New book challenges current OHS trends

Professor Michael Quinlan has a new book that focuses on lessons from recent mining disasters but, as with the best of occupational health and safety (OHS) books, it challenges orthodoxies.  Some OHS consultants and experts have built careers on these orthodoxies, trends and fads, and will feel uncomfortable with the evidence put forward by Quinlan …

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Bill Shorten speaks at the Safe Work Australia Awards

Australia’s Employment and Workplace Relations Minister, Bill Shorten had a very busy day on 26 April 2012 with the recent actions over the management of the Health Services Union.  Tha evening he spoke eloquently and passionately at the Annual Safe Work Australia Awards. Not only did he speak but he also spent several hours speaking with … Continue reading “Bill Shorten speaks at the Safe Work Australia Awards”

The Asphyxiation of OHS

Good OHS thinking and practice are being slowly asphyxiated.  By far most suggestions by workers, unions or good consultants for Health & Safety improvements are ‘choked’ by management naysayers and bureaucrats more in touch with their current minister’s moods than workplace reality.  Not choked immediately or blatantly.   In fact, that person may be patted on … Continue reading “The Asphyxiation of OHS”

Mining Minister’s safety claims challenged

Two days ago, Ian Macdonald, the New South Wales Minister for Mineral Resources opened the annual conference of the NSW Minerals Council. It was  a dour presentation but delegates said that the Minister is not the most exciting public speaker.  Macdonald announced a new research program into safety culture, an announcement that did not get much response from the conference delegates, … Continue reading “Mining Minister’s safety claims challenged”

Management – the importance of what comes before

A special guest for the Safe Work Australia events in Queensland was Matthew Gill, former Beaconsfield Gold mine manager.  According to a media statement from the Government “Matthew Gill who was the public face of the Beaconsfield mine rescue will speak about how he immediately took control of the emergency and then implemented rescue operations for … Continue reading “Management – the importance of what comes before”

Role of OHS Inspectors

There have been several incidents recently that illustrate the unenviable pressures on inspectors and Australian OHS regulators. The Tasmanian Coroner found that the mining inspectorate of Workplace Standards Tasmania was “inadequate” and incapable of  “of carrying out its core function of inspecting and enforcing best safety practices within the mining industry.”  Two inspectors for that … Continue reading “Role of OHS Inspectors”