Victoria increases OHS penalty three-fold

Victoria’s occupational health and safety (OHS) strategy has been in a bit of a mess since the previous (conservative) government opted out of the harmonised work health and safety law process and brands were changed and changed again. It lost its claim to be leading Australian in OHS, or needed to explain its position, where before … Continue reading “Victoria increases OHS penalty three-fold”

Trade Union Royal Commission shows exploitation of OHS

In January 2015, this blog said of Australia’s Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption (TURC): “Workplace safety has not been the focus of this Royal Commission but it is one of its victims”. The Royal Commission’s final report was released on 30 December 2015, and it is time to look at the mentions …

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Cry of frustration in Industrial Manslaughter Bill

Over the last few months some in Australia’s trade union movement have renewed calls for the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws in various jurisdictions. The issue has appeared both on television and online. Curiously the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) seems to have dropped the “industrial manslaughter” terminology it has used in the past. …

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WorkSafe Victoria heads roll

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has spoken publicly about the removal of the CEO and Chair of WorkSafe Victoria describing them as liars and incompetent.  As Jon Faine pointed out in the radio interview, the Premier has established a high level of accountability.  Hopefully this results in an increased diligence on OHS matters by government departments …

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HIP Royal Commission – Gross Negligence and Accountability

Little of the recent commentary on the findings of the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program (HIP) have mentioned the opinion of the Royal Commissioner Ian Hanger that the Australian Government acted in a “grossly negligent” manner.  Such a comment deserves considerable analysis by a specialist lawyer but it remains a remarkable criticism in …

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Fear of exposure rather than pride in their work

“Due diligence” is an established business management concept that only recently came to be applied to occupational health and safety (OHS) in Australia through the Work Health and Safety (WHS) harmonisation process.  It’s credibility comes from the Corporations Act, principally, but also Consumer Protection and, partly, Environmental laws. The attention given by OHS/WHS professionals and …

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Disseminating OHS information should not be optional

WorkSafe Victoria has been reviewing a series of enforcement and prosecution policies for some time.  One of these policies set for re-issue relates specifically to the publication of prosecutorial information through its website and media releases and, although the “new” policy is not yet available, it may be worth remembering the previous policy, last revised in …

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