Australia is the first nation to ban engineered stone due to worker health concerns

The heads of Australian work health and safety authorities have decided to ban engineered stone from the middle of 2024. Some will seed this as a win for the trade union movement ( the unions certainly will), but many occupational health and safety and industrial hygiene professionals have been leading the way in obtaining the …

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Interview with ILO’s Manal Azzi

Last week, I was able to interview several speakers, sponsors and delegates at the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, sometimes on behalf of the Congress and at other times privately. Some of these interviews were edited from forty-five minutes of content to ten. The interview with the Team Lead on Occupational …

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Arguing over the WorkCover scheme’s viability again avoids harm prevention

The Victorian Parliament has been debating legislation the government claims is essential to fix a “broken” workers’ compensation system. There are a lot of elements to what is broken – premium increases, political access to WorkSafe finances, political topping up of WorkSafe finances, high numbers and costs for workplace mental health compensation claims and more. …

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OHS lawyer says to trust your gut

Occupational health and safety (OHS) seminars can be a bit hit-and-miss. Sometimes they seem to be a front for promoting a new management program, but every so often, the information offered is perceptive and rewarding. Herbert Smith Freehills partner Steve Bell has been consistently rewarding over many years. No quoting Section 321 of an OHS …

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WorkSafe Victoria’s Director of Investigations says “Culture is nirvana”

Every so often, the spokespeople for occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators spread the public speaking load by having divisional heads speak at health and safety events. This week WorkSafe Victoria’s Director of Investigations, Peter Collins (pictured below), spoke at a breakfast seminar for the Australian Institute of Health and Safety, hosted by Herbert Smith …

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Return to Office demands miss the point

This week a colleague told me that the return to the workplace demands by companies is the most significant issue for 2023. Perhaps, but it is no longer a significant occupational health and safety (OHS) challenge. The directions of company executives are couched in terms of productivity and management comfort. A short while ago, the …

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OHS and management courses

Research findings that a sample of business and management courses have little to no OHS content are not surprising and match what has now become fashionable to call “lived experience”. Part of the reason for the findings is that the number of undergraduate courses in OHS has declined, and those that did exist were not …

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