NZ survey reveals useful OHS profile 1

Safeguard-Issue 156New Zealand’s Safeguard magazine is a long-standing institution.  Recently it undertook its first ever Safety State of the Nation survey.  The results are interesting and should provide a format for Australia and other countries or publishers to follow.  Cross border comparisons could be fascinating.

Safeguard’s editor Peter Bateman says in a media statement:

“Given all the scaremongering stories which have accompanied the new Health and Safety at Work Act, it is pleasing to see 40% of respondents feel health and safety is an opportunity to improve their business rather than just to comply with the law.”

The fact that the results are made publicly available is also significant.  Not only does this allow me to write an article on the results, it shows a level of transparency that other safety-related surveyors, particularly those who charge hundreds of dollars for a survey report, could easily follow. More…

Safety footwear needs more safety research 10

Safety footwear is a standard item of personal protective equipment (PPE) in many workplaces but it can be contentious.

safety boots

The need for safety footwear

Some years ago I was asked to assess the need for safety footwear in a large manufacturing site.  The need was obvious, there was a lot of manual handling of cumbersome objects and the factory was old so the design and layout was based on the lifting and moving of objects rather than a flow of production.

The company wanted this need verified as one of the office staff, clearly of some influence, would enter the factory in high heels and refused to wear safety footwear.  This was a clear breach of the company’s safety policies and was causing unrest in the factory.  The safety solution was clear More…

Trade unions temper language on ABCC safety role 1

The politics of industrial relations will be a crucial element of Australia’s Federal election due later this year.  The Federal Government has already used workplace safety as a reason for the reintroduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).  The trade union movement’s latest response is a campaign launched on April 10, 2016 accompanied by an online video. More…

Workplace role on addressing and preventing family violence Reply

cover of RCFV_Full_Report_InteractiveOn March 30 2016, the Andrew Victorian Government released the final report of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Family violence, otherwise known as domestic violence, is not strictly an occupational health and safety (OHS) but the mental health effects can flow into the workplace and, some argue, fails to deter family violence.  The final report touches on these two perspectives and OHS professionals need to consider these effects, largely, in terms of workplace mental health but also in relation to organisational culture. More…

Diverse panel adds authority to Workhealth Improvement Network Reply

20160330_105500The 2016 Workplace Wellness conference in Melbourne has heard about the Workhealth Improvement Network (WIN) through a panel of WIN participants. The point of difference of this panel is that the participants are from a range of different sized and regional companies.  The significance of this difference should not be understated as conferences rarely include a representative who is the only safety resource in a company, as this conference and panel has. More…