Australian occupational health and safety (OHS) professional, Paul Breslin, is continuing his research into the use and application of the Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) in the construction industry. His latest paper, recently published in the Journal of Health, Safety and Environment (subscription only) asks an important question:
“If administrative controls are one of the lowest levels of control measures under the hierarchy of control, why has the Safe Work Method Statement become a central element in ensuring safety in the Australian construction industry?”
Breslin’s article title summarises the frustration of many OHS professionals where safety relies on lower order controls of the
The Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) has released its small business blueprint. The document continues the misunderstanding of industry and business groups in respect to occupational health and safety (OHS) and red tape.
The “Small business. Big opportunities” document continues to show OHS as a burden rather than an opportunity. The chapter that discusses “high level of
labour market adaptability and flexibility” includes this recommendation:
“Simplify existing workplace relations legislation applying to small business, without removing the intent of regulations to provide safe, fair, productive and successful workplaces.
Small business currently needs to comply with numerous
substantial pieces of legislation (for example, taxation,
superannuation, OHS, equal opportunity and corporations law) that can act as a major disincentive to growth, employment and investment.” (page 10)
Previous SafetyAtWorkBlog articles have highlighted how inaccurate and unfair it is to include OHS obligations with other laws, such as taxation, as they have fundamentally different origins. OHS laws are not a “major disincentive to growth, employment and investment”.