The misuse of OHS in industrial relations campaigns

Workplace safety and industrial relations are undeniably tied together in terms of policy development, legislation and implementation.  This week the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) used the occupational safety record of the Australian construction industry to criticise the Australian Building & Construction Commission (ABCC).   It should be stated here that SafetyAtWorkBlog does … Continue reading “The misuse of OHS in industrial relations campaigns”

Many workplace deaths for BHP Billiton

The Australian Workers Union are justifiably angry at the latest workplace death associated with BHP Billiton.   According to the company’s media statement on 19 march 2009 “We regret to inform that we have been advised by Mines and Port Development (a Joint Venture of Fluor and SKM), who manage our major construction activities, that … Continue reading “Many workplace deaths for BHP Billiton”

OHS context of leave entitlements

Family-friendly work initiatives always get increased attention around International Women’s Day.  This is a shame as work/life balance is not gender specific, however the dominant Western family structures make the application of the concept relative to gender.  As long as the matter is perceived as a “women’s issue”, it will struggle for attention in a … Continue reading “OHS context of leave entitlements”

Company directors and OHS obligations

Since the final report of Australia’s Review into Model OHS Law, discussion has been remarkably quiet.  The ACTU was scheduled to meet for discussions on the report last Monday and no public statements have been made.  Most of the labour law firms have been quiet also.  It is fair to say that most are trying … Continue reading “Company directors and OHS obligations”

Ethics & Safety

Ethics is gaining an increased level of attention in the safety profession in Australia but remains way behind other professions and the business community in general. The UK’s Ethical Corporation Institute has made available a “pubcast” with one of the authors of a report entitled “Best Practices for Designing Effective Ethics Programmes”.  The report itself … Continue reading “Ethics & Safety”

Response to National OHS Law Review

In the Australian Financial Review on 17 February 2009 (page 8 but not accessible online) Steven Scott reports that the Western Australian Treasurer Troy Buswell is in a stoush with the Federal government over OHS laws.  They are not.  Buswell is quoted as saying “My view is that it’s much more appropriate to make sure … Continue reading “Response to National OHS Law Review”

Eliminate the hazards

The first control measure on the “hierarchy of controls” is to eliminate the hazard.  OHS consultants and professionals should always consider ways to achieve this.  It may prove to be impractical, or politically unpopular, but it should always be discussed or recommended.  Reports and submissions that do not consider this control measure can be considered … Continue reading “Eliminate the hazards”