Prescient research on OHS, values and sustainability 2

Cover of Ecos+Corporation+The+Safety+Sustainability+Connect+Paper (1)It has become fashionable to place occupational health and safety (OHS) in the organisational context of business sustainability.  But this is not a new phenomenon in Australia.  In 2001 the Ecos Corporation published a discussion paper called “Safety + Value: Entry Points for Operationalizing Sustainability.”* It states

“A dual focus on safety and value creation provides familiar and readily understandable “entry points” and “drivers” for corporations seeking to operationalize sustainability as a framework for doing business in the 21st Century.”


Overburden exposes the social burden of workplace death and illness Reply

On 26 February 2016, a recent documentary about a portion of the American coal-mining industry, Overburden, was shown with a panel discussion, as part of the Transitions Film Festival in Melbourne. The film is commonly promoted as an environmental film but it also touches on

  • Corporate and executive arrogance;
  • A complete disregard to worker safety;
  • Excessive influence of industry lobbyists in the political process;
  • The socio-economic impacts of allowing an industrial monopoly;
  • Personal perspectives of risk.

The trailer hints at some of these issues. (A traditional mainstream review of the film is available HERE)

The panel drew direct lines between the Appalachian issues raised in the film with the socio-economic issues in Victoria’s LaTrobe Valley that resulted from the Hazelwood Mine Fire. More…

The forgotten Royal Commission 16

Australia conducted a Royal Commission in to the Esso Gas Plant explosion at Longford. Two people died and most of Victoria was without gas for around two weeks.  The Royal Commission lead to a best-selling book by Professor Andrew Hopkins. In 2010, four young men died while installing home insulation as part of a government economic stimulus package.  A Royal Commission and various inquests were held but no one wrote a book.  Outside of the occupational health and safety (OHS) fraternity, the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program (HIP) is, in many ways, the forgotten inquiry. More…

Inquiry links Hazelwood Mine Fire to local deaths 2

The Hazelwood Mine Fire had no direct impacts on people other than those living in Victoria’s Latrobecover of Hazelwood-Mine-Fire-Inquiry-Report-2015-16-Volume-II Valley.  Unlike many disasters, no workers died as a direct result of the fire. However the community impacts were severe and according to the Victorian Government’s second volume report released in early December 2015, the mine fire contributed to fatalities in the valley. It is possible that one set of possible prosecutions against the mine’s owner, Engie (formerly GDF Suez), could, and should, involve an occupational health and safety (OHS) prosecution. More…

Safety is missing from the political lexicon Reply

At the moment in Australia, a political debate is gathering momentum over the creation of jobs at the expense of the environment. This, largely, ideological argument is an example of free market vs regulation and short-term vs sustainability in the context of job creation.  In 2013, this blog noted the absence of “Safety” in the jobs debate, a similar omission to the current debate. More…