All professionals need to keep up with contemporary thinking and not only in their own discipline. Below is a list of the books that I have read and reviewed in 2015. This is followed by a list of the books still in my reading pile that I will get round to soon.
Books I have written about this year:
Workplace Bullying by Joseph Catanzariti and Keryl Egan
Job Quality in Australia edited by Angela Knox and Chris Warhurst
Master Work Health and Safety Guide 2nd Edition, CCH Wolter Klouwers
Ten Pathways to Death and Disaster – Learning from Fatal Incidents in Mines and Other High Hazard Workplaces by Michael Quinlan
Nightmare Pipeline Failures: Fantasy Planning, Black Swans and Integrity Management by Jan Hayes and Andrew Hopkins
Safe Design and Construction of Machinery – Regulation, Practice and Performance by Elizabeth Bluff Continue reading “Look back at the OHS books of 2015”
SafetyAtWorkBlog has had a successful 2015, consolidating itself as a valid independent voice on workplace health and safety, particularly in Australia. But readers don’t get access to some of the statistics for the site and as a year in review exercise below are the top five most-read articles written in 2015, highest readership first:
Impairment argument fails to convince Fair Work Commission over unfair dismissal
WorkSafe Victoria heads roll
Research raises serious questions on SIA’s certification push
Some are losing faith in the Victorian Workcover Authority
Safety learnings from construction Continue reading “SafetyAtWorkBlog’s most popular articles of 2015”
Annual Reports are crucial corporate documents that should reflect the financial and organisational health and achievements of a company. Only recently, in Australia, have Annual Reports been assessed for indications of occupational health and safety (OHS) other than fatalities. Some of that analysis of injury data has appeared in an article in the Safety Science journal entitled “Safewash! Risk attenuation and the (Mis)reporting of corporate safety performance to investors” – an article that deserves careful consideration. Continue reading “Annual Reports can encourage SafeWash!”
In 2013, the University of Sydney established a research project into how workplace deaths affect the families of deceased workers. In its information to participants, it stated:
“We are inviting you to participate in a study investigating the consequences of workplace death for surviving families. It will also consider how well official responses, such as workers’ compensation the provision of information and support, meet families’ needs. The aim is to identify improvements that will help to better manage the consequences of workplace death for surviving families.”
Two years later, the researchers have released some interim data.
In early 2014 a truck driver drove his vehicle into an intersection, collided with a car resulting in the death of four out of five members of one family. The truck driver, Jobandeep Gill, has been sentenced to 10 years jail. Video of the incident site shows a company name on the side of the van. It is not possible to determine who Gill was driving for or what his employment status was but, regardless of this, it seems a work vehicle was involved in the death of four people, and therefore occupational safety laws (OHS) may have been broken.
It is accepted by OHS regulators that a truck is a workplace for the driver and that OHS responsibilities of all workers include
“… take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons who may be affected by the employee’s acts or omissions at a workplace…” (Section 25 of the Victorian OHS Act 2004)
On 25 November 2015, Dr Rwth Stuckey stated at an ISCRR seminar that:
“WRR (work related road) crashes [are the] leading cause of traumatic work-related fatality & injury in most westernised countries.”
So why don’t OHS regulators follow-up WRR crashes by interviewing the truck owners or the employers of the drivers? Perhaps statistics don’t support Dr Stuckey?
At lunchtime today, the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) conducted a short seminar of five 7-minute presentations, predominantly, from academic researchers.
The most significant statistic provided was by Dr Genevieve Grant who said that only 39% of injured workers submit claims for workers compensation. The significance is that the Australian government, OHS regulators and policy makers rely on the number of claims being a measure of the level of workplace safety.
This figure illustrates the absurdity of many of the statements made about which is the safest State in Australia. Continue reading “The 39 (per cent) Steps”
Recently workplace bullying gained increased attention in the United Kingdom due to media report about a discussion paper released by Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).
The report called “Seeking better solutions: tackling bullying and ill-treatment in Britain’s workplaces” is a very good summary of thinking on workplace bullying that acknowledges the Australian experience but seems to indicate that Britain remains in the early stages of tacking the workplace bullying situation after a series of false starts on the issue.
SafetyAtWorkBlog posed some questions about this paper to Dr
Talking about workplace safety and machine manufacturing is unfashionable, perhaps because Australia’s manufacturing capacity is in strong decline. And occupational health and safety (OHS) seems preoccupied at the moment with psychosocial hazards and wellness. But one Australian researcher, Elizabeth Bluff, has undertaken an empirical study of safety attitudes, motivations and practice in the manufacturing and OHS regulatory sectors and produced a remarkable book that needs to be read by everyone involved with workplace health and safety.
“In illuminating the mechanisms underlying manufacturers’ responses for machinery safety the research also makes wider conceptual and theoretical contributions. It provides insights into knowledge and motivational factors as principal elements shaping firm performance for social and regulatory goals, and advances understanding of how these elements are constituted in the everyday operations of firms and their interactions with external actors.” (page 3)
Continue reading “Time to reassess our approaches to machinery safety”