Reduce deaths and injuries to achieve a sustainable industry

Agriculture is one of the most dangerous workplaces in Australia and other countries. This reality is supported by many statistics and over a long time.

Agriculture is, perhaps, at the forefront of changing production methods to ensure sustainability in a world that is changing in ways that no farmers have had to face in the past. Agriculture therefore needs to be both a safe and a sustainable industry.

So why is workplace health and safety not being given a top priority in the Victorian Government’s Smart Farms program?

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Focus on the hoops and not the holes

There is a confluence of investigations into mental health and suicides in Australia at the moment, and most of them overlap with occupational health and safety (OHS).  Each of these increases the understanding of the relationship between work and mental health but no one seems to be connecting the threads into a cohesive case.  This article doesn’t either, by itself, but hopefully the threads of the issues are identified through the themes of various SafetyAtWorkBlog articles.

Recently Tim Quilty of the Liberal Democratic Party addressed the issue of suicide in relation to his contribution to the debate on Industrial Manslaughter (IM) laws in the Victorian Parliament.  His assertions seem a little naïve:

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Arts Wellbeing Collective shows how it’s done

From an occupational health and safety (OHS) perspective, part of the reason that the Arts Wellbeing Collective (AWC) is being so successful and admired is that it originated outside of the traditional OHS and Health funding models. Existing in the performing arts meant the Collective drew firstly on their modern version of patronage by approaching their sponsors.

Recently the CEO of the AWC, Claire Spencer, spoke at the launch of Victoria’s Health and Safety Month and reminded the audience of the dire straits the performance arts were in with relation to mental health. She referenced the research commissioned by Entertainment Assist and conducted by Victoria University

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COSBOA is outraged over mental health and jail

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On September 24 2019, the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) called for the withdrawal of the Boland review into Australia’s work health and safety (WHS) laws.

In a media release COSBOA’s CEO, Peter Strong, states:

“The report solely focusses on workers, giving zero consideration to the mental health of employers and the self-employed….”

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