An odd media statement was released by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on 23 October 2017 regarding the new international occupational health and safety (OHS) management system Standard ISO45001. Several days later Standards Australia released a statement that supported and clarified ACCI’s position
ACCI states that
“….the draft standard is still several months away from being finalised”.
On 15 August 2017, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) ran an article (paywalled) that should have sent shivers up the spines of occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals throughout Australia. The article titled “Audit chief sound warning on big four rush to consulting work” in the hard copy newspaper discussed the future consulting strategies of the “big four – Deloitte, Ernst Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC):
“The four firms are all aggressively chasing growth by moving into management and technology consulting work. They are also hedging their bets by branching out into other types of professional services ranging from law through to strategy work and even marketing advisory.”
The political debate about the dysfunctional culture of Australia’s banking sector has diminished to a discussion, and that discussion continues to bubble along, mostly, in the Australian Financial Review (AFR). The discussion is important for the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession to watch as any change in safety management systems will occur within the corporate or organisational culture.
Two (possibly paywalled) articles appeared this week in the AFR – “
Industrial manslaughter laws passed through the Queensland Parliament on October 12 2017. The debate about the laws on that day is an interesting read as it illustrates some of the thoughts about workplace safety in the minds of policy decision makers, business owners, industry associations, trade unions and safety advocates.
Lawyer for Herbert Smith Freehills, Steve Bell, has said in a LinkedIn post that:
“Will [industrial manslaughter laws] make workplaces safer? In my view probably not, but it will certainly affect the manner in which businesses respond to workplace incidents and external investigations.”
This perspective is understandable and valid when one considers the laws to be a part of the post-incident investigation and prosecution. A similar view was expressed in Queensland’s Parliament by the Liberal National Party’s David Janetzki, based on the submission by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland: Continue reading “Industrial manslaughter debate reveals commitment and misunderstandings”
The latest safety management standard ISO45001 will be active in a few months’ time. It is the first international Standard in occupational health and safety (OHS), a fact supported by the length of time and horse-trading that has occurred in its development. It will be an important OHS document for many countries as, for some, it is a first. For Western countries, like Australia, New Zealand and Britain, ISO45001 is the latest in a long line of safety management standards, so the hype is more muted.
The new features of this Standard have been outlined in