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.
WorkSafe Victoria has released a discussion paper in support of its development of a WorkSafe Strategy 2030 but you wouldn’t know it. At the time of writing – there is no mention of it on the Facebook page, nothing on its news website. The paper is only available through this rarely used community engagement page.
One of this blog’s readers drew attention to this paragraph on page 8 which indicates that WorkSafe Victoria is basing part of this discussion paper on recent reports which seem to include the Independent OHS Review which is yet to be publicly released:
“A number of independent reviews undertaken recently have also highlighted opportunities for us to strengthen our approach to regulating health and safety in Victorian workplaces, and in further supporting injured workers.
We know in some cases we are not meeting the expectations of the community, and the outcomes of these reviews are informing the development of our strategy, and the way we deliver our services in the future.”
It would be good to know what failed community expectations are being referred to.
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.
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?”
David Provan recently provided access to one of his research papers through LinkedIn while it is open. The paper is a literature review of the factors shaping the role of a safety professional. It is a difficult and confusing read until one reaches the Conclusion. This is not Provan’s fault but is an indication of the confusing and conflicting roles, actions, obligations and qualifications of the occupational health and safety (OHS) professional revealed by the research literature.
However, the Conclusion provides a good summary of all the literature with some useful strategies to improve the OHS conversation.