Industrial Manslaughter is more than just a law, it is a cry for justice.

For those Australians who are watching the latest political push for Industrial Manslaughter laws, it is important to remember that the activity has a history that extends over a decade.  Many of the current arguments for and against have been addressed previously.  In August 2004, the earlier iteration of this blog, Safety At Work magazine, printed a special edition on “The Australian Industrial Manslaughter Debate”.  Below is an edited version of my Editorial in that magazine. A longer article on the issues raised in that edition is available elsewhere in the SafetyAtWorkBlog.

 

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Multidisciplinary analysis of safety culture

Managing occupational health and safety (OHS) is most successful when it considers a range of perspectives or disciplines in identifying practicable solutions.  Books are often successful in a similar multidisciplinary way but it is becoming rarer for books to contain a collection of perspectives.  A new book has been published on Safety Culture which matches this multidisciplinary approach.

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Bill Shorten reflects on the Esso Longford disaster

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Tonight, SafetyAtWorkBlog will be attending the launch of a new book that includes personal stories about the 1998 Esso Longford explosionWorkers’ Inferno.  The book is being released on the 2oth anniversary of the explosion that killed two workers, injured many others, disrupted gas supplies to the State of Victoria, resulted in a then-record fine for occupational health and safety (OHS) breaches and generated a Royal Commission.  It is also, perhaps, the best example of a company trying to blame the worker for a major incident.

The Federal Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, was an official of the Australian Workers Union at the time and today he published an opinion piece Continue reading “Bill Shorten reflects on the Esso Longford disaster”

A bad day for ACCI at the Senate Inquiry into Industrial Deaths

Jennifer Low, Associate Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry addressed the Senate Inquiry into Industrial Deaths in Perth on August 30 2018.  Much of her presentation would be familiar to occupational health and safety professionals as it reflects the ideological position that the ACCI has put to countless inquiries over almost 20 years.  It is fair to say that the ACCI did not have a good day at the Inquiry.

Low’s presentation commenced with a restating of the general commitments to safety and that the ACCI and its members hold the importance of OHS as a “fundamental belief”. This was followed up with

“Our employer network feels strongly that the prevention for workplace incidents, injuries and fatalities is a shared responsibility.” (page 1, emphasis added)

This

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Safety Culture debates could be psychologically unsafe

 

Tristan Casey and Andrew Hopkins speaking at SafetyConnect conference

Professor Andrew Hopkins is one of Australia’s most prominent critics of how the term “Safety Culture” is used by the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession and businesses generally.  Last week, Dr Tristan Casey followed Hopkins’ presentation at a Brisbane safety conference and was put on the spot as his presentation was not really compatible.  This happens at conferences and diversity of thought should be applauded but it is difficult for the second speaker and can be confusing for the audience.

Hopkins addressed seven propositions, each of which, challenge the management of OHS

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