Rita Donahy speaks at Australia’s Building Safety conference

Free Access

Donahy 2013 01The first international speaker at this weekend’s Building Safety conference in Canberra, Australia was Rita Donahy, author of the One Death Is Too Many report into the UK’s construction industry safety performance, and a member of the House of Lords.

Donahy stressed that workplace safety is, and should be, a social issue and not treated as a special case.
Continue reading “Rita Donahy speaks at Australia’s Building Safety conference”

Possible access changes to SafetyAtWorkBlog content

Free Access

Several times over the years, I have had to remind people that although this blog appears on the internet, it is not free to use or republish, the most recent reminder was last month.  However very recently the intellectual property of the SafetyAtWorkBlog is almost being rewritten and reissued.

SafetyAtWorkBlog should continued to be published as an accessible information resource to all  but I must now seriously considered restricting access to many of the articles through password protection.  There are no plans to apply fees for accessing the articles but the abuse of intellectual property suggests restrictions should be applied.

I would welcome your thoughts on imposing these changes.  Please post comments as per normal or contact me directly through the link below.

Kevin Jones

Supreme Court decision limits public knowledge of OHS offences

Free Access

Woman CelebratingIn May 2013 Fiona Austin (@upfrontfi) a lawyer with the Australian law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), tweeted:

“Great win in the Supreme Court! No more naming and shaming for health and safety offenders in Queensland”

The Supreme Court decision is an appalling situation over which OHS professionals and regulators should be outraged.

Austin and other HSF lawyers authored a longer article on the case and totally miss the point of why OHS offenders should be named.  Shaming of offenders is a different matter.

The article explains how a decision under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld) may stop the OHS regulator in Queensland, Work Health and Safety Queensland, from listing the names of offenders on its website. Continue reading “Supreme Court decision limits public knowledge of OHS offences”

New workplace bullying laws generate heated debate

Free Access

Today Australia hosts a No2Bullying conference.  It is a timely conference as the debate on Australia’s changes to the Fair Work Act in relation to workplace bullying heats up.

Lawyer Josh Bornstein is particularly critical of the politicisation of the amendments and believes this increases the instability or remedies available to victims of workplace bullying by increasing pressure on under-resourced OHS regulators.

The amendments are unlikely to reduce the incidence of workplace bullying in Australia as they address post-incident circumstances.

As the new legislation is being passed through Parliament, the industrial relations, political and legal context will dominate the media, Continue reading “New workplace bullying laws generate heated debate”

New Zealand’s LandCorp reduces quad bike use

Free Access

Recently New Zealand stole some of Australia’s thunder on quad bike safety when, according to one media report, one of the country’s state-owned enterprises, Landcorp Farming Limited decided it:

“…will not be using quad bikes on its new farms, and is limiting use of the vehicles elsewhere, as it looks for a safer and more suitable alternative.”

The differing positions on quad bike safety mirror the Australian debate.  Landcorp will remove or limit the use of quad bikes just as did the New South Wales’ National Parks & Wildlife Service.  The Motor Industry Association argues against crush protection devices just as has the FCAI in Australia.  Charley Lamb of Lincoln University echoes Australian academic researchers and believes:

“The argument that rollover protection killed riders was “rubbish”. Continue reading “New Zealand’s LandCorp reduces quad bike use”