WorkSafe acts on allegations of gruelling workplace conditions in a Victorian law firm

On October 12 2018 the Australian Financial Review (AFR) published an exclusive article about an investigation by WorkSafe Victoria into excessive working hours at an Australian law firm, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM). The article was later expanded on line.

There are several curious elements of this report that could reflect other workplaces that may experience sudden high workload demands and fatigue.  Some seem to see the significance of this article as being less about the workloads and fatigue but more about WorkSafe Victoria’s involvement in an industry sector where it does not usually play.

The Australian Government announced a Royal Commission into the Banking and Financial sectors in 2017.  It was created urgently and given only 12 months to conclude its investigations.  As a result banks and financial institutions

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Workers’ Inferno

Recently the 20th anniversary of the Esso Longford disaster was commemorated in Victoria. Coinciding with this anniversary was the release of a book about the disaster and its personal aftermath, Workers’ Inferno, written by Ramsina Lee.

This book has been in development for many, many years and the Lee’s writing talent is on display in the structure of the book and the stories within.  These stories largely linear But the multiple strands allow Lee to jump from one to the other providing a variety tone.

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New OHS toolkit for small business

October is the peak month for promoting occupational health and safety (OHS) in Australia. “OSHtober” as some on social media are saying. SafeWorkNSW has released a handbook designed to help small businesses, in particular, to assess their own workplace hazards.

The “toolkit” employs the traffic light format to prioritise hazards.  That format

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Structural v Individual approaches to preventing psychological harm persist

At the end of September 2018 the Australian Psychological Society held its 2018 Congress.  As conferences do, various media statements are released to generate interest in the speakers.  One caught the attention of this blog.  It was released on September 25 2018, and was called:

“Resilience isn’t enough to combat the effects of burnout, world renowned psychology expert says”

This sounded like it may look closely at the prevention of harm and SafetyAtWorkBlog was able to interview that world-renowned psychology expert,

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When guidance is unhelpful

Some organisations struggle to understand the prevention of harm.  In September 2018 the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) released its “People Managers’ Guide to Mental Health“. The guide is intended to address

“…the whole lifecycle of employment, from recruitment, through keeping people well and managing a disability or ill health at work, to supporting people to return to work after a period of absence.” (page 3)

It includes the prevention of psychological harm but in words and phrases that are very unhelpful. 

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