35 comments

  1. Great blog! so refreshing to hear honest views.

    I’m sort of new to safety after 19 yrs on the tools and a life altering accident. I’ve completing a Grad dip at present and working in local gov.

    I used to be a member of the sia, but now I’m not so sure, seems like everyone is too concerned about building their career rather than focusing on the big picture.

    Is it worth while or necessary to join a “professional body”

    Just wanted to gauge you view on this issue?

  2. HI Kevin,

    Take a look at this story on the iauditor app; Cashed up Townsville start-up SafetyCulture to fly in developers. i had a read and dissected it from a rather critical view point (to spice things up). Focusing on what responsibility is possibly owed by the program designer and corporate body that controls the program, hence profiting from and providing a framework for the auditing of workplace activities.

    Additionally I looked at the suitability and likelihood that the claimed templates and tools may or may not meet minimum requirements for meeting WHS/OHS frameworks and regulatory obligations (possibly setting a false or misguided sense of security/compliance)

    Have a look if you get the time. I would like the view points of both yourself and you readers.

    Regards.

  3. Hi Kevin,

    I quite enjoy your blog, some robust and insightful blogging!

    I too am a WHS/Safety training professional specialising in construction safety training and was hoping to be given the opportunity to contribute to your website.
    I have 10 years experience in OHS within the public health care sector and am certain I would be able to add articles of value to your already wonderful blog.

    regards,

    Josh Wasley

  4. Hi Kevin,
    I just finished to read the
    Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril [Hardcover]
    Margaret Heffernan (Author) and I think there may good points on it that OHS management should have a look.

    Dori Barreiros
    OHS Engineer – BRAZIL

  5. Bullying is intentional targeting of an individual by another person or a mob of people, this is terrorism by any other name and causes psychological injury. I was awarded Industrial disablement injury against The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, whilst the injury and medical diagnosis was accepted to sack me it was not accepted by the tribunal as causation of injury. How the rich get away with things is impossible to believe. All that glitters is not golden as I found to my cost and permanent disability.

  6. Regarding the Building Safety Conference and Paul Breslin’ s commentary on safe work method statements (SWMS) –

    Paul is correct. SWMS have become too complicated and onerous. Some of the templates require a residual risk column and then a re-assessment of the risk. Often the risk assessment table on the templates underestimates risks because they do not take exposure into account.

    SWMS statement suffer from the following.

    They often fail to provide a sequential break down on how a task is to be performed. They appear as risk assessments.

    They often have too much extraneous detail. One ‘cannot see the wood for the trees’. The major traumatic hazards are lost among details about training, manual handling and so on.

    In many case they are not site specific. They are churned out to meet formal OHS documentation requirements.

    Often they lack specific detail on how a particular control measure is to be applied. Typically, in relation to falls from height, the word ‘safety harness’ will be used instead of actually describing the totality of the individual fall protection system.

    They are not properly reviewed for relevance and adequacy.

    What is ultimately important is not the paper work but the actual doing of the task safely. This requires supervision, commitment to safety and knowledge. Site supervision can get bogged down in paperwork in the site office when they are really needed out there, watching and controlling what is actually occurring on site.

  7. “Man dies after fall off roof” Mercury Tasmania. Workplace Standards Mr.Ormerod investigating yet again??? A 5 metre fall!!! How are you going with your story about the Commercial fishermen who were killed recently in Tasmania. The body of one fisherman has definately been found. Also, only one side of your articles are showing on the computer.

  8. Hi Kevin

    I wanted to offer some constructive critisism on the site and I am really only talking about the asthetics and website functionality.

    I find since you changed themes, the format is not working well on my system (IE8.0) and the left margin seems to hang over on top of the centre (main story) margin. Just wanted to let you know.

    The content is as always interesting.

  9. Hi, I’ve just read “Bullying has many causes and too many avenues of appeal”, which confirms you are much better able to articulate some of my concerns in relation to mental health and work culture and interactions that I am trying to put in my feedback for the Draft Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform. I’d like to draw your attention to the Govt seeking public opinion input in the form of a survey until Feb 1. http://www.health.gov.au/mentalhealth My input is taking some time. I am hoping you will give your perspective and clarity, if you haven’t already done so.

