Pressure, Disorganisation and Regulatory Failure

A reader recently asked why I haven’t written about the recent retirement of Professor Michael Quinlan.  Michael has featured in many SafetyAtWorkBlog articles over many years and has been a major supporter for industrial, labour relations and occupational health and safety research in Australia and elsewhere for a long time. He has many legacies but …

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Co-operation may address safety in the work of the future

The investigation of work-related incidents needs to be considered from a broad multidisciplinary perspective.  But occupational health and safety (OHS) itself, applies a much narrower and, some may say, insular perspective.  It hasn’t “played well with others”.  At the recent Comcare conference in Melbourne, Australia, writer Tim Dunlop (pictured right) challenged this type of perception.  He …

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Review of West Gate Bridge findings has important lessons for modern infrastructure projects

2020 will be the fiftieth anniversary of the collapse of the West Gate Bridge which resulted in, amongst others, the deaths of 35 workers, changed Victoria’s approach to occupational health and safety (OHS), instigated a Royal Commission into the disaster, strengthened trade union influence and established an industrial antagonism to the John Holland group of …

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Industrial Manslaughter laws in Australia are about politics, not safety

The latest push for Industrial Manslaughter laws in Australia has appeared as part of the Tasmanian state election. The Tasmanian branch of the Australian Labor Party released its policy platform for jobs in February 2018 which makes specific and vague commitments on workplace safety which require scrutiny. Precarious Work The Tasmanian Labor Leader, Rebecca White, …

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What do Weinstein, Spacey and others have to do with OHS?

“Then I went, ‘Oh hang on, I’ve normalised so much of this as part of my industry…. This last three months has really made us all take a long hard look at what we have even let ourselves think is acceptable.” – Sacha Horler Such a statement is familiar to those working in the field … Continue reading “What do Weinstein, Spacey and others have to do with OHS?”

The future of OHS under the Australian Labor Party

At Australia’s National Press Club on October 18 2017, the Australian Labor Party’s Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O’Connor spoke, ostensibly on industrial relations but occupational health and safety (OHS) was mentioned.  O’Connor provided several examples of worker exploitation and casual work and then stated “There is something really wrong when those …

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Quinlan’s time capsule includes useful OHS perspectives

Professor Michael Quinlan has been writing about occupational health and safety (OHS) and industrial relations for several decades. His writing has matured over that time as indicated by his most recent book, Ten Pathways to Death and Disaster.  In 1980, one of his articles looked at OHS through the prisms of Capitalism and Marxism.  It is remarkable …

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