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”

Can OHS achieve “practical wisdom”?

Continuing SafetyAtWorkBlog’s belief that the best advice on workplace safety often comes from people outside the OHS discipline, Professor Barry Schwartz of Swarthmore College was interviewed in the Australian Financial Review on 30 March 2010 (only available by subscription).  Schwartz was talking about the social and regulatory impact of the global financial crisis but his … Continue reading “Can OHS achieve “practical wisdom”?”

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”

Safety Leadership push in Queensland

Expect quite a few OHS statements coming from Australian politicians as the country approaches Safe Work Australia Week in late October 2009. On 16 September 2009, the Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations, Cameron Dick, sought support for a “…groundbreaking new program to reduce workplace deaths and injuries.” Groundbreaking? Not sure. Perhaps for Queensland. According to his media statement the … Continue reading “Safety Leadership push in Queensland”

Professor Quinlan outlines the roles and approaches of the OHS inspectorate

The Safety in Action conference is lucky to have Professor Michael Quinlan as a keynote speaker, as he has seriously curtailed his conference appearances to favour those that benefit the safety profession over the commercial conferences.  His, and Richard Johnstone’s, research on 1200 inspectors has provided useful insight into the effectiveness and roles of OHS … Continue reading “Professor Quinlan outlines the roles and approaches of the OHS inspectorate”

Many workplace deaths for BHP Billiton

The Australian Workers Union are justifiably angry at the latest workplace death associated with BHP Billiton.   According to the company’s media statement on 19 march 2009 “We regret to inform that we have been advised by Mines and Port Development (a Joint Venture of Fluor and SKM), who manage our major construction activities, that … Continue reading “Many workplace deaths for BHP Billiton”

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”