Royal Commission into juvenile detention should include OHS 3

Vision of the mistreatment of children in juvenile detention centres in Australia’s Northern Territory was aired on the ABC Four Corners program on 25 June 2016.  Within 24 hours, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a Royal Commission into juvenile detention.  The treatment shown was not new and had been known by the NT Government and Ministers for several years but the quick decision for a Royal Commission shows the political influence of television and current affairs programs.  Although not yet written, part of the Royal Commission’s terms of reference should be the investigation of the workplace safety context of juvenile detention centre management and the treatment of the young inmates. More…

Selective duty of care being applied by the Australian Government 6

Australia’s work health and safety (WHS) laws confirmed the modern approach to workplace safety legislation and compliance where workers and businesses are responsible for their own safety and the safety of others who may be affected by the work.  The obligations to others existed before the latest WHS law reforms but it was not widely enforced.  The Grocon wall collapse in Victoria and the redefinition of workplace in many Australian jurisdictions through the OHS harmonisation program gave the obligation more prominence but has also caused very uncomfortable challenges for the Australian government – challenges that affect how occupational health and safety is applied in Australian jurisdictions. More…

NSW Gov’t announces first quad bike safety rebate program 2

On 10 June 2016, the New South Wales Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello announced a $A2 million rebate program to improve safety associated with the use of quad bikes on farms.  According the media release (curiously released late on the eve of a national long weekend):

“The NSW Government will be offering rebates of up to $500 towards the purchase of compliant helmets, Operator Protective Devices, the purchase of a safer vehicle, such as a side-by-side vehicle, and undertaking training courses tailored to farmers.”

The rebate package seems to tick all the safety boxes and should make a difference. More…

Legal advice seems to miss the OHS point on workplace bullying Reply

Australian law firm Minter Ellison has produced a useful article (not yet available on their website) on a recent workplace bullying prosecution. However the document displays a perspective that is becoming increasingly common in Australia labour law practices. More…

Free safety conference was more valuable than many other, more expensive ones Reply

cover of FINAL Symposium Proceedings (004)Recently the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) conducted a one day conference that had keynote speakers at the start, two streams of safety research and discussion for most of the day and a panel to conclude.  This event cost delegates nothing but a day away from the workplace. More…