Improve the profession by improving the professionals

The occupational safety profession (OHS) in Australia is often described as being populated by older white males, as being dull and ill-informed.  This perception has generated offshoots such as Women in Safety and Health, and Young Safety Professionals (YSP) with similar actions occurring in many other professions. It is easier than ever to develop professional groups that better address one’s needs but this can miss out on opportunities to change those older white males who are prepared to listen and learn.

These subgroups can often be more innovative than the larger profession events, partly because they are smaller, but also because their audience has different expectations and capacities. Recently

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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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Safety Differently – The Movie reviewed

One of the best elements of Sidney Dekker’s new Safety Differently documentary is that he is only in it for a few of its thirty minutes.  It is not that he has nothing to say but the expected audience for this documentary would already be familiar with Dekker’s take on Safety Differently.

This documentary provides what has been needed for the Safety Differently movement for some time  – case studies, trials and experiments.  It was always possible to understand the theory but it was difficult to see how the theory would be implemented.  Partly this was because the implication was that Safety II concepts replaced Safety I.  Rather Safety Differently is a transition from I to II and over a considerable time.

This documentary, which is free to view and released on October 10, 2017. includes three stories – one each from oil & gas, health care and retail supermarkets.  

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