2017 Year in Review creates anxiety and calls for action

Last week in Sydney and Melbourne law firm Clyde & Co conducted seminars reviewing 2017 through the workplace health and safety perspective.  Alena Titterton (pictured right) hosted the Melbourne event which did not follow the proposed topics, but it was friendly and informative, and covered a lot of ground.

This article focuses on the statistics presented in the Year in Review document and some commentary from Titterton.

(An exclusive conversation with Titterton is to be in the next episode of Safety At Work Talks podcast)

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Latest safety culture report on construction has lessons for all

In 2012, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government undertook a review of safety in its construction industry and produced a report called “Getting Home Safely“. In early 2017, the Government contracted RMIT University to review the construction sector’s work health and safety culture in the aftermath of the 2012 report and government actions since them.   The September 2017 report was only recently made public.

The RMIT University report includes a very good and super-current discussion about safety culture and safety climate but its findings are of limited help in improving OHS performance in the construction sector.

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Safety Awards nights are important but need constant maintenance

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.

Richard Wallace

The most obvious was the standing ovation one winner received from the entire audience.

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New laws help in the prevention of occupational asthma

Recently a public relations firm has been promoting a statement about workers’ compensation and occupational asthma in support of the Australasian Asthma Conference.  The statement was a timely reminder of the 2015 report – The Hidden Costs of Asthma.  These documents are aimed at the management of asthma rather than the prevention but, coincidentally, the Australian Government entered some legislative amendments in Parliament that will help with the prevention of this important condition.

The 

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Discussion of corporate culture includes OHS even when it doesn’t

The political debate about the dysfunctional culture of Australia’s banking sector has diminished to a discussion, and that discussion continues to bubble along, mostly, in the Australian Financial Review (AFR).  The discussion is important for the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession to watch as any change in safety management systems will occur within the corporate or organisational culture.

Two (possibly paywalled) articles appeared this week in the AFR – “

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