If occupational health and safety (OHS) is to include the “whole-of-life” for workers, companies, products and projects, OHS professionals need to expand their pool of knowledge to meet the demands for an inclusive organisational culture. One recent research paper supports this approach by looking at the return to work of cancer survivors.
The 21st World Congress on Safety and Health in Singapore has closed. The next will be in 2020 in Toronto Canada. But before the closing ceremony the range of symposia continued. One discussed best practice in occupational health and safety (OHS) and I had the chance to speak about the downside of Zero Harm. The…
The World Congress on Safety and Health is physically and mentally exhausting. Physically, simply because of its size. Mentally because there is so much information. Some that confirms your occupational health and safety (OHS) approach and others that conflict with what you know. Some information that seems incredibly dated and anachronistic but you look around and this seems new and wonderful to other delegates.
A major theme of the Congress was “People Centred Prevention” (PCP). This is one of the anachronisms. Wasn’t OHS always about keeping people safe? If this theme had originated in the United Kingdom, it could have been contextualised as redressing the red tape attack on OHS regulation by previous governments – bringing the humanity back to OHS – but it is being proposed in this Congress as a significant change of focus and perspective.
A major theme of the World Congress of Safety and Health 2017 is the extension and strengthening of the Vision Zero concept. One of major advocates of this is Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, of the International Social Security Association. Konkolewsky sees Vision Zero as a “life changer”.
Any safety concept that includes the word “zero” is inflammatory to some sectors of the Australian occupational health and safety (OHS) profession as is evident by some of the tweets received by @SafetyOz over the last few hours. Late on Day One a question from the audience also expressed wariness over the use of the concept. However SafetyAtWorkBlog was able to interview Konkolewsky at the congress over a decade after our first interview, when he was head of EU-OSHA. We outlined the Australian perspective – “Zero Harm” – and his clarification of Vision Zero is important.
Below is audio of the exclusive seven minute interview.
In front of thousands of delegates and dignitaries, the 21st World Congress on Safety and Health was officially opened yesterday by the Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
There are three themes of this conference:
- Vision Zero – From Vision to Reality
- Healthy work—Healthy life
- People-centred prevention