NZ reviews its workplace death data to include vehicle incidents and shows a big increase

North island, New Zealand- October 29, 2017 Truck on the wet road. Source: istockphoto

2020 will be the year when Victoria the work-related death statistics will get a shake-up when road transport deaths will be included. There is the potential to redefine Victoria’s occupational health and safety (OHS) risk profile if the recent New Zealand experience is anything to go by.

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Can poor safety management = negligence?

L to R: Catherine Dunlop and Dale McQualter

In relation to the release, last week, of the Brady Review SafetyAtWorkBlog wondered:

“It is worth asking whether a reliance on Administrative Controls could be interpreted as a level of negligence that could spark an Industrial Manslaughter prosecution.”

A seminar hosted by law firm Maddocks this week offered an opportunity to pose this as a question.

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Industrial Manslaughter – politics, suicide and misrepresentation

The 2020 business year has started with a bunch of occupational health and safety (OHS) seminars. Given last year’s moves towards Industrial Manslaughter laws in several Australian States, a discussion of these laws is inevitable and there are some voices calling out the politics of the issue. Herbert Smith Freehills’ Steve Bell is one of them.

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The Brady Report busts myths and offers a new way

A bombshell occupational health and safety report was tabled in the Queensland Parliament on February 6, 2020. Dr Sean Brady of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy undertook a forensic assessment of mining fatalities occurring over almost 20 years and has made recommendations that busts some mine safety myths and offers a, potentially very disruptive, way forward.

Brady issued 11 recommendations with many of them hitting the OHS regime of mining companies and safety regulators hard. As the report is over 300 pages, this article is based largely on the Executive Summary.

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HR needs to broaden its pool of risks

Human Resources (HR) professionals often have an enviable degree of influence over the decision making of company executives. In modern parlance, they are “influencers”; as such it is useful to keep an eye on the advice offered by the association that represents HR professionals, the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI).

Recently, freelance journalist, David Barbeler wrote “A comprehensive look at what lies ahead for workplaces in 2020” in AHRI’s HR Magazine. Given that the article is headlined as comprehensive, there are several peculiar occupational health and safety (OHS)-related omissions, especially workplace sexual harassment, Industrial Manslaughter, suicide and mental health.

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