Many employers are continuing to pimp up their well-being programs and employer benefits with the intention of managing mental health pressures. This is often based on advice from multinational business advisory and consulting firms in the form of trend surveys and reports about business attitudes, fears and concerns. A recent report from Mercer was the basis for an article in the Australian Financial Review (AFR, paywalled) written by Euan Black. It is instructive to subject the article and the Mercer report to a little scrutiny to determine their usefulness.
Long working hours and the billable hours structure received some attention in the prominent business newspaper. the Australian Financial Review, on November 11,2023. Unsurprisingly the article, by Edmund Tadros, about former Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick has garnered attention in the business social media. The article reinforces the unsafe nature of the dominant management practices in white-collar workplaces.
Safety signs can be a mix of symbols, colours and words. On a recent vacation in the United Kingdom, I saw a configuration of pedestrian crossing signs that challenged my interpretation of signs I had seen since I was a child. I wondered if this new configuration still communicated the essential safety message.
Late last week, it was announced that prominent lawyer Michael Tooma was leaving Clyde & Co for a position with Hamilton Locke, focussing on environment, social, and governance matters. This is interesting in one way, as lawyers move firms regularly, but his comments about the social harm from law firms’ reliance on billable hours was more interesting.
Victoria’s coronial services has been found guilty of breaching its occupational health and safety (OHS) obligations after one of its employees died by suicide, identifying work issues as a major factor in her death. WorkSafe Victoria has released the best source of information on this case. Most of the mainstream media is relying on a newswire report,which is based on WorkSafe’s information.
Significantly none of the prevention strategies identified by WorkSafe are included in the media reports even though this is perhaps the most vital information for preventing recurrences.
This article looks at the advice offered by WorkSafe Victoria in its media release on what actions it believes could prevent the occupational factors that resulted in this suicide from emerging, or not being addressed, in your workplaces.
Plain speaking is one of the greatest challenges of any profession. Many professionals struggle to communicate their excellent work and knowledge which has created the moves for Research-To-Practice and specialised communicators (as opposed to public relations advisers). Human Resources (HR) and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) need communications specialists, or perhaps just interpreters, if a recent article on workers compensation and mental health is anything to go by.
If we are going to achieve a successful and effective change on workplace mental health, we need to start to understand each other.
Racism is a word increasingly thrown around these days, the most current incarnation being in the controversy surrounding whether or not to allow Australia’s indigenous peoples a formalised Voice to Parliament.
Unfortunately, Australia has no patent on this illogical and offensive tendency. In Asia, it is often aimed at other Asian races of what is perceived as lower social class.