CSG Posts

CSG Posts (48)

CSG Posts

Presentation & Full Meeting Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: March 2021
Christina Rennick, General Manager Health, Safety and Wellbeing, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne
Check out the latest presentation from our March 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.

Hospital safety during the pandemic

This informative session provided fascinating insights into the experiences of St Vincent's Hospital during both waves of the coronavirus pandemic in Victoria. And the experiences of each wave could not have been more different.

During the first wave much of their time was spent making extensive preparations for what the pandemic may bring. While they had only one case of Covid-19, they had to deal with a degree of anticipatory anxiety among their staff as they came to grips with the quickly-developing knowledge about this novel coronavirus.

The second wave was a completely different story, where "the only constant thing was change". They developed many strategies to deal with all the new challenges, and then when staff infections increased, they needed to review their processes to keep everyone safe. Christina shared many of these strategies in detail.

Her presentation stimulated a lot of discussion and has inspired us to delve into related topics for future meetings. In particular, dealing with post trauma from these experiences.


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Friday, 12 February 2021 08:38

Celebrating Ollie Matthews

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Celebrating Ollie Matthews

At Central Safety Group's AGM on the 9th February 2021, our President Alan Matthews (universally and affectionately known as Ollie) formally resigned from the position after being at the helm for an impressive 18 years. Ollie's career in OHS and association with CSG is extensive, making him one of the group's living treasures!

He commenced with Fairfield Plumbing in 1966, which became Pratt Safety Systems in 1974, where he was their sole technical adviser. The company specialised in safety eyewash units; safety showers; safe storing and dispensing of chemicals and flammable liquids, as well as manufacture of safety signs, including working with the authorities to develop HAZCHEM signage for vehicles and buildings. It was at this time that Ollie first started attending CSG meetings.

In 1986 Ollie commenced as the first OHS Manager with the now John Fawkner Private Hospital in Coburg. By 1991 he was OHS Manager for five hospitals and eventually became National OHS Auditor for Healthscope hospitals across Australia, a position he held until March 2015. After a brief break of 6 months, he joined the Ramsay Healthcare group looking after two hospitals part-time before retiring from work in July last year.

Ollie has many memories of CSG since he first attended meetings in 1974 and he offers an insight into the evolution of the group. Originally  there were a number of safety groups that all had a connection with the Department of Labour and Industry (DLI), now Worksafe.  Meetings were in a similar format to how they were conducted prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but the venues were many and varied. He recalls that meetings in 1974 were held at the Richmond football ground; later they took place in various hotels, including the Celtic Club, and the group even experimented having breakfast meetings at the North Melbourne football ground. Other venues were the Bryant and May match factory in Richmond, the Australian Ballet in Southbank and a number of meeting rooms in offices in the CBD. He also recalls that there was a period when CSG conducted annual Apprentice Seminars with guest speakers on safety-related topics.

In 2003 Ollie was elected President of CSG and in 2013 he was awarded Life Membership. He has overseen many changes within the composition of the Committee. While welcoming and encouraging the evolution of the group through the input of new Comittee members, he provided continuity and a steady and supportive presence along with a strong commitment to our values.

In addition to his illustrious career in OHS and long involvement with CSG, Ollie has packed in many other interests. In 2020 he retired, after 20 years as board member and 16 years as President, of the Riddell District Football and Netball League. He has umpired 2,038 matches and continues to play and umpire football in the AFL Masters competition. In 2019 he was inducteOllie's ostrichesd as a Legend in the Hall of Fame.

Ollie has been a volunteer fireman with the CFA and was the initial Unit Controller with the Craigieburn SES for 10 years. In between all of that, he is a painter of wonderfully quirky emu images.

We wish Ollie all the best in his retirement alongside Jan, his wife of 50 years, their three daughters and seven grandchildren. Family, golf, painting, travelling...he continues to enjoy a rich and fulfilling life, and we look forward to seeing his smiling face at future CSG meetings. Thank you, Ollie, for all you have done for Central Safety Group!

Monday, 15 March 2021 10:37

Central Safety Group news

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Central Safety Group news

Central Safety Group's AGM on the 9th February 2021 was action-packed! (Well, as much as an AGM can be, that is.)

A motion to commence the process of becoming an Incorporated Association was passed, and a sub-committee has been formed to facilitate this. It's expected to take about 6 months to complete the process. The main advantages of this move are to establish a clear structure for the group as well as to protect individual members from legal liability.

Our long-serving President Alan Matthews formally resigned from the position (see the separate blog entry about this), and Vice-President Nan Austin was duly elected as his replacement. Congratulations Nan! 

Due to the move to becoming an Incorporated Association, it was decided not to fill the role of Vice-President at the moment, nor to alter the rest of the make-up of the committee. The review of our group and roles within it means that the scope of the Executive roles in particular could change and we want to clarify those before asking anyone to put up their hands to join the committee.

