Hope clearly did not work. What’s next?

In the Weekend Australian newspaper, workplace relations journalist Ewin Hannan reported on a presentation (paywalled) made by the Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke to the Attorney-General’s Department staff. (Safe Work Australia, currently, exists in this department)  From Hannan’s report, the focus seems to have been on industrial relations but it’s useful to consider …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Can you vote for OHS?

Australia is in the last few weeks of its federal election. Because it is a national election and occupational health and safety (OHS) is almost totally regulated at the State and Territory level, workplace health and safety is rarely if ever mentioned directly in campaign pledges. However, OHS does have a political campaign context if …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Working Hours and Leadership

The workplace issues of excessive hours, unpaid overtime and the negative mental health and social disruption effects are becoming more commonly discussed but not, necessarily, fixed.  A persistent example of these workplace hazards is the sitting of Parliament. Parliamentarians are not always good examples of leadership and nor are they good managers of their workplace …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Speaking truth to power

Last week two young women, Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins, made speeches at the National Press Club about the sexual abuse of minors and an alleged sexual assault in Parl ment House, respectively, and the social changes required to prevent both risks. Both spoke about the need to prevent these abuses and assaults. OHS needs …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Guidance can help but change needs a challenge

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has released a guide for employers on managing sexual harassment in workplaces. It contains a lot of helpful information, but it also illustrates the self-imposed limits that business has on preventing workplace psychological hazards. To a lesser extent, it is downplaying the preventative role of occupational health …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

Off-centre perspectives can offer great potential

The Australian government has failed to follow through on its early promises to provide a framework for employers to prevent and reduce sexual harassment in their workplaces. This failure is being interpreted as revealing something about employers’ attitudes to occupational health and safety (OHS) and their own legislative duties. Employers (and other groups on non-OHS …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.

OHS seen as not up to the task on sexual harassment

Then submissions to the Senate Committee inquiry into the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill reveal some interesting perspectives on occupational health and safety (OHS) from Australian businesses and other organisations. The Kingsford Legal Centre says this of the work health and safety approach to sexual harassment: “WHS law is designed …

Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.