Fels sets the scene for inquiries into workplace mental health

Earlier this week former chair of the Australian Government’s National Mental Health Commission, Allan Fels (pictured right) addressed a lunch hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.  The topicality of his presentation stemmed from two major inquiries into mental health – one by the Federal Government and undertaken by the Productivity Commission (PC), the other is a Royal Commission from the Victorian Government.  The breadth of the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the PC inquiry has generated a very broad level of interest across the social spectrum.  The Royal Commission ToR are yet to be released.

Fels acknowledged the role that workplaces have in addressing mental health

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The Challenges of Future Workplaces – Part 2

This article is part two of an edited version of a keynote presentation I made at the a special WHS Inspectors Forum organised by WorkSafe Tasmania.  The audience comprised inspectors from around Australia and New Zealand.  I was asked to be provocative and challenging so posed some questions to the audience about how occupational health and safety (OHS) is managed, regulated and inspected.

The audio of the presentation is available at

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Timeline for PC Mental Health Inquiry

One of the Commissioners of Australia’s Productivity Commission (PC), Julie Abramson, spoke briefly at a lunchtime seminar on Mental Health and the Economy, hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.  It is very early in the PC’s inquiry into the role of improving mental health but Abramson was able to provide some draft timelines.

Abramson told the audience that the Presiding Commissioner on this inquiry

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Share Solutions could be resurrected

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Some readers have asked for more information about the “Share Solutions” program mentioned in a previous article. The initiative started in 1988 but this article is based on the second edition from 1995.

In 1995, pre-internet, the precursor to WorkSafe Victoria, the Health and Safety Organisation Victoria produced a Share Solutions manual (with an unfortunate sex doll-like graphic).  This hard copy folders included single page solutions to common workplace hazards.  These solutions were submitted usually by those workers or Health and Safety Representatives who had developed a solution to a hazard particular to their workplace.  The solutions were shared with the program participants with acknowledgement of the origin. Continue reading “Share Solutions could be resurrected”

Safety radicalism needed for farm safety in Victoria

The latest paper from OHSIntros has been released, focusing on work-related fatalities in Victoria for 2017.  These papers are produced independently but with good analysis.  It’s not on the scale of “big data” but it does not need to be.

This article looks at the farm deaths data in the report, asks some long-overdue questions and offers radical safety scenarios.

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