Industrial Manslaughter laws in Australia are about politics, not safety

The latest push for Industrial Manslaughter laws in Australia has appeared as part of the Tasmanian state election.

The Tasmanian branch of the Australian Labor Party released its policy platform for jobs in February 2018 which makes specific and vague commitments on workplace safety which require scrutiny.

Precarious Work

The Tasmanian Labor Leader, Rebecca White, states that

“Labor is committed to addressing casualisation and the outsourcing of work…”

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New workplace mental health clinical guidelines provide clarity

In 2016, a survey of General Practitioners (GPs) conducted by Monash University identified that GPs frequently struggled with patients involved with workers compensation and that mental illnesses were particularly problematic.

In January 2018 Monash University, with the support of major institutions and safety

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“so we know we’ve had laws, but why haven’t we had change?”

Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, has been prominent in recent seminars about sexual harassment, particularly in the entertainment industry.  In February 2018, Jenkins spoke at a seminar in Melbourne hosted by Screen Producers  Australia and provided strong advice on how businesses can control sexual harassment.

Jenkins began her presentation with an uncomfortable reminder that business has been lax in addressing unlawful workplace behaviour.

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Who reads the Robens Report and who will write the next one?

“Every year something like 1,000 people are killed at their work in this country. Every year about half a million suffer injuries in varying degrees of severity. 23 million working days are lost annually on account of industrial injury and disease.”

The existence of this statement is of no surprise to occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals. Similar statements are made all the time.  The sad surprise of this quote is that it appeared in 1972 on page 1 of the Safety and Health at Work – Report of the Committee 1970-72, otherwise know as the Robens Report.

Perhaps it is time to begin contemplating what OHS fundamentals we should apply in the next generation of workplace safety health and wellbeing laws ?

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Double anniversary for independent OHS voice

Free Access

template - safetyatworkblog-10-years.pngFebruary 2018 is an important month for the SafetyAtWorkBlog as it is the 10th anniversary of the blog’s operation and the 1st anniversary of our subscription service.

Firstly, I need to thank the over-100 subscribers who have shown their appreciation for an independent voice on workplace health and safety. I do not claim to be right but I do claim to be provocative and provide a fresh perspective on OHS.  I have had particularly positive feedback on the recent series of articles on sexual harassment and OHS.

The funds from subscriptions have provided me with the opportunity to attend local and international OHS conferences in 2017 and to provide exclusive reports back to subscribers.  It has also allowed me to commission some works from other OHS people outside of Australia – a unique report on the OHS of wildlife rangers will be appearing shortly.

For those several thousand followers who don’t subscribe, I hope you appreciate the occasional free-access articles, the statistics certainly indicate there are plenty of you out there.  Some basic stats for the SafetyAtWorkBlog in its first year of subscriptions include

  • 17,000 monthly visitor numbers (average),
  • 28,749 reads per month (average)
  • a subscriber base of 100 safety consultants, companies and regulators, and
  • over 2,700 email and blog followers who are notified each time a new article is uploaded.

I hope that the subscribers will resubscribe this year and that they will encourage others to.  Some will automatically have their subscriptions renew automatically, other subscriptions will expire (depending on the purchase process you chose) and require a manual purchase.

Regardless I think it is the best $200 you will spend on your OHS state of knowledge this year.

I need also to thank the tireless work of the people at Concatenate who designed the website from the ground up and continue to do so.

Best Regards and Thanks

Kevin Jones