A couple of months ago, SafetyAtWorkBlog mentioned New Zealand’s Wellbeing Budget. Last week a representative of the NZ Treasury, Ruth Shinoda, spoke about it from direct experience in Melbourne at the 7th Global Healthy Workplace Summit. The Wellbeing Budget and a complimentary Living Standard Framework provide important contrasts to how Australia is valuing the healthy and safety of its citizens and workers.
One of the the most ignored areas of occupational health and safety (OHS) is the light commercial and fleet/company vehicles. This is changing in Australia, partly, because the former head of the Transport Workers Union, Tony Sheldon is now a Senator.
In Senate Estimates on October 23, 2019 (page 117 onwards), Senator Sheldon challenged the heads of Safe Work Australia on workplace vehicle safety. He posed a scenario in relation to the collection of injury/incident data:
Continue reading “OHS of work vehicles starts to get national attention”
“If you’re a truck driver and you’re operating for, say, a major retailer and you’re contracted to a transport company and your contract is as an owner-driver—you own your own rig—and you get injured whilst you’re out on the road and you get seriously injured, under what circumstances would that be included and under what circumstances would it not be included in your statistics for serious injury?”
Following on from the product safety theme in yesterday’s article, it is noted that the Australian Treasury has opened a consultation phase on improving the effectiveness of the Consumer Product Safety System. The report makes specific reference to workplace health and safety laws.
This consultation is a direct result of the recent review of Australian Consumer Law:
“The Australian Consumer Law Review final report recommended the introduction of a General Safety Provision (GSP) into the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) requiring traders to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of a product before selling it onto the market.”page 7
The GSP has similarities to the duties of the PCBU (person conducting a business or undertaking) under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.
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
Last week, the Shared Value Project launched its whitepaper called “Creating Shared Value, the Business Imperative to Improve Mental Health in Australia.” It is an interesting document that is part of the trend of reconfiguring capitalism, the decline of neoliberalism, talk of a “social licence”, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and more. Depending on one’s position on capitalism, this makes it part of the wave of change or another failed humanitarian action in the wake of that capitalism.