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”

Quinlan’s time capsule includes useful OHS perspectives

Professor Michael Quinlan has been writing about occupational health and safety (OHS) and industrial relations for several decades. His writing has matured over that time as indicated by his most recent book, Ten Pathways to Death and Disaster.  In 1980, one of his articles looked at OHS through the prisms of Capitalism and Marxism.  It is remarkable how much an article that was written early in Quinlan’s career and at a time when OHS was considered another country remains relevant today.  This perspective contrasts strongly with the current dominant thinking on OHS and as a result sounds fresh and may offer some solutions.

In Quinlan’s 1980 article, “The Profits of Death: Workers’ Health and Capitalism”*, he writes that

“contrary to popular belief there is no objective irrefutable definition of illness”.

This could equally be applied to safety.  But searching for THE definition of things can lead to everlasting colloquia of academic experts without helping those who need to work within and apply safety concepts.

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