Labour Hire Inquiry submissions address OHS, sort of

The Victorian Government has concluded the public hearing section of its inquiry into Labour Hire. Industrial Relations Minister Natalie Hutchins has said in a media release that

“Evidence has been put to the inquiry suggesting widespread  underpayment of award wages, tax avoidance, nonpayment of superannuation, poor occupational health and safety practices, maltreatment of workers and backpackers on visas, and, in some instances, allegations of illegal conduct.”

This article focusses on the occupational health and safety (OHS) evidence provided through the

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Where is work-related suicide in the Suicide Prevention Strategy?

Cover of Suicide_Prevention_2020_Strategy_Final_6.sflbFor all the discussion of workplace mental health, work-related suicide continues to receive little attention.  Part of this is because unexpected fatalities are shocking and distressing, even more so when the deaths are the result of the worker’s own efforts.

Recently the

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Safety is the first agenda item but the last consideration

It is a common business activity to include Safety as an agenda item in all meetings.  This is intended to show that a company sees Safety as an integral component of all business decisions. But such an action can also be used to dismiss Safety by those who do not see it as related to production or the production program.

Some years ago I was an occupational health and safety (OHS) adviser for a client on a construction project. The project had Safety as the first item of business on the weekly progress meeting.  I was invited to attend and contribute.  The Project Manager opened the meeting, asked if anyone had a “Safety Share”, and then advised that the project had had no incidents in the previous week.

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WorkSafe enters battle over quadbike safety

Quad bike Say Safety_v151_04_10A decision by WorkSafe Victoria about the fitting of crush protection devices (CPD) to quad-bikes (All Terrain Vehicles/ATV) gained the major prominence in the latest edition of a major Australian farming newspaper, The Weekly Times.  The newspaper reports that

“WorkSafe Victoria is tightening rules around quad bikes that will see them banned in workplaces unless appropriate rollover protection is fitted.”

Some of the argument over the last 24 hours has been around whether this means that CPDs are mandatory and, as always, cost.

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