It’s what we do, not what we’re called

The Safety Institute of Australia Limited is consulting with its members about a name change.  This was flagged at the SIA’s recent conference and coincidentally follows the renaming of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) to the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP).  According to a recent statement from CEO, David Clarke, the SIA seems keen to include “Health” in its new title but this was not an option the ASSP took up.

The SIA has chosen

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Three books that challenge OHS

Book publisher Routledge has recently released books about occupational health and safety (OHS) that are very critical of OHS’ role, or that of the health and safety professional, in modern business. Below I dip into the

  • The Fearless World of Professional Safety in the 21st Century
  • The 10 Step MBA for Safety and Health Practitioners, and
  • Naked Safety – Exploring The Dynamics of Safety in a Fast-Changing World.

Continue reading “Three books that challenge OHS”

OHS – The Hidden Profession

Australian research usually makes use of the industrial and activity categories created by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).  This creates a problem for research into the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession because there is no specific category for the OHS professional.  Perhaps even more importantly, it creates problems for readers of these research reports because we risk imposing an interpretation on the data that is false.  SafetyAtWorkBlog sought clarification from the ABS.

The ABS has a category that seems Continue reading “OHS – The Hidden Profession”

USA response on sexual harassment is interesting but can be better

Australia continues to develop various Codes and Guidances for the prevention and management of sexual harassment, particularly in the creative industries.  America’s Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) released some guidance about its Code of Conduct on April 12 2018. It is educative but Australia can do better.

A positive in SAG’s announcement is that it clearly places sexual harassment under the category of workplace safety which allows for a broad approach to the hazard and one that is supported by legislation and an employer’s duty of care. 

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Australian safety group calls for a Code of Practice on psychosocial risks

The Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) is making serious efforts to increase its relevance to Australia’s occupational health and safety (OHS) profession and the broader community.  Around International Women’s Day, the SIA released a media statement calling for action on workplace bullying, harassment and abuse.

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McLachlan accusations place more focus on the OHS of sexual harassment

Prominent Australian actor, Craig McLachlan, has been accused of indecent assault by cast members of the Rocky Horror Show, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Fairfax media (paywalled).  One actress, Erika Heynatz, has identified this behaviour as a workplace safety issue:

“Heynatz went immediately to the head mechanic, whose job it was to ensure safety. She recalled that he was laughing “uncomfortably”. But she told him that McLachlan had to be spoken to, that this was a safety issue.”

Articles in both media outlets relate the anguish that actors felt after the alleged events and how this affected their work performance. Continue reading “McLachlan accusations place more focus on the OHS of sexual harassment”

Review into WorkSafe Victoria released at Christmas

In the middle of 2017 SafetyAtWorkBlog asked why the Victorian Government was slow in releasing the report of an independent review into its occupational health and safety (OHS) regulator, WorkSafe.  Victorians have received a Christmas present with the release of the report of the  Independent Review of Occupational Health and Safety Compliance and Enforcement in Victoria and the Government response.

In Principle

According to the Minister for Finance Robin Scott’s media release, dated 18 December 2017,

“The review was a Labor Government election commitment and made 22 recommendations – all of which the Government supports in principle.” (emphasis added)

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