The SIA’s National Conference is on the right path

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Let’s acknowledge the problems with this year’s Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) National Conference upfront before the good stuff is mentioned.

A speaker on the issue of Diversity failed to turn up.  Many of the rooms were setup in such a configuration that some delegates had to stand or, like I did, sit on the floor. Almost all the speakers were asked to speak for over 40 minutes which was a challenge for some and conflicts with studies about attention spans.  Some of the presentations didn’t seem to support the “in practice” theme of the conference. Lastly, what some described as challenging presentations, others found to be vanilla and too general. Some of these problems were beyond the SIA’s control but they were still negative experiences.

Over the next week SafetyAtWorkBlog will be writing about some of the very positive speakers and experiences at the SIA National Conference. Continue reading “The SIA’s National Conference is on the right path”

The good, the odd and the ignorant

One of the Select Committees of the Australian Senate is conducting an inquiry into the “Future of Work and Workers” and is currently holding public hearings.  There is a lot of interesting information that will affect how workplace health and safety is managed and there are some odd statements in the public submissions.  However, it was the appearance of Airtasker’s CEO at a public hearing on May 4, that is genuinely scary.

Job Design

Firstly a positive statement from the

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Fixing the future by planning for the future

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) often sets the occupational health and safety (OHS) agenda, as it did on workplace stress and bullying.  On 21 May 2018 the ACTU released a research report entitled “Australia’s insecure work crisis: Fixing it for the future“.  The opening paragraph provides a clear indication of the report’s tone:

“The incidence of non-standard work in Australia is alarming. The fact that our national government and some employer groups seek to deny this reality and refuse to support reforms to better protect workers in insecure non-standard employment is a disgrace.”

There is a lot of useful information in this report but there is also a lot missing, a lot that could affect workplace safety.

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Grenfell’s “race to the bottom” equally applicable to workplace health & safety

Occupational health and safety (OHS), building safety and public safety often overlap but never more so than in the instance of the Grenfell fire of June 2017.  The UK Government has just released the final report into the incident and there are many interesting lessons for workplace health and safety and its social role.

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OHS – The Hidden Profession

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Australian research usually makes use of the industrial and activity categories created by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).  This creates a problem for research into the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession because there is no specific category for the OHS professional.  Perhaps even more importantly, it creates problems for readers of these research reports because we risk imposing an interpretation on the data that is false.  SafetyAtWorkBlog sought clarification from the ABS.

The ABS has a category that seems Continue reading “OHS – The Hidden Profession”