The 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work has been a remarkable achievement, with 3000 delegates, at least two-thirds of whom are from outside of Australia. The most valuable elements of this Congress have been the opportunities to network, talk to people you’ve never met, and get new perspectives. What has been a little peculiar was the presentations or, rather, the format of the sessions.
At last week’s Asia Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organisation conference, I bumped into Jen Jackson, a young creative thinker on occupational health and safety (OHS) and the author of “How to Speak Human”. We had a quick chat about OHS leadership and gender issues. Below is an edited transcript with a link to the raw audio.
Recently Paul Kells passed away. Paul had a major influence on workplace health and safety awareness and promotion around the world. He was the founder of the Safe Communities Foundation in Canada. I was able to interview Paul prior to his attendance at a Symposium on the “Global Perspectives on Effective Workplace Safety Strategies” in Melbourne, Australia on the 15th and 16th of March 2000.
The full interview from the SafetyAtWork magazine is reproduced below and on open access. I think this interview and the Youtube video insert below gives a good indication of Paul’s passion and pain and our loss. (Paul’s memorial service will be on October 8)
SAW: How did the Safe Communities Foundation start and where is it at?
PAUL: My son was 19 years old and he was killed in an accident in a small warehouse in a suburb of Toronto. In this little shop, it was a small business with only 4 or 5 people there. He got the job through a friend whose father ran the business. It was the second or third day on the job and he was asked to go back and decant some fluid from a large drum to some small vessels.Continue reading “2000 Interview with Paul Kells”
Recently in the International Journal of Epidemiology*, Professor Tony Lamontagne and his colleagues wrote that their Australian research:
“….. showed that improving job security is strongly associated with decreasing depression and anxiety symptoms.”
This is an example of the precise research statements that LaMontagne has made over several decades, which have been enormously helpful to those occupational health and safety (OHS) advocates and professionals who choose to use them.
Recently this clarity was on display for over 90 minutes in a podcast interview with LaMontagne. It should be obligatory listening for OHS people.
It is always important to note when those outside the traditional occupational health and safety (OHS) networks speak in favour of OHS and its critical role in business decisions.Continue reading “OHS is a key process for control of COVID”
Australians are starting to understand that having something described as “gold standard” – most recently in relation to the contact tracing services of New South Wales – is as helpful as describing occupational health and safety (OHS) laws and systems as “best practice”. These phrases are optimistic bullshit and politically fraught. The fragility of these phrases has been revealed in events as far apart as the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 and the Esso Longford Royal Commission of 1999. Consider this paragraph from the Esso Longford Royal Commission report and its pertinence to NSW’s contract tracing:
The calls continue for the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews, to be charged with Industrial Manslaughter over COVID19-related deaths that resulted from a poorly-managed hotel quarantine program. This time the topic was picked up be one of Australia’s conservative big guns, Alan Jones.
Jones hyperbolic rhetoric was on full display in his interview with Ken Phillips, who started the Andrews Industrial Manslaughter campaign.