Australia’s occupational health and safety (OHS) profession was late to the process of certifying its members. The Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) has been running its certification program for a couple of years so it is difficult to assess the benefit to members and the community but a critical element in any certification is the treatment of members who breach the Code of Ethics or Code of Conduct. The revelations of corruption and misconduct from Australia’s Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry provide important lessons in integrity and fairness to all professions.
In my readings on Industrial Manslaughter, a reader recommended a book to help me understand how the world works. I haven’t found the time to read it through because I get angry and/or depressed but I wanted to share a suggestion that may help clarify our occupational health and safety (OHS) obligations and provide a reconsideration of the employer’s duty of care.
Australia’s Royal Commission into banking and financial services is a few months in and the evidence provided of wrongdoing is so substantial that those who were critical of the need for such an investigation are admitting they were wrong.
SafetyAtWorkBlog is applying the logic that occupational health and safety (OHS) succeeds best when it is part of the organisational culture. Australia has often held its banking and financial services as “world-class” and many of that industry sector’s leaders have been prominent in speaking about the importance of leadership and corporate morality.
The financial and banking industry’s credibility and authority in Australia is gone and the OHS profession can learn much from this failure, even when the failure is in its early stages of exposure.
The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has released its submission to the Independent Review of Work Health and Safety Laws. It is a good example of the business-speak that can erode the effectiveness of clear communication, but the submission is still revealing. Here is an example from its Executive Summary:
“A nationally-consistent, risk-based preventative Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulatory system, supported by industry-specific regulation, would deliver benefits based on greater certainty, consistency and efficiency. It would also help to ensure that compliance challenges do not detract from the practical tasks of identifying, managing and minimising risk and the continuous improvement of safety and health outcomes by companies.” (Page 3)
So, the MCA wants national occupational health and safety (OHS) laws?
”to assist victims and witnesses record information in a way that can help with convictions and prevent miscarriages of justice”.
This immediately sparked my interest in using the app as a record of workplace incidents.
iWitnessed is intended as a tool to assist a person’s memory when confronted by an incident or a traumatic event. The app steps you through the basic evidence-gathering questions of what happened, where, when, who was injured etc.