Moral conflicts in store for Australian politicians and bureaucrats

2014 is going to present tough challenges to Australia’s politicians and corporate leaders.  The Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program, in particular, is going to illustrate and perhaps generate ideological conflict. The Home Insulation Program (HIP) was established quickly to address a looming economic crisis.  Politicians and business leaders wanted Australia to avoid the global recession … Continue reading “Moral conflicts in store for Australian politicians and bureaucrats”

How can one learn from OHS mistakes if those mistakes are hidden?

Occupational health and safety (OHS) regulatory agencies have existed for decades, originally with an enforcement role but increasingly aimed to prevention and education.  It is fair to say the “2nd generation” of OHS regulators in Australia appeared in the 1980s.  It is also fair to expect to be able to readily access the corporate memory and prosecutorial … Continue reading “How can one learn from OHS mistakes if those mistakes are hidden?”

Victoria’s analysis of OHS law costs is unhelpful politics

The Victorian Government has released the PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) assessment of the potential economic impacts of the introduction of the national Work Health and safety laws. The government media statement accompanying the report states that “The proposed laws do not deliver on the intent of the COAG reform agreed to in 2008 which aimed to reduce the … Continue reading “Victoria’s analysis of OHS law costs is unhelpful politics”

The lobbying for “control” impedes corporate and OHS growth

“When we look at global trends it’s clear that Australia’s labour laws are not the primary cause of the contraction in manufacturing.” Shelley Marshall, a Monash University researcher and Fair Wear Australia spokesperson made this statement at an Australian Senate inquiry on 2 February, 2012.  The statement, reported in The Australian Financial Review (not available online), … Continue reading “The lobbying for “control” impedes corporate and OHS growth”

Suicide challenges the OHS profession

Safety and risk professionals often need to consider the “worst case scenario”.  But we hesitate to look at the worst case scenario of workplace mental health – suicide.  On 26 August 2011, Lifeline presented a seminar to Victorian public servants that was brilliant, confronting and worrying. Lifeline campaigns on suicide prevention and it seems to … Continue reading “Suicide challenges the OHS profession”

The Social Media is the Message

Melody Kemp in Vientiane writes: The apoplectic brouhaha that greeted Wikileaks in the past few months has shown us the power of the internet to upstage, discomfit and enrage.  Governments like corporations operate under a variety of ‘commercial-in-confidence’ scores, the cadence of which changes with the degree of self interest at hand.  That Wikileaks has … Continue reading “The Social Media is the Message”

Recent Queensland OHS prosecutions

In early October 2009, Workplace Health and Safety in Queensland (WHSQ) released a raft of media statements about recent court cases involving OHS prosecutions.  WHSQ seems to do this regularly rather than releasing each statement individual.  Below is a quick cut and paste from the media reports: Brown Engineering & Construction Pty Ltd has been fined $38,000 after a worker … Continue reading “Recent Queensland OHS prosecutions”