual (with an unfortunate sex doll-like graphic).  This hard copy folders included single page solutions to common workplace hazards.  These solutions were submitted usually by those workers or Health and Safety Representatives who had developed a solution to a hazard particular to their workplace.  The solutions were shared with the program participants with acknowledgement of the origin. Continue reading “Share Solutions could be resurrected”

OHS managers sought for student survey

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Recently I attended an occupational health and safety (OHS) conference in New Zealand which had a good representation of students.  One, Catherine Boyle, has an online survey operating for OHS managers and she is looking for participants.

As a health and safety professional working in a managerial capacity, you are invited to participate in a research project. This project aims to identify the health and safety behaviours that you either engage in or delegate to others in your workplace. This research is being conducted as part of a Masters dissertation in Applied Psychology. Your involvement will entail the completion of a brief survey, which should take no more than fifteen minutes. Participation is voluntary, confidential and anonymous. The results of the project may be published but there will be complete confidentiality of the data gathered. You will also have access to the results of the research should you wish to see them. If you are willing to participate in this research, please click on the link below. Thank you in advance for your participation.

 Masters Student, Catherine Boyle, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. 

Kevin Jones

New OHS conference tries new approaches and succeeds

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L to R, Tim Allred, Matt Jones, Kevin Jones

Matt Jones has been accused of self-promotion in the establishment of the Health and Safety Professionals New Zealand (HSPNZ) and the group’s first physical conference. Such accusations are made to many people who are “just going to give it a go” and see what happens.  Mostly Jones has succeeded.  Only one speaker made a blatant sales pitch when he misunderstood the audience which were conference delegates, not potential clients. But when Jones succeeded, he succeeded well. Continue reading “New OHS conference tries new approaches and succeeds”