A new Senate inquiry into industrial deaths

Canberra, Australia – October 14, 2017: A view inside Senate chamber in Parliament House

Another Australian Government inquiry into workplace health and safety (WHS) was announced on March 26 2018.  According to the Senate Hansard, the Senate’s Education and Employment References Committee will report on a range of occupational health and safety (OHS) matters by the end of September 2018.

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Business Bullshit – and how this relates to workplace health and safety

This is an edited version of my presentation to delegates at the inaugural NSW Regional Safety Conference & Expo in Newcastle, Australia on March 17, 2018.

The current approach to occupational health and safety (OHS) is that we shouldn’t separate it from business operations. One of the motivations for achieving success in business is to build a strong organisational culture that integrates safety.

Companies often start this task by developing Mission Statements or Pledges.  Quite often these are done by talking to a lot of different people in the organisation.  And I don’t know of any mission statement that hasn’t been already run through Legal and Marketing – they don’t always get run through Safety.  What happens is that these statements can become more florid and more inexact, and more unclear.  Some of them descend into Business Bullshit.

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#MeToo, #TimesUp and #OHS

Free Access

Being International Women’s Day, the media is awash with articles about pay rates, gender equality and sexual harassment.  One of those articles is written by Sarah Ralph of Norton Rose Fullbright. Ralph provides a good summary of the current gender issues and recent media attention (may require registration but it’s free).  She makes several recommendations for how to reduce the risk of sexual harassment and unwanted media attention.  Below those recommendations are looked at from the occupational health and safety (OHS) perspective to see how OHS can help reduce the psychological harm. Continue reading “#MeToo, #TimesUp and #OHS”

Old books, contemporary advice

Recently I searched the book shops online for some old and rare occupational health and safety (OHS) books.  I often bang on about needing to understand OHS beyond our own professional and academic life times, as OHS, like any other discipline, continues to evolve.

Below are a few of the books I purchased.  I am not going to have time to read them all but there are snippets of interest in each of them.

There are many books that I buy new but when some of them are a couple of hundred dollars, the only option is to look at secondhand shops or head to the local WorkSafe library.

The Safety and Health guide was published in 1993 by The Safety League of New South Wales.  It includes many archaic recommendations for public and personal health but in “Safety and Health in Industry” it says this:

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