Banking Royal Commission should not limit our thinking about culture

Australia is to have a Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.  What’s this to do with occupational health and safety (OHS)? Not a lot, at first blush.  OHS professionals and safety practitioners need to watch this Royal Commission because it could led to a fundamental reassessment of corporate culture. The OHS discipline is beginning to understand that it operates within that organisational, or corporate, culture; the same culture that will be examined over the next twelve to eighteen months.

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Heights, Standards and Safety

Engineering and design Standards have existed globally for a long time.  They have considerable authority, often provided through legislation, and underpin many of the safety devices and equipment used in workplaces.  But does compliance with Standards mean that something is safe?

The easy answer is no. A recent presentation to the Central Safety Group (CSG) by David Davis of the Working at Heights Association illustrated this gap between workplace safety compliance and compliance with Standards.

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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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Industry group expresses concerns about new safety Standard

An odd media statement was released by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on 23 October 2017 regarding the new international occupational health and safety (OHS) management system Standard ISO45001.  Several days later Standards Australia released a statement that supported and clarified ACCI’s position

ACCI states that

“….the draft standard is still several months away from being finalised”.

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Queensland’s Industrial Manslaughter push moves to Parliament this week

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Queensland’s Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Grace Grace is continuing to apply political pressure on the opposition (conservative) party over the issue of industrial manslaughter laws, prior to their debate in State Parliament this week.

In a media statement released on October 6 2017, Grace states that

“We owe it to the victims and their loved ones to ensure Queensland has strong industrial manslaughter laws to protect people on the job.”

This is an appealing statement during Australia’s National Safe Work Month but the relationship between industrial manslaughter laws and safer workers is not as clear and direct as the political statements suggest. Continue reading “Queensland’s Industrial Manslaughter push moves to Parliament this week”