Questionable deterrence value in Industrial Manslaughter penalties

New South Wales is the latest Australian jurisdiction to introduce a penalty for Industrial Manslaughter (IM) in its occupational health and safety (OHS) laws. One of the primary aims of significant penalties like IM is to deter others from making similar negligent decisions related to workplace health and safety. But deterrence is a fickle beast.

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Free books to subscribers

[UPDATE: Congratulations to Mike and Mick for being quick off the mark.] I have two books available to the first two (current) SafetyAtWorkBlog subscribers who email me HERE with their choice in the Subject Heading. One is The Price of Inequality by Joseph E Stiglitz. It’s not his most recent book, but it remains influential….

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The psychosocial message may be getting through

Recent Australian insurer Allianz released survey data that revealed:

“….half of surveyed Australian employees claim they feel fatigued and burnt out”.

This report generated a recent article (paywalled) in the Australian Financial Review (AFR), which included some important comments from Dr Rebecca Michalak. Her comments are an important introduction to a week that includes SafetyAtWorkBlog’s exclusive reporting on The Psych Health & Safety Conference.

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A mental health book for leaders and HR professionals

Australian lawyer Fay Calderone has published a book called “Broken to Safe – Tackling Toxic Workplace Cultures and Burnout”. The intended readership seems to be “leaders” and Human Resource (HR) professionals. Occupational health and safety (OHS) is mentioned occasionally, but OHS professionals will find much to frustrate them about this self-published book.

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Is Victoria still committed to its psychosocial regulations?

Victoria’s Minister for WorkSafe, Danny Pearson, has emerged from the occupational health and safety (OHS) wilderness to restate his commitment to introducing legislative amendments on psychosocial hazards at work. He has been stalling on these for a very long time, but he has recently provided an update to Parliament.

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Broadening the OHS perspective

Over the last decade, the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession has been challenged by a new perspective on OHS and its professional interaction with it. Safety Differently, Safety II or some other variation are important and intriguing variations, but they seem to remain confined to the workplace, the obligations of the person conducting a business or undertaking, and/or the employer/employee relationship. The interaction of work and non-work receives less attention than it deserves.

Many OHS professionals bemoan OHS’ confinement to managerial silos but continue to operate within their own self-imposed silo. One way for OHS to progress and to remain current and relevant is to look more broadly at the societal pressures under which they work and how their employees or clients make OHS decisions. Some recent non-OHS books and concepts may help.

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