“Reasonably Practicable” – alternative perspective

A developing sticking point in the review of Australia’s OHS laws is the inclusion or otherwise of “reasonably practicable”. This is an important legal concept but less so for safety management. Safety management is an aim and legislative responsibility and compliance is ill-defined. “Reasonably practicable” was an acknowledgement of the difficulty in complying with a…

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OHS Law Review and the International Labour Organisation

Several submissions, from those currently publicly available, to Australia’s National OHS Law Review have referenced OHS conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). It is early days in the process of assessing submissions and one would expect more details on ILO Conventions to come from submissions of the ACTU and ACCI, both members of the…

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OHS professional standards

Some years ago the CEO of an OHS certifying body came to Australia from the US.  He spoke intriguingly about the benefits of having an independently-assessed safety practitioner registration.  I could see the potential international career benefits but I am already a registered safety practitioner through my membership with an OHS professional association.  I couldn’t…

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Construction site deaths and union calls for manslaughter charges

Last weekend two Queensland workers fell 26 storeys from swing scaffolding to their deaths.  They were patching concrete on a building from a platform similar to those used by high-rise window cleaners. According to a 24 June 2008 ABC news report: “The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says the men were wearing harnesses…

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Speeding in roadside worksites

I have a confessions to make.  I stick to the speed limit and in over 25 years of driving cars and riding motorcycles, I have never had a speeding ticket.  That may make me sound like a grumpy old fart but I can’t see how it can be worth putting yourself and others at risk for little return….

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