Don’t mention profit

The primacy of profit to employers is an accepted truth. However, the size of the profit and the pathway to those profits are not absolutes, and it is in this latter context that occupational health and safety (OHS) lives.

Even though profit is a business truth, it is often a word that business representatives seem to fear. They speak of profit through synonyms like “productivity” and “competitiveness”. An example of this timidity or wariness was displayed recently by prominent businessman Michael Angwin in an opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review (paywalled) that contained many other cautious words of business jargon. Angwin misses the harm to workers and others generated by the world as he sees it.

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

The two extremes of managing burnout

Two new books about burnout arrived on my doorstep this week. They could not be more different. They reflect the mess of approaches to this type of psychosocial injury. Only one provides valid, useful evidence and advice.

Bev Aisbett released a book that I found unreadable – partly because of the advice offered but mostly because of the atrocious formatting where she YELLS almost all the time in the most annoying social media way. Below is a random example.

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Addendum: Chris Smith and the prevention of harm

The earlier Chris Smith article mentioned the earlier incidents that, given his recidivism, the control measures implemented failed or were inadequate. If these incidents had involved occupational health and safety (OHS) concepts and investigations, the latest incident may never have occurred.

OHS is big on investigations and contributory factors but usually after an incident. OHS tends to identify faults and failures after the event. However, this has become the norm because OHS and employers are less able or interested in investigating incidents with lesser consequences or what OHS call Near Misses. Chris Smith had no near misses, each of the earlier “misbehaviours’ were incidents that seem not to have been investigated to the standard or depth intended in OHS.

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

2022 review indicates the amount of OHS work needed in 2023

The end-of-year reviews are starting to emerge from Australia’s law firms. The most recent release is from Maddocks, who have released several short reports on occupational health and safety (OHS) hazards and suggested controls for employers to apply. So this is a year-in-review for 2022, but it is also a forecast of what needs to be changed in 2023.

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Other OHS politics you might have missed

November 2022 was a very busy month of politics (and a football World Cup) which distracted many of us from our usual monitoring of OHS announcements. Below is a summary of some of those from the last couple of weeks.

The South Australian Parliament has sent its Work Health and Safety (Crystalline Silica Dust) Amendment Bill to the Parliamentary Committee on Occupational Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation for inquiry and report.

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

OHS legal changes you might have missed

If you needed confirmation that the mainstream media is disinterested in occupational health and safety (OHS) unless there is a disaster or the incident can be narrowly categorised as sexual harassment, bullying or suicide, last week, the Australian Parliament passed important amendments to the Model Work Health and Safety laws. It seems OHS cannot compete with sexual harassment laws (I’m okay with that) or Industrial Relations (or Australia’s wins in the World Cup).

On December 1 2022, Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke‘s Second Reading Speech included the removal of insurance policies that could pay for financial penalties awarded against OHS breaches and a pledge to put Industrial manslaughter back on the national agenda.

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Is Safety Leadership for everyone or just the executives?

At last week’s Asia Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organisation conference, I bumped into Jen Jackson, a young creative thinker on occupational health and safety (OHS) and the author of “How to Speak Human”. We had a quick chat about OHS leadership and gender issues. Below is an edited transcript with a link to the raw audio.

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.
Concatenate Web Development
© Designed and developed by Concatenate Aust Pty Ltd
%d bloggers like this: