Breakfast seminar provides OHS tidbits 1

In May 2016, the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) held their annual safety breakfast.  The speakers were the usual blend of WorkSafe representative, SIA, Herbert Smith Freehills and remuneration survey results but there is always bits of useful information for the old hands and a lot of information for new entrants in the occupational health and safety profession. More…

Political disregard for OHS…. again 3

In 2014 during an election campaign (now Premier of Victoria) Daniel Andrews stated:

“Labor will introduce random breath testing for all Members of Parliament during sitting weeks” and

“Labor will also legislate to give the Chief Justice, the Chief Judge and the Chief Magistrate the power to require these random tests of the judiciary.”

At the time potential drug and alcohol testing on Victorian construction sites was topical.

This week the first pledge was dropped and the second was obfuscated.  Where was the safety justification for this pledge in the first place? What was Andrews thinking?

More…

Safety and The Three Little Pigs – WTF? 5

One of the benefits of the Internet is that people are able to distribute their thoughts in a variety of formats. (I am surely not the first to see some parallels with pamphleteering in the 1700s.) In November 2015, Australian safety professional Faith Eeson published Safety & The Three Little Pigs as an e-book.

The book is not a manual or a deep analysis of a particular safety topic.  It is a rumination on various safety-related issues with each chapter being no more than a couple of pages each.  Eeson peppers the e-book with references to fresh contemporary incidents in Australia, such as the Lindt Cafe siege last year in Sydney or the community prevalence of methamphetamine.  It may just the type of e-book that some small business owners made need for reassurance and guidance More…

Bus Association provides fresh and different guidance on workplace mental health Reply

Cover of Bus_Industry_Wellness_-_A_Guide_For_Managers_-_Oct_2015Occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators seem comparatively quiet on the issue of mental health in workplaces.  But this is not deterring industry associations from releasing their own guidance on psychosocial issues.  Several weeks ago the Minerals Council of Australia released its guide, this week the Bus Association of Victoria released three guides about workplace mental health, one for managers, one for operators and leaders and one for everyone.  The most significance difference about these guides is the level of customer contact and the isolation of bus drivers. More…

Hierarchy of Control podcast 1

It always surprises me when clients and colleagues ignore the Hierarchy of Controls when deciding what control measures to introduce.  Recently Oregon’s OSHA released a podcast about the Hierarchy of Controls which shares some of my concerns.

It was concerning that the podcast stated that some hierarchies place Administrative Controls on the same level as Engineering Controls and that some consider fall protection devices as Engineering Controls due the engineering of the anchor point (a dubious engineering control as this blog has discussed previously).

Below are several quotes from the 4 minute podcast Michael Wood of Oregon OSHA.

“A control that fully eliminates the hazard is always preferred to one that does not.”

“The hierarchy improves the control’s reliability.”

“The hierarchy of control recognises that perfection in human performance can not be attained.”

This short podcast is a good quick reminder to occupational health and safety professionals but could also be discussion catalyst on basic hazard management.

Kevin Jones