The Senate inquiry into Australia Post should provide important lessons in OHS, HR, RTW and LTIFR

For decades OHS professionals have known that the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) does not accurately measure the safety performance of an organisation.  LTIFR can be manipulated and is responsive to single catastrophic events.  The consensus has always been that LTIFR is one indicator of safety improvement but should not be relied upon at … Continue reading “The Senate inquiry into Australia Post should provide important lessons in OHS, HR, RTW and LTIFR”

Safety awareness ≠ safety (always)

Workplace fatalities have markedly increased in Victoria over the last couple of months.  According to WorkSafe Victoria information nine people have died within the last two months bringing the current total to 27 for 2009. Victoria has a high awareness of the need for safety in the workplace, principally due to the advertising campaigns of WorkSafe which began, in one form … Continue reading “Safety awareness ≠ safety (always)”

Big fine for Queensland Rail – big risks in rail

Almost two years ago, two rail workers died in Queensland.  According to the official report into the  incident: “At approximately 1056 on Friday 7 December 2007, two QR [Queensland Rail] Infrastructure Services Group (ISG) track workers were fatally injured as a consequence of being struck by a track machine (train) at Mindi, approximately 130 kilometres … Continue reading “Big fine for Queensland Rail – big risks in rail”

Crushed finger leads to claim and Court

Regularly in OHS  submissions to the government and on OHS discussion forums, safety professionals state that industrial relations should be kept separate from workplace safety issues.  In a perfect world ? Possibly, but there was a court decision on 13 November 2009 in Australia that shows that this separation is not possible in the modern … Continue reading “Crushed finger leads to claim and Court”

Unpaid overtime is the new danger money

In Australia there is increasing pressure to work more hours than what one is paid for. Many different organisations use this fact to push for various improved benefits, in many circumstances the statistics are used in support of wage improvements. But working beyond contracted hours will certainly affect one’s work/life balance as there are only … Continue reading “Unpaid overtime is the new danger money”

Fixing what is broken

WorkCover in South Australia has released a discussion paper for public comment on 9 November 2009.  The paper is called “Consultation on a new framework for employer incentives” and poses the following questions: Do you think there should be any financial incentives for employers in relation to workers rehabilitation and compensation? What do you think about the … Continue reading “Fixing what is broken”

Summer heat, fatigue and UV – a speculative solution

Let’s pull together several workplace hazards and suggest one control measure that may address all of them at once.  Of course, the control may generate other work hazards or management challenges. In Summer, work occurs throughout daylight hours.  The long days, and possibly daylight savings, maximise the window of productivity for workers, particularly those who … Continue reading “Summer heat, fatigue and UV – a speculative solution”