In all of the discussion about the new industrial manslaughter laws in Queensland, the topic of directors and officers liability insurance has been overlooked. As mentioned in an earlier article
“….the Queensland Government has promised to ban insurance products that pay occupational health and safety (OHS) penalties imposed against employers.”
On 30 October 2017, the Safety Institute of Australia and RMIT University held their annual OHS Construction Forum. This year’s theme was flexible working arrangements – a brave choice that did not really work but was indicative of safety in the construction industry generally.
Several speakers discussed well-being generally and how flexible working arrangements were critical to fostering an appropriate level of wellness. One, a labour lawyer, outlined the legislative obligations that companies have to those types of arrangements with reference to equal opportunity laws, industrial relations and anti-discrimination obligations – sadly the workplace safety laws and obligations were not mentioned. In all of the wellbeing-themed discussions, the application to the on site construction workers was rarely, if ever, mentioned.
A lot of safety professionals “froth up” about aviation safety. Challenging occupational health and safety (OHS) concepts have originated in this sector so it is worth keeping an eye on aviation safety research. A new article has been published called “A holistic approach to evaluating the effect of safety barriers on the performance of safety reporting systems in aviation organisations” (not Open Access, sorry) by Muhammad Jausan, Jose Silva, and Roberto Sabatini from RMIT University’s, School of Engineering – Aerospace and Aviation Discipline.
Jausan, Silva and Sabatini developed a new model that
“… can help to determine the cumulative effect of organisational, working environment and individual barriers on the performance of a safety reporting system in an aviation organisation.”
On 15 August 2017, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) ran an article (paywalled) that should have sent shivers up the spines of occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals throughout Australia. The article titled “Audit chief sound warning on big four rush to consulting work” in the hard copy newspaper discussed the future consulting strategies of the “big four – Deloitte, Ernst Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC):
“The four firms are all aggressively chasing growth by moving into management and technology consulting work. They are also hedging their bets by branching out into other types of professional services ranging from law through to strategy work and even marketing advisory.”
The political debate about the dysfunctional culture of Australia’s banking sector has diminished to a discussion, and that discussion continues to bubble along, mostly, in the Australian Financial Review (AFR). The discussion is important for the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession to watch as any change in safety management systems will occur within the corporate or organisational culture.
Two (possibly paywalled) articles appeared this week in the AFR – “