Liability insurance products get some serious criticism

In 2017 the Queensland Government was advised to prohibit business insurance products that cover the costs associated with financial penalties that may occur after a successful prosecution of a breach of work health and safety (WHS) laws. This recommendation (page 47) was one of only two that were not accepted by the government and which were “referred to the WHS Board” for further consideration (footnote page 3).

On 17 October 2018 the Senate Education and Employment Committee’s report into industrial deaths similarly recommended the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments:

“amend the model WHS laws to make it unlawful to insure against a fine, investigation costs or defence costs where they apply to an alleged breach of WHS legislation;” (Recommendation 21, page xi)

Given the

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Industrial Manslaughter laws explained to Senate inquiry

The trade union push for Industrial Manslaughter laws in Australia continues as the various State and Federal elections loom.  Last week the Senate Inquiry into Industrial Deaths heard the clearest explanation of the need for these laws for some time as Dr Paul Sutton of the Victorian Trades Hall Council went beyond the usual chants of “what do we want? when do we want it?”

Sutton’s proposal for the Victorian laws differs from Queensland’s by taking inspiration from England  to pierce the corporate veil to the senior manager level rather than leaving it at the top executive level. 

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SafeWorkSA described as dysfunctional and immature

South Australia’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) conducted its last public hearing into SafeWork SA on August 31 2018.  The Counsel Assisting, Holly Stanley, made several recommendations for improving SafeWork SA’s performance and governance, including body cameras for inspectors.  Rather than wrapping up the inquiry with this public hearing, Commission  Bruce Lander has asked for further submissions about these latest recommendations.

Stanley clearly stated  the conditions from which she was making her recommendation such as resource restrictions, previous

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Safety Leadership is a thing and not a person

For many years now workplace health and safety conferences have discussed Leadership and how it is vital to the establishment of appropriate safety performance and, often, the establishment of a safety culture.  NSCA Foundation’s SafetyCONNECT conference was no different in some ways but there was a major concession in the last couple of the minutes of the conference.

Many presenters implied, or stated, that Leadership is a critical element of successful safety management.  They also said that safety starts from the top.  It is not unreasonable to interpret these statements as meaning that Leadership is embodied in the Chief Executive Officer, Senior Executive or Director and that safety trickles down through the management structures like neoliberal nonsense.

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