In April 2017, WorkSafe Victoria created consternation in the farming sector by stating that farmers who own quad bikes must fit operator protection devices (OPDs) to the vehicles in order to operate them safely. The quad bike manufacturers took WorkSafe Victoria to the Supreme Court and, according to various media statements, the issue was dismissed before getting to Court and everybody won! On 26 October 2017, the current policy position of WorkSafe Victoria on operator protection devices (OPDs) was clarified.
An odd media statement was released by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on 23 October 2017 regarding the new international occupational health and safety (OHS) management system Standard ISO45001. Several days later Standards Australia released a statement that supported and clarified ACCI’s position
ACCI states that
“….the draft standard is still several months away from being finalised”.
As October is Australia’s Safe Work Month there are several awards evenings. On 19 October 2017, Victoria’s WorkSafe conducted theirs. It was a sedate evening in comparison to previous events. Very few tables whoop-ed their nominations, the MC did not leer at the female waiters and none of the winners danced across the stage. But there were a couple of notable moments.
The most obvious was the standing ovation one winner received from the entire audience.
The latest safety management standard ISO45001 will be active in a few months’ time. It is the first international Standard in occupational health and safety (OHS), a fact supported by the length of time and horse-trading that has occurred in its development. It will be an important OHS document for many countries as, for some, it is a first. For Western countries, like Australia, New Zealand and Britain, ISO45001 is the latest in a long line of safety management standards, so the hype is more muted.
The new features of this Standard have been outlined in
Recently David Caple gave his annual address to the Central Safety Group in Melbourne. Caple (pictured above) is a prominent ergonomist, an adjunct professor at the Centre for Ergonomics & Human Factors, La Trobe University, a representative on several government OHS-related committees and has an enviable information network.
Fresh from the Singapore OHS conference, Caple speculated on the future of the workplace safety profession at a time when many are indicating an increasing demand for OHS services and advice. He used a graph of the membership of the Safety Institute of Australia to illustrate part of the challenge.