Bring Me Solutions Not Problems – Republished
One of the more popular posts by the late George Robotham – see all of his work here
There is no shortage of people on the various forums talking about various OHS problems.
Solutions do not seem to be as forthcoming as the problems. Your chance to have a say!
Some of the problems I see include-
- There is only half-hearted leadership from government, unions and many companies with regard to safety.
- There is a poor understanding in the community of the reasons why personal damage occurrences (accidents) occur. We are quick to make the assumption that the worker was careless, when one examines personal damage occurrences (accidents) carefully one identifies a range of work system factors that contributed to the personal damage occurrence (accident) as well, most of these work system factors are the responsibility of the employer at both common and statute law. Blaming workers for their careless behaviour is an emotionally appealing approach that is usually not all that productive in the bigger picture of preventing personal damage at work.
- The media emphasises personal fault in news releases about incidents and does not consider design and system issues that contribute to incidents.
- We do not have a centralised, consistent method of reporting and recording incident and disease statistics. How can we examine the beast and learn from it if we do not record and report it in a consistent manner?
- Government, unions and many companies treat safety as a second priority and industrial relations issues dominate.
- The standard of Occupational Health and Safety practitioner may not be as high as it could be
- The messages of past incidents are not utilised enough in safety decision making. For this to happen past incident information has to be collected ,presented and organised in a useable manner.
- The Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate predominates discussions about safety performance. How can a company be proud of a decrease of L.T.I.F.R. from 60 to 10 if there have been 2 fatalities and 1 case of paraplegia amongst the lost time injuries? The L.T.I.F.R. trivialises serious personal damage and is a totally inappropriate measure of safety performance
In association with 3 other people I have decided to write a paper proposing solutions to Australia’s major OHS problems, a big ask I know. I would be interested in your contributions towards the solutions.