Let’s humanise OHS

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Wade Needham and myself answered the questions below to provide a bit of personality to the OHS profession, which is often more serious than it needs to be. Your contribution is welcome too, just cut and paste the questions below into an email and send it to SafetyAtWorkBlog through this link. A suitable photograph would be a great addition and you don’t have to be a subscriber to participate.

  • How did you get into Health & Safety?
  • What drives you?
  • What helps you slow down?
  • OHS Regrets?
  • Favourite fiction writer?
  • What is one OHS trend you are watching keenly?
  • Person/s who you watch and take inspiration from in OHS that you think will have an increasing impact in the sector.
  • What are you most excited about in our sector?
  • What’s your favourite quote?
  • Biggest issue facing the OHS profession?
  • What do you wish you had understood about OHS sooner?
  • What would you like to see to improve collaboration in OHS?
  • What should you have been doing whilst you answered this?

Kevin Jones

Quirky safety cards

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Conferences usually provide delegates with goodie bags of promotional material from sponsors and speakers. Most of it is dross but the bags often include quirky items such as drink bottles, stress balls, baseball hats, sunscreen, which can also be silly, but occasionally there are some that are useful and notable.

SafeWorkNSW produced a deck of playing cards where safety statements or aphorisms replaced the pictures of two-headed royalty and card symbols. This is the type of item that may be left in a glovebox of a car for times of imposed idleness, but I have only seen playing cards used once on a worksite (exempting the playing of Uno by tax office employees in the early 1980s at the morning break after the tea ladies brought chocolate and cream buns). A construction site I was working at was “rained off” one day and the cards came out.

The use of such safety playing cards is intended to be a useful subliminal way of reminding workers of the importance of safety. Given that the longevity and success fo safety posters is very limited, the card strategy may be worth considering by other organisations.

If you have an example of a useful OHS promotional item, please send through an image and/or a description via this email link.

Kevin Jones

Some OHS webinars are much better than others

The Ballarat Regional Occupational Safety and Health (BROSH) group conducted an online seminar on March 31, 2002 at which Tracey Browne of the Australian Industry Group (AIGroup) spoke. The content was very good, and the format worked even though many people are still trying to acclimatise to online meetings and the muting of microphones.

Browne provided a general update on managing occupational health and safety (OHS) during the COVID19 pandemic disruption but there were a couple of notable contributions.

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Safe Work Australia’s COVID19 guidance

In mid-March, pandemic advice from occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators was assessed with the generic guidance from WorkSafe Victoria being praised. Many changes to workplaces have occurred since then and Safe Work Australia (SWA) has caught up with the demand for industry-specific guidance on managing work in this pandemic. SWA’s advice is very good and is discussed below.

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Safety In Design to be included in new digital construction research

In March 2020, several Victorian universities and others were proud to announce their being provided government grants to

“…. transform how buildings are designed and manufactured in Australia”.

Given that safety in Design of buildings has been an ongoing initiative for many years, several questions on this topic were sent through to the Interim CEO of Building 4.0 CRC, Monash University Professor Mathew Aitchison. Below is the response.

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