I learnt more about the politics of the United States from Doonesbury than I did from television news and analysis. I learn more about the politics of occupational health and safety (OHS) in the United States from Jordan Barab‘s Confined Space newsletter/blog than I do any other media source. Although the US’s OHS legal structures are different from Australia and other Commonwealth countries, the political ideologies and maneuverings, and fads and statistics are noted by political parties outside the United States.
Recently Barab posted a Year in Review article which is obligatory reading. His key issues included:
- A New and Improved Congress (or at least the House)
- A Headless Agency
- Inspectors down, enforcement units down, penalties down
- Return of Black Lung
- Brett Kavanaugh
- Regulatory Rollback
- The Fate of the Labor Movement
Anything sound familiar in your own jurisdiction?
This article is part two of an edited version of a keynote presentation I made at the a special WHS Inspectors Forum organised by WorkSafe Tasmania. The audience comprised inspectors from around Australia and New Zealand. I was asked to be provocative and challenging so posed some questions to the audience about how occupational health and safety (OHS) is managed, regulated and inspected.
The audio of the presentation is available at
One of the Commissioners of Australia’s Productivity Commission (PC), Julie Abramson, spoke briefly at a lunchtime seminar on Mental Health and the Economy, hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. It is very early in the PC’s inquiry into the role of improving mental health but Abramson was able to provide some draft timelines.
Abramson told the audience that the Presiding Commissioner on this inquiry
Some readers have asked for more information about the “Share Solutions” program mentioned in a previous article. The initiative started in 1988 but this article is based on the second edition from 1995.
In 1995, pre-internet, the precursor to WorkSafe Victoria, the Health and Safety Organisation Victoria produced a Share Solutions manual (with an unfortunate sex doll-like graphic). This hard copy folders included single page solutions to common workplace hazards. These solutions were submitted usually by those workers or Health and Safety Representatives who had developed a solution to a hazard particular to their workplace. The solutions were shared with the program participants with acknowledgement of the origin. Continue reading “Share Solutions could be resurrected”
This article is part one of an edited version of a keynote presentation I made at the a special WHS Inspectors Forum organised by WorkSafe Tasmania. The audience comprised inspectors from around Australia and New Zealand. I was asked to be provocative and challenging so posed some questions to the audience about how occupational health and safety (OHS) is managed, regulated and inspected.
The audio of the presentation is available at SoundCloud and Podbean and below.
“The purpose of this session is to provide insight into the future challenges for work health and safety regulators due to changes in the nature of work, the workforce, supply chains, and the social and political environments, and encourage inspectors to consider how the way they do their work may need to change to meet these challenges.”
I encourage you all to analyse what you say, what you are told, what you do and how you do it. Too often we accept information and our situations uncritically and I want you to question everything, including what you read in this article.