Mayman at the Perth Safety Symposium

The Senate Committee inquiry into industrial deaths has released its report which, amongst many things, recommends the introduction of Industrial Manslaughter laws.  At the end of this year, Marie Boland will present government with the final report of her review into Australia’s work health and safety (WHS) laws.

Before all this, in September, in Perth, Stephanie Mayman told a safety conference in Perth that:

“… I think we’re about to see industrial manslaughter recommended by Marie Boland.”

Boland has heard a lot about Industrial Manslaughter

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Start the bullying epidemic without me

Australia has been told for a long time that workplace bullying was an epidemic.  Recent data seems to indicate that workplace bullying is a persistent problem which, to some extent, has blended into the miasma that is work-related mental health.  The Fair Work Commission released its 2017/18 Annual Report on October 18 (not yet online) adding further doubt to the epidemic claims.

Below is a comparison graph (page 19) of FWC activity which shows 721 applications concerning workplace bullying. It is ninth in the list of FWC activities.

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Much is being asked of Safe Work Australia by Senate inquiry on industrial deaths

One of the noticeable things about the Australian Senate’s report into industrial deaths is the workload it expects Safe Work Australia (SWA) to do in the implementation of the 34 official recommendations.  Whether Safe Work Australia has the capacity and skills to undertake these tasks is not addressed.

The Senate report expects Safe Work Australia to develop various data-sets and public lists and to work with State and Territory occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators.  But the lessons from OHS harmonisation and Safe Work Australia’s Model Laws reinforced that workplace health and safety is controlled by the States and Territories and that, although an Inter-Governmental Agreement was signed, party and local politics knobbled the harmonisation program so that several years on, Australian OHS laws are only slightly more harmonised than they were before the program began.

In the early 1990s, a program for National Uniformity of OHS laws was cancelled for political reasons.  Prior to harmonisation there were strong calls for a national OHS regulator but this could not be undertaken without Constitutional reform.  That lack of a single National OHS regulator is all over this Senate inquiry report.

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New OHS conference tries new approaches and succeeds

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L to R, Tim Allred, Matt Jones, Kevin Jones

Matt Jones has been accused of self-promotion in the establishment of the Health and Safety Professionals New Zealand (HSPNZ) and the group’s first physical conference. Such accusations are made to many people who are “just going to give it a go” and see what happens.  Mostly Jones has succeeded.  Only one speaker made a blatant sales pitch when he misunderstood the audience which were conference delegates, not potential clients. But when Jones succeeded, he succeeded well. Continue reading “New OHS conference tries new approaches and succeeds”

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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