OHS can be a force for social change, if anyone could be bothered

HesaMag should be obligatory reading for all OHS professionals, not just those in Europe. The editorial in the most recent edition (9 and not yet on line) is a great example of the value of this free magazine. It critically discusses the upcoming International Workers’ Memorial Day and its significance.

It asks for everyone to enact the commitment shown on each April 28 to every other day of the year. It says:

“Let’s not be taken in by the false sentiment on 28 April, but demand a clear and detailed accounting”

It asks why EU OHS legislation has been so slow to appear or be revised but equally, in Australia, questions should be asked about the status (failure in my opinion) of WHS harmonisaton, the lack of attention to the causes of workplace mental illness, the status of workplace bullying claims in the Fair Work Commission, the lack of attention to heavy vehicle OHS matters by the safety profession and the insidious encroachment of the perception of OHS as a failure of the individual rather than a failure in the system of work. Continue reading “OHS can be a force for social change, if anyone could be bothered”

Economic austerity should not be allowed to override safety priorities

iStock_000009374843XSmallIn 2012 many countries have been required to pursue economic austerity measures.  A national or international economy rarely has any direct effect on safety management but the current economic status has led to an increase in harsh, or strong, political decisions and some of these decisions will affect safety management and professionals.  One obvious manifestation of political safety decisions is the UK Government’s decision to allow small businesses to step outside its occupational health and safety (OHS) laws in its pursuit of reducing supposed “red tape“.  This strategy is attractive to other government’s, including Australia’s, but the strategy could marginalise the safety profession even further if the profession remains insular and silent.

The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has been campaigning for some time on the governments decisions to change its OHS laws in its quest for greater efficiencies and reduced business costs.  In the last few months, IOSH has turned its attention to the proposed changes to the  Continue reading “Economic austerity should not be allowed to override safety priorities”

Unnecessary pissing contest in the Western Australian safety profession

In Western Australia in 2010, the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) conducted its conference, the WA Safety Show, at the end of August.  In 2011, the SIA did not hold a conference in that State but in 2012 the WA Safety Show returned to Perth however it was oddly rescheduled earlier in the month, August 7-9.  Curiously there is another safety conference occurring in Perth on those very same days, only 500 metres away and it happens to be conducted by Safety In Workplaces Australia (SIWA), a recent safety professional association that emerged from disenfranchised SIA members.

The 2010 WA Safety Show was organised by the then secretary of the WA branch of the SIA, Gavin Waugh, who is now the President of SIWA.  In 2012 there is both a WA Safety Show and a WA Safety Conference happening on the same days within 500 metres of each other but run by different safety professional organisations.

What the ??? Continue reading “Unnecessary pissing contest in the Western Australian safety profession”