Is the future of OHS based on a flawed past?

It seems that we are constantly being urged to innovate, to be creative and to think differently.  This is equally true in the discipline of occupational health and safety (OHS), but part of thinking differently in the future should also involve reassessing the past.

It is often said that many the OHS performance indicators, predominantly Lost Time Injury (LTI) calculations, have shown a “plateau-ing” of safety performance.  From this common position, companies have moved to new OHS training strategies that involve behaviours, values, cultural norms, safety culture and other employee and organisational recalibrations.  But what if the case in support of these strategies was not as strong as first thought?  What if the “plateau-ing” did not exist or the increase in performance was not as strong as the LTI-based data seemed to indicate?

Academics,

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Leadership conference was hit and miss

The Future of Leadership roadshow was only partly about its topic.  Much of it felt like a professional development day with interesting speakers and storytellers.  By providing stories of failure, reconciliation, and unlearning the organisers could argue that they were also creating future leaders.

A previous article briefly discussed Dan Gregory’s presentation.  One additional element was the catalyst for his Directorship of White Ribbon – a poster which reframed the issue of violence against women as an issue that men can affect. Gregory was advocating being open to alternative perspectives of your reality, your lived experiences, career, communication and profession.  He challenged the audience, as Daniel Hummerdal does his safety audience, to look differently, to look creatively and to analyse our personal and organisational motivations.

Like all good conference speakers, Dan Gregory does not tell you what to think but how to think, and treats the audience like adults who are in charge of their own decisions.

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Half time at the Future of Leadership

This month the “Future of Leadership” conferences are travelling Australia.  The Melbourne stop, on 21 September, started really well with three on-topic speakers but declined strongly after morning tea with at least one speaker who had nothing to say about leadership.  At the half-time break, one hopes that the conference gets back on track because when it was, it was very good.

This leadership conference is very different from occupational health and safety (OHS) conference because it talks about a concept in such general terms that the audience can impose whatever context it chooses.  As this blog is about workplace safety, predominantly, OHS context was paramount.

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Financial targets preferred over OHS

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Today’s issue of the Australian Financial Review (AFR)  contained an article that shows that the trend for companies and boards embracing their occupational health and safety (OHS) obligations is not uniform.  The article “Wesfarmers cuts incentive rewards for promoting women and safety” reports that the Managing Director’s share of annual incentives paid for non-financial targets, which includes OHS, has been reduced from 40% to 30%. Continue reading “Financial targets preferred over OHS”

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