Mining safety conference is shadowed by taxation debate

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As there was in the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, there is a third member in the relationship at the New South Wales Mining Council (NSWMC) conference that is being held in the Hunter Valley this week – the Government’s response to the Henry review into Australia’s taxation scheme.

The CEO of NSWMC, Dr Nikki Williams has been interviewed repeatedly at the conference with workplace safety being the opening line from reporters before asking about Henry.  Only 24 hours after the release of the Government’s response very little detail can be expected from an interview.  By lunchtime Williams’ responses were polished as she outlined the potentials – mine closures, economic damage to regional towns……  The reality of the taxation changes to the mining sector is not really going to be understood for several more days.  Any direct impact on safety is highly unlikely.

Sadly safety is not getting much consideration in the media discussions however there are potentials in this conference that could extend well beyond the mining industry. Continue reading “Mining safety conference is shadowed by taxation debate”

Professor Niki Ellis hits out at the state of OHS in Australia

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“…OHS is not fit for the 21st century.  It is isolated, has a limited academic base and remit, uneven provision, lack of good quality data, a poor image and is perceived by many as the servant of the employer.”

Professor Niki Ellis speaks frankly about the OHS discipline in Australia.

Professor Niki Ellis recently was appointed the CEO of the Institute of Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) after some time in the United Kingdom and a short period as the acting chair of the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.  Prof Ellis provided a refreshing and confronting presentation to the 2009 Comcare Conference (pictured right) that SafetyAtWorkBlog attended. Continue reading “Professor Niki Ellis hits out at the state of OHS in Australia”

Exploding restaurant kettle risks

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WorkSafeBC is a regular provider of useful safety videos.  In mid-April 2010 the regulator released a latest video that reports on an exploding soup kettle in a restaurant that injured several workers with steel shrapnel and steam.

Safety prevention videos are costly to produce properly and WorkSafeBC has followed a process that is informative and simple but providing a slide show with an audio commentary.  This is a technique that makes use of the many incident photos that OHS investigators take without compromising the investigation and still offering a much more attractive and appealing safety alert.  It is a technique that other OHS regulators should consider.

Kevin Jones

New business safety survey released at safety conference

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New survey data on business attitudes to safety was revealed at the Safety In Action Conference on 20 April 2010.  The data was released jointly by the Australian Institute of Management and the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA).

In short there was not much that was new in the survey data but the survey was important for several reasons. Continue reading “New business safety survey released at safety conference”

The fragility of evidence – suicide example

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Workplace fatality data is an essential ingredient in benchmarking safety performance for business and government.  Suicide statistics are equally important in the social and public health context.

The editorial in the current issue of the Medical Journal of Australia has some interesting comments on how suicide statistics have been collected in Australia over the last decade.

“….a great deal of caution must be employed when interpreting trends in suicide in Australia during the past decade, Continue reading “The fragility of evidence – suicide example”