Analysis of the WorkSafe Legislation Amendment Bill raises concerns

Several readers have expressed curiosity over the WorkSafe Legislative Amendment Bill currently in the Victorian Parliament and mentioned by lawyer Steve Bell last week.  Bell pointed to a couple of issues in the Bill and gave the impression that the Bill was aimed at tidying up some administration.  Several of the issues raised in the …

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Breakfast seminar provides OHS tidbits

In May 2016, the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) held their annual safety breakfast.  The speakers were the usual blend of WorkSafe representative, SIA, Herbert Smith Freehills and remuneration survey results but there is always bits of useful information for the old hands and a lot of information for new … Continue reading “Breakfast seminar provides OHS tidbits”

An OHS conference split into monthly meetings

I am a Life Member of the Central Safety Group (CSG), a small network of OHS professionals who meet in central Melbourne each month. CSG seems to me to provide the best return on investment for professional development in my area and I’d like to recommend  membership, if you are local. The Central Safety Group … Continue reading “An OHS conference split into monthly meetings”

Will workers be safer through an expansion of Comcare?

At a recent breakfast seminar, Steve Bell of Herbert Smith Freehills mentioned that a Bill is with the Australian Senate that will open up the Comcare scheme to Australian businesses through the removal of the national competition test.  This move has been flagged for some time with several lawyers expressing reservations.  Bell mentioned this to … Continue reading “Will workers be safer through an expansion of Comcare?”

Prevention of harm is lost in the debate over workplace bullying

This week in Australia the conservative Liberal Party released its much-anticipated industrial relations policy.  Most commentary is that the policy is thin but in terms of occupational health and safety, the Liberal Party is supportive of the changes made concerning workplace bullying.  Sadly, the commentary is often lazy. Media Misunderstanding One example of a careless  headline is … Continue reading “Prevention of harm is lost in the debate over workplace bullying”

How can one learn from OHS mistakes if those mistakes are hidden?

Occupational health and safety (OHS) regulatory agencies have existed for decades, originally with an enforcement role but increasingly aimed to prevention and education.  It is fair to say the “2nd generation” of OHS regulators in Australia appeared in the 1980s.  It is also fair to expect to be able to readily access the corporate memory and prosecutorial … Continue reading “How can one learn from OHS mistakes if those mistakes are hidden?”

Victoria bows out of OHS harmonisation

According to an official budget speech by Victoria’s Treasurer, Kim Wells, that State will not be enacting the model Work Health and Safety laws.  Under the subheading “A Stronger Victoria” (page 14), the Treasurer states “The Government will not sign up to the current proposal for harmonised legislation for occupational health and safety. It offers little … Continue reading “Victoria bows out of OHS harmonisation”