  10. Hey!
    I’ve watched many work safe ads and they really make me think. It would be my dream to do the special effects make-up for them. I’ve been doing special effects for a while now and am diploma accredited however I just don’t know how to get into it. Could anyone please help me?
    Thanks

  11. Having seen at first hand accidents that were easily predictable and easy to prevent ,I was more than frustrated that the investigative body would not censure ,and was willing to accept company mistruths rather than speak to the victim or the ohs rep.
    I do not have any confidence in harmonisation changes that do not commit a willingness by investigators to take to task employers who are lacking in workplace safety culture .
    This left me with a belief that regulations and codes of practice would of been more useful if absorbent and perforated .

  12. Good morning Kevin, Thank you for the adjustments to your article with reference to myself. I feel it would have been appropriate to mention that on the 8th of may 2010 the dept of the attorney general and the work place health and safety made a statement confirming that neither myself or my company had no charges to answer. Subsequently Mr Chris McKay (Matthews Employer) has been charged and convicted over this tragedy. I have at no time wanted to portray myself as a victim as the the real victims are Matthew and his family.
    At this time i am simply trying to comfort my family and keep my company from having to lay off anymore of my employees.

    Regards

    Jude kirk

  13. Well Kevin, I did get a response from the webpage’s creator a couple weeks ago regarding the pictures on the African Mahogany Australia’s website stating that they acknowledge the safety breaches dipicted and that it would be bought to the attention of management . It would appear that by the lack of action to remove these images, African Mahogany Australia dont seem to be all that focused on Workplace health and safety.

  14. Gentlmen. I to am apalled at what I have seen on the AMA website.
    I have been involved working directly and indirectly in the OHS/E field for many years both in the Timber Industry and the Private Sector in and around the ACT.
    I too have experienced a workplace fatality and fully understand the impact of such an event on all all
    Kevin I understand that these type pictures may be seen all over the web. I simply simply do not understand why a company would allow this to occur with all the information available today regarding safe work practices.
    On the AMA website clearly stated under Operations, Goals point No 3 is this.
    Ensure a safe working environment is provided for forest workers working within AMA plantations.
    The gentleman does not even have PPE, no eye protection, no proper fire retardent clothing.

    What occurs within the rest of this company?

    My passion is strong and this is appalling

    Lee

  15. Dear All – As a fellow safety professional I enjoy reading these blogs and today I felt compelled to share with you, something I stumbled across a few days back. I am talking about a northern timber plantation company and I was astounded that in this day and age, that people not only engage in these work practices, but actually post pictures of such practices on their web page. If you have a moment to check this link out http://www.africanmahoganyaustralia.com.au/retc.html , it shows an employee conducting burning off operations with no PPE on and what’s worse still, he is wearing shorts.
    The next picture that I noticed was a guy standing on top of what appears to be an unguarded super spreader, a machine that would mince a human being in if they fell in….and here it is on their web site – words fail me.
    I just thought that I would share this with you as I have personally been involved with 2 workplace fatalities in my 20 years as a safety professional and I just couldn’t believe that these types of work practices are still taking place in this day and age.

    Regards

    Anthony

    • Anthony, there are almost weekly instances of the publication of images in magazeins, newspapers and websites that depict unsafe work practices. Thanks for bringing this example to our attention.

      Have you contacted African mahogany Australia or the website creator, Noisebox Productions, about the images?

      Kevin Jones

  16. Dear Kevin,

    I just stumbled upon your blog and am very impressed by your articles.

    I’ve decided that I’m going to get into Occupational Health and Safety as it is a field I have a passion for. To do so I need to complete a course. Last year i finished a bachelor of management degree and decided i don’t like marketing or HR so much and would prefer to get into OHS.

    So basically I have two options: A Graduate Certificate or a Cert IV (and eventual diploma)

    I have little knowledge of the technical aspects of OH&S. I’m not sure which one would hold more weight in applying for jobs and becoming a member of the associations. Also, I’m not 100% on which of these courses would best prepare me for a workplace role in OHS, although the Cert IV seems to cover a few more subjects. If you can also recommend a good reputable institution that would be very helpful as well.

    If you could give me some guidance, that would be great.

    Thankyou,

    Tom.

  17. Hi there, I was wondering if you have any knowledge under the comcare scheme of Australia of any pins issued by hsr,s being upheld by comcare investigators .
    A number of reps I have been in contact with are disgusted with comcares so called investigations .

