Addressing the invisible causes of visible harm

The trade union movement was instrumental in showing that workplace bullying was a pervasive problem in Australian workplaces.  Many Codes of Practice and guidances for workplace bullying and occupational violence were written shortly after the action by the Australian Council of Trade Unions almost two decades ago.  But, for some reason, although sexual harassment was …

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Why don’t employers pay attention to psychological harm?

The Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) is an active supporter of Safe Work Australia‘s (SWA) recent attention to the risks of psychosocial hazards in the workplace.  On 10 April 2018, the SIA reiterated this support and its anticipation of a new SWA guide on the issue but the media release  includes a statement that may …

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Australian safety group calls for a Code of Practice on psychosocial risks

The Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) is making serious efforts to increase its relevance to Australia’s occupational health and safety (OHS) profession and the broader community.  Around International Women’s Day, the SIA released a media statement calling for action on workplace bullying, harassment and abuse....

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Harm prevention needs to look beyond the individual into the corporate and the systemic

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are excellent resources for minimising harm from workplace issues, particularly psychosocial hazards.  However this usually occurs after an event or an incident.  This reality was emphasised recently by a media release from AccessEAP that revealed “the top five causes of workplace stress” (not available online but an article based closely on … Continue reading “Harm prevention needs to look beyond the individual into the corporate and the systemic”

Law reform does not prevent harm, only compensates for it

Josh Bornstein is a media-savvy lawyer with Maurice Blackburn who has gained some prominence on the matter of workplace bullying.  A week ago Bornstein spoke at a Legalwise seminar in Melbourne Australia and he has yet to stop running on his topic of discussion – “Disproving the seven myths about workplace bullying”.  Today he released … Continue reading “Law reform does not prevent harm, only compensates for it”

“Do some good” sounds more effective than achieving “zero harm”

The April 2012 edition of the UK magazine Training Journal makes a statement that is so simple, safety professionals should be kicking themselves.  The safety profession is trying to change the measurement of safety from lag indicators to lead, from negatives to positives, from failures to successes and yet we continue to talk about zero harm.  In Training Journal, … Continue reading ““Do some good” sounds more effective than achieving “zero harm””

Is OHS harmonisation a dead parrot or is it just pining?

In The Australian newspaper on 3 April 2012, Judith Sloan presents a useful summary of the status of the OHS harmonisation process.  Many of her criticisms are valid but she has not realised that the new Work Health and Safety laws stopped being occupational health and safety laws some time ago.  It is easier to … Continue reading “Is OHS harmonisation a dead parrot or is it just pining?”