Predatory Capitalism and OHS

A fundamental aim of occupational health and safety (OHS) is the prevention of harm. To determine the most effective ways of preventing work-related harm, OHS professionals must investigate the source of harm. This requires them to look beyond their own workplaces to socioeconomic factors. Greed is the source of almost all of the world’s economic …

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Understanding Grief

Occupational health and safety (OHS) has always dealt with death. Many of the most significant legislative and operational changes have resulted from one or more work-related deaths. The horror and tragedy of each death cause us to redouble our efforts to prevent untimely death. The reality of occupational deaths and the quest to prevent death …

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A refresh of the Code of Practice for Working Hours could be of great benefit

Many workers have a working week that includes more hours than they were contracted for. This is often described as “unpaid overtime”, which is a misnomer as “overtime” traditionally involves being paid a higher rate of income to compensate for making one available beyond or “over” regular business hours. Unpaid overtime can also be considered …

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A curious omission from NY Times well-being article in The Age

Another article reporting on Dr William Fleming’s workplace wellness research appeared recently in the New York Times, reproduced in some Australian newspapers like The Age (not available online). Newspapers are entitled to edit other newspaper’s articles for many reasons. Most tweaks are legitimate, but, in this case, The Age dropped an entire paragraph, which does …

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Are wellbeing programs “safe washing” their OHS performance?

First, there was brainwashing, then greenwashing and safewashing. Could the well-being industry be accused of safewashing? Has well-being had its day in the sun? The first use of safewash to describe presenting occupational health and safety (OHS) information in a diffused truth was in the 2016 research paper by Sharron O’Neill, Jack Flanagan and Kevin …

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New Sexual Harassment Code is part of the workplace mental health transition

This month Safe Work Australia (SWA) released its Code of Practice – Sexual and gender-based harassment, which applies to almost all Australian occupational health and safety (OHS) jurisdictions. It is an important document for many reasons, not the least is to reduce, and hopefully to prevent, the potential for life-altering psychological harm. It is also …

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Dr Fleming’s well-being research has generated controversy, as it should

Dr William Fleming’s open-access article called Employee well‐being outcomes from individual‐level “Mental Health Interventions: Cross‐sectional Evidence from the United Kingdom” is receiving a lot of online and mainstream media attention, and rightly so. It is a robust piece of research from a sample of over 46,000 workers in 233 organisations. The article compares: “…participants and …

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