  18. Hello Mr. Kevin

    I am a student of Security in Brazil and I’ve learned a lot from your blog and see the evolution of this important issue out of my country.

    Thanks for the great work he is an encouragement for my studies.

    Att

    Alexsandro Alberto Penha

  19. Hi Gwen

    Had a missed call on my mobile 0417033258 yesterday but no message. You can email me on lambertj235@bigpond.com
    Re investigations my comment was in regard to the numbers of fatal crashes typically investigated by bodies like Victoria Police Major Collisions Investgations Unit – in the past they investigated around 20% of fatal crashes, though they are increasing the number now.

  20. I have to stand by my statement, level crossing incidents are rarely investigated.

    In Victoria there are very few independant investigations, the Office of Chief Investagator is only funded to conduct 10 investigations a year. These 10 cover marine, rail and aviation. I am very aware of the ATSB work, but they do not have a role to play in Victoria, although I believe this may be changing.

    There is evidence that even the police do not conduct an investigation, of any meaningful depth. It is left to the Loss Adjuster of the rail company involved. I have hard fact evidence of this.

    The Coroner in the UK has been very critical of these facts, when he opened and adjourned in inquest in the UK.

    I have tried to call you John, but could not get through, I do beleive that there is a great bias in investigations, the Trawalla court transcripts prove this, the train driver involved in this incident broke many of the rules he should as a ‘rail safety officer’ abided by, the truck driver kept to the road rules. The investigating police officer, suggested that if the truck driver had broken these rules the incident could have been avoided, as I said very biased. The Judge ruled there was no case to answer for the truck driver.

    I would be happy for Kevin Jones to give you my email address, hello Kevin I hope you are keeping well, so we can correspond. There is some positive news on a safety system for level crossings designed and developed in Australia that will save many lives at crossings Controlled Crossing Area Systems has been extensively test by EZI Security Systems based in Botony Bay Sydney and interest in CCAS had been expressed by safety officers attatched to rail unions here in the UK and Members of Parilament.

    The Department of Transport ( Victoria) when offered the design for CCAS, were very insulting to the design team. This system is very cost effective.

    I look forward to hearing from you John, I obviously can not write all the information I have on Kevin’s safety at work blog, but would be interested to hear what information you have,

    The governments and rail companies including Bryan Nye ATC, of blaming the motorist has to be stopped, these people have a Duty of Care to protect people from the dangers of their business, Health & Safety Act 1974 UK, Occupational Safety Act, all Australian States.

  21. THe statement “Level Crossing incidents are very rarely investigated in any depth” is factually incorrect as you can see for yourself by going to the website http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/safety-investigation-reports.aspx?mode=Rail
    Unfortunately almost without exception these investigations are heavily biased towards finding the rail industry / rail operator innocent. I have tried to get ATSB to provide balanced reports but without success.
    Happy to provide information to anyone who wants to follow up – you can call me on 0417033258

  22. Hello Kevin,

    I have ,in fact ,the complete transcript for the Supreme Court Case and have studied it at length.

    The point I was trying to make was the many request from V/Line, made from the highest level, for an upgrade at this level crossing and the attidude of the Department of Transport towards these request by Mr T Spicer and his subsequent action of providing the investigating police officer with inaccurate information, one can only see this action as an attempt to pervert the cause of justice.

    Level Crossing incidents are very rarely investigated in any depth, and I know for fact that false information for official investigation , PTSV Compliance Report, is supplied by Safety Managers from rail companies, to PTSV, to enable them to produce this Compliance report.

    Therefore the Regulator for SAFETY Public Transport Safety Victoria, is not fulfilling their role, as set out in the Act of Parliament.

    This failure, is putting lives at risk.

  23. Hi Kevin,

    I wonder if you have seen the transcript for the Supreme Court Case where the DPP procecuted Christian Scholl for culpable driving. It was well reported that Mr Scholl was found not guilty on any charges.

    The transcripts make chilling reading, the negligence of the Department of Transport to act on the many, many request from V/Line at the highest level, to upgrade Kerang, ignored by Mr Terry Spicer, Manager for Level Crossing Safety.

    The same Mr Terry Spicer, knowingly provided the Police Sargent Peter Bellion, investigating the incident,with the wrong risk assessment for the level crossing, giving him an assessment risk of 78 out of 100, when the ALCAM assessment conducted prior to the incident was 95 out of 100.

