Two new workplace health and safety feature films

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Every year the Melbourne International Film Festival seems to include a couple of new films related to workplace health and safety issues. This year’s festival opens in August 2019.

One film about slavery in the South East Asia fishing industry is Buoyancy, an Australian film having its world premier in Melbourne.

Another is the Ken Loach film “Sorry We Missed You” which provides an intense and personal look at what it means to be working in precarious jobs and the gig economy.

Kevin Jones

Burnout – OHS regulators clarify their positions

The prominence of Burnout as an occupational health and safety (OHS) matter has gained renewed prominence since the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised it as an “occupational phenomenon“. But WHO equally stressed that Burnout

“… is not classified as a medical condition.”

SafetyAtWorkBlog asked several OHS and workplace experts in Australia and overseas about how to prevent Burnout. Below is the first of a series of articles in which Australian OHS Regulators provide their take on the issue. The next part will look at some overseas and non-regulatory perspectives.

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Andi Csontos, OHS futurist

Andi Csontos

The future of work is usually portrayed as a future dominated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and electronic technology, and one with which humans will struggle to cope. As other industrial sectors panic over potential job losses, it may be good news for the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession which feeds on the potential for harm. The future will still contain harm, but probably new types.

Consultation has been critical to OHS and its ability to improve health and safety, but many OHS people do not have to leave the office. There activities revolve around complicated Excel spreadsheets of intricate injury classifications and risk calculations. But OHS existed long before these technological burdens, which some would describe as dead-ends and others as the accumulation of valuable data. However, talking about safety and, more important, listening to others discussing safety is the most important tool an OHS profession has and will have in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

This was reinforced recently by EY’s EHS Partner Andi Csontos (pictured above) at a seminar in Ballarat Victoria. Csontos paraphrased a recent EY discussion paper:

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In an industry where there are no employers, who is responsible for workplace health and safety?

The Victorian Government has been running an inquiry for a little while on the “on-demand workforce”, a term which seems to be a synonym for the gig economy. The government recently extended the deadline for public submissions. This is often a sign that inquiries are struggling for information which is almost an inevitable consequence if you schedule an inquiry over the Christmas/New Year break.

This inquiry has direct relevance to occupational health and safety (OHS) and vice versa.

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The Shock of the New

The Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) has recently published an article about the significant Human Resources trends for 2019. The trends identified include

  •  “A Change of Government”
  •  “Gig Economy Classification”
  •  “Sexual Harassment”
  •  “Technology Trends”

SafetyAtWorkBlog will be more specific in its occupational health and safety (OHS) “trends” for 2019.

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