OHS compliance checklists

For several months some Australian OHS regulators have been providing “Compliance at a glance” checklists. These are not intended to establish compliance, particularly in the small business sector as listed on one regulator’s website , but are more brief indicators of areas for greater improvement. Nevertheless the items listed in the “red zone” of the … Continue reading “OHS compliance checklists”

Business jumps the gun on OHS, unions hope for the best

As the Australian State of New South Wales approaches its March 2011 election day, the lobbying is becoming more fierce.  In fact,  conservation opposition leader, Barry O’Farrell will need to rein in some of his business colleagues if the lobbying becomes too fierce. It is widely tipped that O’Farrell will win the election and people … Continue reading “Business jumps the gun on OHS, unions hope for the best”

Australia’s national safety award winners

This evening in Canberra, Safe Work Australia announced the winners of the 5th Annual Safe Work Australia Awards. The profiles below are provided by Safe Work Australia. The winners are: Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System – Private Sector GHD, South Australia “GHD South Australia uses an electronic workplace health and safety management system accessible … Continue reading “Australia’s national safety award winners”

Canadian research shows occupational link to breast cancer

“Certain occupational exposures appear to increase the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer”, is a conclusion reached by Canadian researchers and released in April 2010 edition of the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. The researchers acknowledged that “some findings might be due to chance or to undetected bias some findings might be due to chance or to undetected … Continue reading “Canadian research shows occupational link to breast cancer”

ROPS and Quad Bikes – the failure of ATV manufacturers and OHS regulators

The Hierarchy of Controls has some questionable OHS applications to psychosocial hazards but it applies very well to “traditional” hazards, those involving plant.  The Hierarchy also emphasizes that the first step in any hazard control is to consider whether the hazard can be eliminated.  But what happens when the designers of equipment and plant know that a design can be made … Continue reading “ROPS and Quad Bikes – the failure of ATV manufacturers and OHS regulators”

Union influence on OHS – interview with Professor Michael Quinlan

Professor Michael Quinlan of the University of New South Wales believes that the influence of Australian trade unions in improving OHS conditions should not be underestimated or past achievements, forgotten.   In talking with Kevin Jones in a recent podcast, Quinlan said that the persistent accusation of unions using OHS as an industrial relations tool … Continue reading “Union influence on OHS – interview with Professor Michael Quinlan”

Eliminating hazards

In the aims of most of the Australian OHS legislation is  “to eliminate, at the source, risks to the health, safety and welfare of employees and other persons at work…” I have written elsewhere on how this conflicts with the push for “reasonably practicable” but the need to remember this important aim was emphasised by … Continue reading “Eliminating hazards”