Hollnagel, Safety II and Captain Hindsight

The ideal outcome of attending a safety conference or seminar is to hear something new, some innovation that inspires, or gain a hint for a potential opportunity.  In occupational health and safety (OHS) this rarely happens.  So the most common outcome is clarification or reinforcement.  This was my experience at a Professor Erik Hollnagel seminar in Melbourne on October 3, 2017.

Hollnagel’s Safety II concept has been round for several years now and has had considerable influence on the thinking of OHS professionals, if no one else.  Safety II has generated several commercial and academic offshoots that provide hope for a more realistic and practical application of safety principles.

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Cancer survivors returning to work

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.

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Big OHS data needs to digitise the past

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A safety conference in Victoria Australia today heard from Innes Willox of the AIGroup about new challenges in business and occupational health and safety (OHS).  As many have mentioned recently big data is a challenge but with important benefits.  A major flaw in any of these discussions is an overestimation of data sources and usefulness. Continue reading “Big OHS data needs to digitise the past”

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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Me! Me! Me! – OHS needs to grow up for the new world structure

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There is much general discussion about the Fourth Industrial Revolution,  The Future of Work and other speculative work-related concepts. Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum wrote:

“We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.”

For the purposes of this blog “work” is the focus and health and safety the discussion points.  Occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals have a unique opportunity to participate in the early stages of this societal disruption.  But there is also a risk that OHS could miss out. Continue reading “Me! Me! Me! – OHS needs to grow up for the new world structure”