The Governance Institute of Australia hosted a discussion about “Corporate culture and people risk — lessons from the Royal Commission”. The seminar was worthwhile attending but there was also moments of discomfort.
The reality was that The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry was not discussed in any great detail as it was treated as a ghost hovering behind the discussion but not a scary ghost, almost a ghost of embarrassment.
And it seems that “People Risk” is what the Human Resource (HR) profession calls occupational health and safety (OHS) when it can’t bring itself to say occupational health and safety.
Years ago I was advised how to read a newspaper article – the first two paragraphs and the last. The exclusive front page article in The Australian ($ paywalled) on August 15 2018 about occupational health and safety (OHS) management at Sydney’s light rail construction project is a good example of what journalists choose to write and what they are obliged to write.
“A pedestrian had ribs broken, workers have been run over and fallen in holes, and there have been near-misses that could have caused deaths or serious injuries in hundreds of safety breaches on the Sydney CBD light rail project over the past 18 months.
The extraordinary catalogue is detailed in CBD and South East Light Rail Advisory Board minutes obtained by The Australian.”
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) regularly updates the Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations administered by its Corporate Governance Council. The Council has recently closed submissions on its consultation on the Fourth Edition. The submissions are worth looking at to see how occupational health and safety (OHS) fairs, and it is also worth looking for mentions of the “social licence to operate”.
The 3rd edition of the principles provides examples of what it means to be a “good corporate citizen” (page 19),
It is almost impossible to underestimate the impact that Australia’s Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation
and Financial Services Industry is already having on the corporate cultures of Australian businesses. The effective management of occupational health and safety (OHS) relies on effective consultation, trust and respect just as does any other element in a company’s organisational culture.
The media on August 13 2018 has been
Trust is an essential element of effective business management, as relevant to consultation over occupational health and safety (OHS) matters as it between a business and its clients. Increasingly there is discussion about a “social licence” or a “social licence to operate” in relation to OHS. In many ways this is a response to the perceived heartlessness of neoliberal economics and social interactions, a response that the OHS profession needs to seriously examine.
In November 2017, New Zealand company