Government could help progress OHS so much more

Innovation in occupational health and safety (OHS) is often encouraged by government but government processes and policy can also discourage and limit this.  An obvious example is where government insists on compliance with OHS laws in its tendering criteria but acknowledges that the tender safety criteria remains outdated and, privately, that OHS compliance is not enough to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

An important OHS document in the Victorian bureaucracy and construction sector is a

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Canberra Hospital demolition deserves a unified safety story

It is the twentieth anniversary of the explosive demolition of the Canberra Hospital.  The demolition was meant to be an implosion but instead debris scatter well outside the designated safety zone resulting in the death of one person and injuries to nine.  Such events are significant at the time but fade from memory until anniversaries are noted, however, there are important occupational health and safety (OHS) lessons from such incidents which do not have the drama of a Piper Alpha or a Challenger but are nevertheless as instructive.

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WorkSafeNZ’s investigation into cut throats identifies important safety lessons

Following a recent article about Enforceable Undertakings, several readers have asked for more information about the occupational health and safety (OHS) breaches that cause WorkSafe New Zealand to commence prosecution actions.

The investigation report provides some useful discussion on safety management failures and Board of Trustee obligations.

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Will we ever get to see Victoria’s latest OHS review?

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The Victorian (Labor) Government promised a review of WorkSafe Victoria’s enforcement policies in its 2014 campaign pledges as per the quote below.  The independent occupational health and safety (OHS) review was conducted in 2016 with a lot of public submissions.  The review’s final report was presented to the Victorian Minister for Finance, Robin Scott in December 2016.  Everything has been quiet since. Continue reading “Will we ever get to see Victoria’s latest OHS review?”

A new media strategy is required to support the aims of enforceable undertakings

Enforceable Undertakings (EU) are a relatively new phenomenon in the occupational health and safety (OHS) world.  They are, fundamentally, a legal process that allows organisations to avoid a prosecution for breaching OHS laws.  The issue has garnered some attention recently due to application of an EU to a New Zealand school after two student actors received cuts to their throats, one on the opening night of a school production of Sweeney Todd.  The Enforceable Undertaking will result in big safety changes at St Kentigern School but there are several assumptions that weaken the impact of an EU.

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