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.
ASHPA, the Australian Safety and Health Professional Associations has been quiet for a while but sponsored La Trobe University to undertake some research into the future of work and its impacts on occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals, hygienists, ergonomists and others. It is an interesting insight into the thoughts and perspectives of safety and health professionals but it also cries out for interpretation and analysis.
The report, not yet available online, is based on the responses of 733 safety and health professionals to an online survey. The statistical profile of the profession in Australia is useful and the key findings
Australian research usually makes use of the industrial and activity categories created by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This creates a problem for research into the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession because there is no specific category for the OHS professional. Perhaps even more importantly, it creates problems for readers of these research reports because we risk imposing an interpretation on the data that is false. SafetyAtWorkBlog sought clarification from the ABS.
The ABS has a category that seems Continue reading “OHS – The Hidden Profession”
Small regional conferences often work better than major city-based conferences as the atmosphere is more relaxed, delegates are more approachable and there is less pressure to attend some grand trade expo.
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: