Maryam Omari is an Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University and Dean of its School of Business and Law. She has worked in the Middle East, UK and USA and SafetyAtWorkBlog had a chance to ask her some workplace safety questions. Professor Omari has published several books with her latest being “Workplace Abuse, Incivility and Bullying: Methodological…
[This article was written by Helen Borger and was first published in the May-June 2014 edition of National Safety – a magazine of the National Safety Council of Australia. Reproduced with permission. (Links added by SafetyAtWorkBlog editor) ]
A quick online search reveals a plethora of advice and information about choosing the right mood-altering paint colours for office walls and selecting the best beanbags for worksite chill-out spaces. Not to mention the availability of on-site massages to ease employee tension and anxiety.
It’s tempting to make these interventions the centrepiece of workplace mental health and wellbeing programs because they are feel-good, visible signs of management action that are relatively easy to implement. Continue reading “Mind Set – Mental Health in Australian Workplaces”
South Australian Independent Member of Parliament, John Darley, has been negotiating on that State’s Work Health and Safety laws for many months. On 17 October 2012, according to a media release from SA’s Premier Jay Weatherill and Workplace Relations Minister Russell Wortley, Darley agreed to support the passing of the laws after achieving some amendments. Those amendments involve changes to
- height limits,
- duty of care,
- the right to silence, and
- the right of entry.
Tammy Franks, a Greens MLC, was able to achieve an expansion of the number of days available for OHS representative training.
A spokesperson for John Darley told SafetyAtWorkBlog that another change was for any WHS codes of practice to undergo a small business impact assessment in consultation with the Small Business Commissioner. Darley’s spokesperson said that the MP had met with Business SA after it changed its position on the WHS laws. The amendment above is likely to address the small business concerns that BusinessSA raised in its letter to its members earlier this month. The flip-flopping of BusinessSA on workplace health and safety laws was always curious and it is likely to put the organisation at a negotiating disadvantage once the laws passed. It may try to claim a mini-victory through the small business change but the change appears to have occurred due to Darley’s efforts and not through any relationship with the South Australian Government. Continue reading “New workplace safety laws set to pass in South Australia in October”
When one fails in safety management, people can get hurt or die, yet safety professionals and business executives rarely acknowledge this failure, even though companies may plead guilty in court. Instead “mistakes” are made, “deficiencies” are identified and investigations uncover “areas for improvement” but these are rarely described as “failures”.
October 13 was the International Day For Failure (IDFF), a day that is intended to provide a structure for the discussion of failure and how we respond to, and cope with, failure. The quote that most summarises the day is
“Failure is not the enemy, the fear of failure is”.
Part of the impediment for growth in safety management is that people are encouraged to deny liability for their actions. Executives receive legal advice to say as little as possible and to keep as much as possible under legal-client privilege. This is anathema to the principles of safety management that require failures to be acknowledged and for new preventive strategies to be developed. Yes, shit happens but safety management is particularly required to not let the shit happen twice. Continue reading “Truly acknowledging failure provides a strong base for improvement”
Workplace safety apps are a fairly new addition to smart technologies and they are of variable quality and application. Below is a quick review of some.
One of the earliest OHS-related apps and most basic was Derek Viner‘s Safety101. This is essentially nothing more than a glossary of risk and safety terminology. It has not been updated since April 2010. The potential of this app beyond student use would be as a base for further construction of a safety-wiki or some other contemporary safety product. The app has several spelling mistakes, needs refreshing as it is showing its age and needs to do so much more so as it is not just an off-Wikipedia curiousity. The content needs to be given to an app-developer to create a more commercial and useful product.
Luxmeter & Luxmeter Pro
Luxmeter is curious app that uses the iPad camera to determine lighting levels. It does not claim to be an official, technical, calibrated light meter but does provide a guide to the lux levels in a range of domestic situations. Should these readings be relied on? Absolutely not.
Luxmeter Pro2 provides a more useful tool as it allows for calibration and more measurement options but as there is no help screen or manual, it is next to useless for the average user.
There are a couple of news aggregators that focus on workplace safety topics such as OH&S (developed by Smart Media Innovations) and Safety News (developed by Safety Culture). Give them a miss and learn how to customise more effective readers and ones that show more respect for copyright. Continue reading “Workplace safety apps reviewed”