Quick and dirty summary of new OHS management Standard

I really enjoyed presenting at the Central Safety Group’s monthly meeting yesterday*.  (Taught me not to use slide presentations if you can avoid it.). Here is a brief summary of my take on the new international Standard for OHS Management Systems – ISO45001 – that I shared with the group members. Continue reading “Quick and dirty summary of new OHS management Standard”

5 top OHS issues for 2018

The annual Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) breakfast was held in conjunction with Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) law firm on 21 February 2018.  This year the audience heard from two representatives of WorkSafe Victoria – Marnie Williams, the Executive Director and Paul Fowler, the Director of the Enforcement Group.

The WorkSafe presentations were interesting but included what was largely expected – an introduction to the recent Independent Review report and a reiteration of the WorkSafe Strategy 2030.   (More on WorkSafe’s presentation in the next article)

Some of the more thought-provoking content came from HSF’s Steve Bell.  He presented several issues and perspectives for consideration.

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Hyperbole over new OHS Standard

The hyperbole about ISO45001 keeps coming now that the International Standard for Occupational Health and Management Systems has been finalised and due for publication on March 18 2018.

On February 1 2018, Vic Toy, chair of the US technical advisory group is quoted in EHS Today:

“ISO45001 is one of the most significant developments in workplace safety over the past 50 years, presenting an opportunity to move the needle on reducing occupational health and safety risks…..

The goal was to create a widely accepted standard that can produce a highly effective safety and health management system for an increasingly interconnected world, regardless of an organisation’s size, location, supply chains or nature of work.  It becomes a minimum standard of practice, and a good one at that.”

ISO45001 does have great potential for change but primarily in those countries that have no such standard already and where OHS laws are under-developed or poorly enforced. Continue reading “Hyperbole over new OHS Standard”

The big accounting firms are due to shake up the OHS sector

On 15 August 2017, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) ran an article (paywalled) that should have sent shivers up the spines of occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals throughout Australia. The article titled “Audit chief sound warning on big four rush to consulting work” in the hard copy newspaper discussed the future consulting strategies of the “big four – Deloitte, Ernst Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC):

“The four firms are all aggressively chasing growth by moving into management and technology consulting work. They are also hedging their bets by branching out into other types of professional services ranging from law through to strategy work and even marketing advisory.”

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Australia the first stop on international roadshow over safety management Standard

The latest safety management standard ISO45001 will be active in a few months’ time.  It is the first international Standard in occupational health and safety (OHS), a fact supported by the length of time and horse-trading that has occurred in its development.  It will be an important OHS document for many countries as, for some, it is a first.  For Western countries, like Australia, New Zealand and Britain, ISO45001 is the latest in a long line of safety management standards, so the hype is more muted.

The new features of this Standard have been outlined in

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New OHS management elements in ISO45001

Following yesterday’s article on the impending international occupational health and safety (OHS) management Standard, ISO45001, some readers have asked for more details. David Solomon, the Head of the Australian International Delegation of ISO45001 provided a table that compares the elements of ISO45001 with AS4801 and OHSAS18001.

According to Solomon there are several elements that are new to ISO45001, ie. not included overtly in AS4801:

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Government could help progress OHS so much more

Innovation in occupational health and safety (OHS) is often encouraged by government but government processes and policy can also discourage and limit this.  An obvious example is where government insists on compliance with OHS laws in its tendering criteria but acknowledges that the tender safety criteria remains outdated and, privately, that OHS compliance is not enough to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

An important OHS document in the Victorian bureaucracy and construction sector is a

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