    The Department of Transport are refusing to supply the Coroner with documentation of maintenance records for the incidents she is investigating, stating they are not relevant.

    I understand that the Coroner requests for information to conduct investigations cannot be refused, whether she will be given truthful information from the Department for Public Transport and other government agencies, must be questionable following the attempts by Terry Spicer, to pervert the cause of Justice at the Kerang Court Case.

    I suppose Mr Spicer will be going to Japan in October to the 11th Inernational Sympossium on Level Crossing Safety, he went to the UK in 2004, he was on home ground for 2006, but went to Paris in 2008, How much will this cost the tax payer, all the junkets he has attend, has obviously not brought any benefits to Victorian citizens, as the level crossing incidents increase.

  24. Mr Jones. I currently have a post awaiting moderation. I would appreciate you not putting this on the web site. In the light of day I feel I may have exceeded commonsense. I simply feel as if I have painted that big target on my back again (& the previous knife wounds have not yet healed). If I sound paranoid, it’s because I am. If you were aware of the intricacies of my situation, I’m sure you would understand. I apologise sincerely for wasting your time; & please keep up the good work. This is of course a personal request, & whatever you do, I wish you all the best. You come over as a pretty decent sort of lefty to me mate.

  25. Dear Sir,
    As per your recent request I have removed your orginal post from my blog site because you have “copyright” even though I doubt your legal right, especially in an international context. ESPECIALLY when you you do little but more or less quote a Canadian source in your Australian context. I have have done this as a matter of simple courtesy EVEN THOUGH I NOTICE THAT YOU ARE HARDLY SPARING IN YOUR OWN BLOG SITE ABOUT DOING EXACTLY THE SAME THING-over and over and over. Try and lie to me and say that you have “asked persmission’ in every single instance. Of couse you haven’t. What exactly is your career path that this becomes so important while a)mainstream media ignore such a thing and b)most people whom have a political point to make seperate from advancing in politics are exceedingly grateful for any refrerence ?

    Good luck in your leftist career, but you have exposed yourself, to me at least, as somebody who doesn’t give a shit about the issues involved but is rather much more concerned with bullshitting their way to more soft easy bureaucratic money. That’s what you come off as Mr. Copyright. If you are not EXACTLY what you seem to be in this recent interchange then reform yourelf in the future.

  26. I was just wondering if you know what the static is for deaths caused by disease or injuries in the workplace for Australia 2009-2010?

  27. My name is Alberto BarrancoLeyva . I am technical mechanic in machinery of mine. The 27 of September of the 2005 I had an labor accident in Cerrejon BHP- billiton with a multiplier of torque 6V-6080 CAT while it changed a suspension of a truck Caterpillar 793 B. The impact fractured and squashed the frontal bone of my head and I originate a fissure until my bone occipital. Consequently permanent I lost my olfactory capacity and partially (anosmia) the Taste. They more ahead realised a surgery to me for the reconstruction of the frontal bone of the skull (Craneoplastia). At the time of the accident it worked as provision for company GECOLSA. S.A. and this one had transferred to me as well to CERREJON bhp biliton like the part of the contract MARC that had been signed between both companies.
    In agreement with some publications of the Internet the 21 of May of year 2004 died an Australian mechanic called Ross Mckinnon that also executed a change of the suspension in a truck Caterpillar 785 in a mine in western Australia and at the time of applying to it to adjustment to the bolt hold the suspension the internal mechanisms of the multiplier of the torsion effort failed and it struck torquimeter it in his head, unfortunately for him causing the death to him. I wanted to know if as a result of the death of Ross Mckinnon the BHP-Billiton retired of its operations in the world the multiplier of torque because of being thus, it did not have to be in the Cerrejon factories Z.N in the date of my accident. CERROMATOSO – BHP-Billiton restricted the use of the multiplier of the effort of torsion as of year 2004 after the fatality of Mckinnon, that is a clear indication that existed the restriction.

    I need to have certainty on the restriction or not of the use of the multiplier 6v-6080 CAT in mines of the BHP- Billiton. Do you have some information about this? it is opportune to indicate that the tool was retired of the CERREJON BHP- Billiton operations after my accident and its use is prohibited since then.

    Thanks for its attention.

    Alberto Barranco Leyva
    Clle 58 # 37-42 Apto 203
    Cell 3126393935
    Barranquilla- Colombia

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