SafetyAtWorkBlog has been critical of the use and sale of generic Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) for work tasks that can be managed through simpler and freely available job safety analyses (JSAs) and face-to-face communication. On 27 January 2017, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) launched generic inductions.
The CCI asks and answers, in its media release:
“So why is it that so many workplaces don’t provide an induction? Our Members are telling us that they don’t really know what information they should be giving to a new starter.”
An internet search of the WorkSafeWA website would have led one to its “Checklist for new and young workers – Safety induction” which provides a good list of the categories of workplace safety information the safety regulator believes would be appropriate. (Similar checklists are available from WorkSafe Victoria and WorkSafe Tasmania) So why charge for something that is freely available online? More…
Many Australians expressed concerns over the potential workplace health and safety impacts of various free trade agreements Australia has entered into over the last few years. Those concerns may be starting to manifest if a report in The Age newspaper on 4 June 2016 is correct. More…
In March 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its latest figures into the causes of death. A lot of media attention was given to the figures showing an increase in the suicide rate. It found that
“Among those aged 15 to 44, the leading causes of death were Intentional self-harm (suicide)…”
Dr Claire Kelly, Manager, Youth Programs, Mental Health First Aid Australia, talking at the Suicide Prevention Forum 2016
On the day those figures were released, the Creative Ministries Network was holding its Suicide Prevention Forum. More…
The Age newspaper has published a feature article entitled “Workplace resilience: It’s all a great big con“. Although it does not mention occupational health and safety (OHS) specifically, it is applying the OHS principle of addressing the causes of workplace injury and ill-health. It says that workplace resilience and similar training courses and strategies:
“… can’t overcome the structural realities and power imbalances that characterise the employment relationship. “Workplace resilience” might help us bear up to stress, but it won’t solve its underlying causes. And the causes of workplace unhappiness don’t necessarily reside in the individual and their own ability to “be resilient” or “relax” – they are part of the economic structures within which we work.”
One of the most contentious issues in Australia’s occupational health and safety (OHS) profession at the moment is the move by the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA)to certify the profession. In the February 2015 issue of the Journal of Health Safety and Environment, Warwick Pearse, Laura McCosker and Gunther Paul researched the SIA’s “professional project” and found it seriously wanting.
The paper “Reflection on the SIA Ltd professional project and the Body of Knowledge” states that the project
“…has the potential to promote a narrow technical view of OHS rather than a wider view which encompasses societal relations of power and politics.”
“The use of the BoK [Body of Knowledge] as a key element in the professional project has the potential to represent OHS as a unified system of knowledge — which it is not.” [link added]