Australia’s Office of the Chief Economist released a report on December 6 2017 whose relevance to occupational health and safety (OHS) is not immediately apparent but contributes to understanding the context of OHS in modern business processes.
“Then I went, ‘Oh hang on, I’ve normalised so much of this as part of my industry…. This last three months has really made us all take a long hard look at what we have even let ourselves think is acceptable.” – Sacha Horler
Such a statement is familiar to those working in the field of occupational health and safety (OHS). This normalisation, or habituation, has underpinned much of the discussion of what builds a safety culture – “the way things are done round here”. As a result of revelations and accusations pertaining to Gary Glitter, Rolf Harris, Jimmy Saville, Robert Hughes, Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Spacey, the entertainment industry around the world has been forced to assess the fundamental ethics on which sections of its industry are based. Continue reading “What do Weinstein, Spacey and others have to do with OHS?”
Professor Sidney Dekker has a new book out called “The Safety Anarchist –
Relying on human expertise and innovation, reducing bureaucracy and compliance“. Last month Sidney spoke exclusively with SafetyAtWorkBlog about the issues of governance, risk assessment, the safety profession, bureaucracy, centralisation and the cost of compliance. The full conversation is available at the Safety At Work Talks podcasts and below.
The political debate about the dysfunctional culture of Australia’s banking sector has diminished to a discussion, and that discussion continues to bubble along, mostly, in the Australian Financial Review (AFR). The discussion is important for the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession to watch as any change in safety management systems will occur within the corporate or organisational culture.
Two (possibly paywalled) articles appeared this week in the AFR – “
Industrial manslaughter laws passed through the Queensland Parliament on October 12 2017. The debate about the laws on that day is an interesting read as it illustrates some of the thoughts about workplace safety in the minds of policy decision makers, business owners, industry associations, trade unions and safety advocates.
“Will [industrial manslaughter laws] make workplaces safer? In my view probably not, but it will certainly affect the manner in which businesses respond to workplace incidents and external investigations.”
This perspective is understandable and valid when one considers the laws to be a part of the post-incident investigation and prosecution. A similar view was expressed in Queensland’s Parliament by the Liberal National Party’s David Janetzki, based on the submission by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland: Continue reading “Industrial manslaughter debate reveals commitment and misunderstandings”