The United States media continues to scrutinise the Department of Labor (DoL). On March 13 2017, The New York Times (NYT) expressed concerns about the lack of official media releases from the department, comparing the actions under a Trump administration against the Obama occupational health and safety (OHS) strategy. Some are claiming this to be a deliberate strategy but, until the Labor Secretary is confirmed, it may simply be caution. Such an apparently simple action can have broader effects on OHS management, as Australia learnt. Continue reading “US says “nothing to see here, move along””
Melania Trump plagiarised a Michelle Obama speech. Following the signing of an Executive Order to reform regulations, perhaps President Trump could echo these words from a similarly-themed Executive Order of President Bill Clinton in 1993:
“The American people deserve a regulatory system that works for them, not against them: a regulatory system that protects and improves their health, safety, environment, and well-being and improves the performance of the economy without imposing unacceptable or unreasonable costs on society: – regulatory policies that recognize that the private sector and private markets are the best engine for economic growth: regulatory approaches that respect the role of State, local, and tribal governments; and regulations that are effective, consistent, sensible, and understandable. We do not have such a regulatory system today”
President Trump has set the United States bureaucracy a task that has already been undertaken by the
Following the resignation of Andrew Puzder, President Trump has nominated Alexander Acosta to be the new Labor Secretary. The United States media, generally, has been supportive of the nomination particularly in comparison to Puzder. However, there was a particular line in the President’s media conference that may indicate his approach to safety legislation and regulations.
“We’ve directed the elimination of regulations that undermine manufacturing and call for expedited approval of the permits needed for America and American infrastructure and that means plant, equipment, roads, bridges, factories.” (emphasis added)
President Trump’s plans for cutting regulatory red tape was forecast during his election campaign when he stated that regulations:
“… just stopping businesses from growing.”
President Trump or his Labor Secretary nominees have not mentioned occupational health and safety (OHS) specifically but the
It took a long time but Wiley has published a Dummies guide on Health and Safety At Work. The lack of an occupational health and safety (OHS) book in this series has always been a mystery particularly when the Dummies” market seems to be, primarily, small- to medium-sized businesses. This edition is written for the UK market but the vast majority of the book is applicable to any jurisdiction that is based on the original UK OHS laws. But is it any good?
SafetyAtWorkBlog dipped into several chapters of the book to see if it was on the right path.
The public comment phase of the Victorian Government’s Independent OHS Review into WorkSafe Victoria has concluded and most of the submissions are appearing on the review’s website. Some submissions are extensive, others are simply a whinge. One topic did not get much of a mention in the 40 submissions currently available – on-the-spot fines. The…
Many Australians expressed concerns over the potential workplace health and safety impacts of various free trade agreements Australia has entered into over the last few years. Those concerns may be starting to manifest if a report in The Age newspaper on 4 June 2016 is correct. Continue reading “OHS training in strife again”
Some people have accused me of writing for the converted through the SafetyAtWorkBlog and the majority of followers to this blog are OHS professionals and safety regulators, but everything on the Internet is able to be found by anyone who wants to, so the broad audience exists. Sometimes, however, you need to push yourself in the media. Continue reading “Andrew Barrett’s OHS interview on community radio”
“Evidence has been put to the inquiry suggesting widespread underpayment of award wages, tax avoidance, nonpayment of superannuation, poor occupational health and safety practices, maltreatment of workers and backpackers on visas, and, in some instances, allegations of illegal conduct.”
This article focusses on the occupational health and safety (OHS) evidence provided through the
Occupational health and safety (OHS) returned to the Australian
Workplace safety can have a bizarre logic. A recent example can be seen in the continuing controversy about the deaths of two workers on a construction site in Western Australia.
In November 2015 two workers Joe McDermott and Gerard Bradley were crushed to death by a concrete slab while on a break at a Jaxon Construction site in East Perth. The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) concerns about the site have been discussed on ABC television last week and on the union’s social media. WorkSafe WA is investigating.
Some of the statements by Kim Richardson, the construction director of the Master Builders Association of Western Australia (MBAWA) seem ill-timed but reflect many of the perspectives held by employers towards occupational health and safety (OHS).
Shortly after the the incident Richardson stated that
“All workers have the right to go to work and have the expectation and the right to come home safely,…. That did not happen.
There’s been a move to have a tremendous amount of paperwork where people will tick boxes to say they have a safe system in place. But that doesn’t guarantee safe systems of work. The way the work is performed is where the focus needs to be.”
Richardson’s complaints seem to be that
- occupational health and safety has too much paperwork
- the paperwork misrepresents the level of safety at the workplace
- greater attention should be given to how work is performed.
Few OHS professionals in Australia would argue these points but there are some uncomfortable implications in these complaints.