Speaker: Nan Austin
OHS lessons from NZ
CSG is thrilled to welcome back long-time member Nan Austin, who recently returned from a three-year stint as Health & Safety Manager at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Judging by her presentation to the group in November, Nan gained a great depth of knowledge from her time across the Tasman.
One of the things that stood out for me is the fact that New Zealand has only had OHS legislation since 2015. This came about after the Pike River Mine disaster of 2010; sadly the bodies of the 28 men who died have still not been recovered. While the legislation is based very much on what we have in Australia, Nan pointed out a number of shortcomings with it. In particular, the way that the accident compensation scheme is set up means that there are many gaps in useful data.
However, Nan did note that the situation has begun to turn around since a major review was commenced in 2018. Of particular interest to CSG members is the fact that there is a big demand for capable health & safety practitioners, many of whom are coming from Australia. As Nan said, Aussies can practically step off the plane and start working!
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