Getting distracted from safety

Seven years ago, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) suffered a spike of workplace deaths in the construction sector. The then WorkSafe Commissioner produced a report, supported by at least one conference and extensive consultation, which proposed substantial changes. All of the recommendations from the 2012 Getting Home Safely report were accepted by the government and …

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“the point is not science, but safety”

Early last year Professor Andrew Hopkins wrote the following about making important safety decisions: “If you are a CEO in charge of a large company operating hazardous technologies, you cannot afford to wait for conclusive evidence. You must act on the basis of whatever imperfect knowledge you currently have.” page 110 This seems relevant to … Continue reading ““the point is not science, but safety””

To understand Industrial Manslaughter, look at the politics

On May 20, 2020 Industrial Manslaughter became an offence applicable to Queensland’s mining and resources sector, sometime after the offence was applied to all other Queensland businesses. Industrial Manslaughter (IM) laws have always been as much about politics as they are about penalties, deterrence and occupational health and safety (OHS). Some of the politics is …

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Emerging OHS risks and strategies in Ballarat

On 25 February 2020, I spoke at a breakfast seminar at the Ballarat Regional Occupational Safety & Health Group (BROSH) on emerging OHS risks and strategies. Below is an edited version of that talk, which touched on CORVID19, bushfire smoke, sexual harassment, mental health, safety culture and communication: Industrial Manslaughter Industrial Manslaughter laws will come …

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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 …

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Industrial Manslaughter exemption for mining looks over

Many advocates see the introduction of Industrial Manslaughter laws as a glorious moment that will change the world for the better, in other words, a silver bullet. But if it is a silver bullet, it is being shot into the political murk. Queensland’s expansion of its Industrial Manslaughter laws to the mining and resources industries …

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Most-read OHS articles in 2019

This past week most media have been reflecting on the last twelve months or the decade. There are two ways of applying this practice to the SafetyAtWorkBlog – statistics and most-read. Let’s look at statistics first. This year the SafetyAtWorkBlog posted 225 articles, not including this one, with an average word count of 1,030 words … Continue reading “Most-read OHS articles in 2019”