Notification of mental health incidents

Australia’s entertainment and performing arts sector is gradually attending to the workplace mental health risks that are inherent, or have been shown to be problematic, in their industry. However it continues to operate in isolation rather than facing the reality and magnitude of the problems and the challenges facing lots of industries who have only recently discovered their psychosocial hazards.

The latest edition of Dance Australia magazine contains an interview with Chloe Dallimore,* President of Equity, a division of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), which illustrates the willingness to change, but still within limits.  Occupational health and safety (OHS) obligations are hardly mentioned, nor is the role of the OHS regulators.  Perhaps it is time to include mental health as a workplace incident or condition that should be notifiable under law.

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Flogging the banks could help safety

Australia’s Royal Commission into banking and financial services is a few months in and the evidence provided of wrongdoing is so substantial that those who were critical of the need for such an investigation are admitting they were wrong.

SafetyAtWorkBlog is applying the logic that occupational health and safety (OHS) succeeds best when it is part of the organisational culture.  Australia has often held its banking and financial services as “world-class” and many of that industry sector’s leaders have been prominent in speaking about the importance of leadership and corporate morality.

The financial and banking industry’s credibility and authority in Australia is gone and the OHS profession can learn much from this failure, even when the failure is in its early stages of exposure.

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#MeToo, #TimesUp and #OHS

Free Access

Being International Women’s Day, the media is awash with articles about pay rates, gender equality and sexual harassment.  One of those articles is written by Sarah Ralph of Norton Rose Fullbright. Ralph provides a good summary of the current gender issues and recent media attention (may require registration but it’s free).  She makes several recommendations for how to reduce the risk of sexual harassment and unwanted media attention.  Below those recommendations are looked at from the occupational health and safety (OHS) perspective to see how OHS can help reduce the psychological harm. Continue reading “#MeToo, #TimesUp and #OHS”

WorkSafe Victoria’s optimism is for the whole community

Marnie Williams, Executive Director of WorkSafe Victoria launched 2018 with a presentation at a breakfast seminar organised by the Safety Institute of Australia and hosted by Herbert Smith Freehills in Melbourne.  Williams illustrated that WorkSafe is very aware of community and business expectations on her authority’s performance and showed WorkSafe is very busy as it restructures around its relocation to Geelong and elsewhere  However it could change even more or in different, more sustainable, ways.

Williams’ presentation proposed a positive future where the actions and issues associated with occupational health and safety (OHS) broaden to involve the Victorian community and address safety and health concerns that may no longer fit within the established OHS definitions, approaches and strategies.

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5 top OHS issues for 2018

The annual Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) breakfast was held in conjunction with Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) law firm on 21 February 2018.  This year the audience heard from two representatives of WorkSafe Victoria – Marnie Williams, the Executive Director and Paul Fowler, the Director of the Enforcement Group.

The WorkSafe presentations were interesting but included what was largely expected – an introduction to the recent Independent Review report and a reiteration of the WorkSafe Strategy 2030.   (More on WorkSafe’s presentation in the next article)

Some of the more thought-provoking content came from HSF’s Steve Bell.  He presented several issues and perspectives for consideration.

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