Addressing the invisible causes of visible harm

The trade union movement was instrumental in showing that workplace bullying was a pervasive problem in Australian workplaces.  Many Codes of Practice and guidances for workplace bullying and occupational violence were written shortly after the action by the Australian Council of Trade Unions almost two decades ago.  But, for some reason, although sexual harassment was mentioned in those early documents, it never received the attention in occupational health and safety (OHS) circles that, in hindsight, it should have.

Perhaps a more sustainable and effective strategy would be to focus on the “harassment” rather than the “sexual”, or in

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OHS is often about broken promises

Occupational health and safety (OHS) is often about promises.  Employees trust their bosses to provide them with a job and the employer promises to provide a workplace that is as safe as possible.  There are also contractual policies which formalise OHS relationships between client and contractor.  But OHS is more often about those more personal promises and expectations between the boss and the worker.

A

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AI Group responds to media report on apprentice’s death

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The Australian Industry Group and its Chief Executive Innes Willox have been criticised on social media in Australia today as a result of an ABC report into a workplace fatality that occurred during the AI Group’s apprenticeship program.  The criticism has come as the AI Group is very active on matters of occupational health and safety policy to its members and government

The AI Group provided SafetyAtWorkBlog with this statement concerning the report: Continue reading “AI Group responds to media report on apprentice’s death”

New OHS conference tries new approaches and succeeds

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L to R, Tim Allred, Matt Jones, Kevin Jones

Matt Jones has been accused of self-promotion in the establishment of the Health and Safety Professionals New Zealand (HSPNZ) and the group’s first physical conference. Such accusations are made to many people who are “just going to give it a go” and see what happens.  Mostly Jones has succeeded.  Only one speaker made a blatant sales pitch when he misunderstood the audience which were conference delegates, not potential clients. But when Jones succeeded, he succeeded well. Continue reading “New OHS conference tries new approaches and succeeds”

Not even lip service to OHS

Australia currently has a lot of official inquiries into workplace issues that affect the occupational health and safety (OHS) of workers.  It is almost impossible to keep up with them and, as a result, some important voices are being missed, but even if they spoke, there is a strong chance they will not be listened to. The Victorian Government has released the final report of the Inquiry into Penalty Rates and Fair Pay.  There are two overt mentions of OHS that don’t seem to go anywhere.

In a submission quoted by the Inquiry, the

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