Finally, two new Life Members were appointed at the AGM. Our Secretary Jane Loudon was the first of these. In 2014 when our then secretary John Knowles left the group suddenly due to ill health, Jane became our saviour by stepping into the role immediately without a second thought. She has since established herself as an invaluable member of the committee, particularly in her work securing a high calibre of speakers for our monthly meetings.

The other new Life Member is Marina Milankovic, who has been a committee member since 2006, served as Treasurer from 2008-2015 and, since 2016, has been Membeship Secretary. During the challenges of 2020 she played an important part behind the scenes to ensure that CSG could adapt to the changing situation.

To view the full list (and smiling faces) of our committee and Life Members, go to the About Us section of the website here.

To view the AGM minutes, President's report and Treasurer's report, go here (login required).



Presentation & Full Meeting Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: December 2020
Professor David Caple, AM
Check out the latest presentation from our December 2020 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.

What Covid-19 means for workplace safety

Normally on the 2nd Tuesday of December we would be gathering together at Parliament House for our annual Christmas lunch. While it was disappointing not to be able to do that this year, we were thrilled to have Professor David Caple present to us instead. Having such an engaging and high-calibre speaker was a ray of sunshine at the end of a gloomy year.

Amongst some research results David shared with us, it was interesting to learn that in some states, which have been opened up for a while, there is still a relatively low percentage of people returning to the office. It is clear that many people have relished the opportunity to work from home; however, the presentation and subsequent discussion highlighted the physical and psychological risks associated with this. David provided a number of links to useful resources for dealing with this delicate balance between working from home and returning to the office.

Thank you, David, for ensuring we ended the year on a high!


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Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: November 2020
Michael Connory, CyberCertified
Check out the video of the zoom presentation from our November 2020 meeting, now available to members.

Web safety – are you taking risks?

Every day lately there seems to be yet another report in the news about cyber crime, so Michael Connory's presentation to us, at our inaugural zoom meeting, could not have been more timely.

It was fascinating, and somewhat disconcerting, as he showed us on-screen some of the resources to track cyber crime in real time, not to mention the numerous ways we make ourselves vulnerable to attacks. This can have devastating consequences for us personally as well as for our organisations. Michael also guided us through ways to check if our passwords have been breached and other useful tools. It was a real eye-opener!

There is a lot of talk at the moment about guarding against complacency with mask-wearing; this could just as easily be a metaphor for our web safety: don't be complacent and do place barriers against potential breaches.



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Thursday, 12 November 2020 09:56

Launching CSG zoom meetings

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Central Safety Group's inaugural zoom meeting Tuesday November 17, 2020

Yes, we have launched ourselves into the new reality and joined the world-wide trend of remote meetings. Indeed our first offering couldn't be more appropriate: Michael Connory of CyberCertified will be speaking to us about the prevalence of cyber crime that has arisen while so many people are working from home and shopping online. He will share some invaluable advice about how we can improve our web safety.

While we look forward to physical meetings again at some point next year, we're excited about trying out this new technology for delivering our presentations, especially as its convenience has the potential to add extra value to your membership.

All details of the meeting are on the website

Meeting details


Presentation Now Available
CSG Meeting: February 2020
Mary Kikas, Action OHS Consulting
Check out the latest presentation from our February 2020 meeting, now available to members.

Rebuilding safety culture – a case study

There was keen interest from the large turnout at Mary Kikas’ lunchtime talk on 11 February where she presented a case study on rebuilding safety culture. 

Mary described the process and steps she implemented to address workplace risk in the context of hazardous manual handling and fatigue management. She found an important key to success was being hands-on and practical, as well as consulting with the workforce. This helped restore a positive workplace culture in an organisation where employee job satisfaction and trust had fallen after significant change following a series of redundancies.   

A highlight of the presentation was how open she was about the obstacles and setbacks, as well as the approaches she took to dealing with these.  The message was there’s no quick and easy way to build safety culture, as it needs to be multifaceted and contextually relevant to the organisation, but hard work where you involve all levels of the company can get results.



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Central Safety Group committee news

At Central Safety Group's AGM in February 2020 there were a few changes made to the committee.

Phil Kamay stepped down as Vice-President. As a Life Member of the group, Phil has made a significant contribution over many years and in several capacities, including as Treasurer from 1994 to 2007, and as the organiser of many successful Christmas functions. Phil has made a "sea change" and we wish him all the best in his new life and endeavours.

Long-time member Nan Austin returned from New Zealand last year, rejoined CSG and put her hand up to join the committee this year. At the AGM she was duly elected as our new Vice-President. Thank you, Nan, for taking on this important role.

Ordinary committee member Greg Splatt has also stepped down and we thank him for his past contributions. Meanwhile, we have a new committee member, Adrian Glaubert. He comes with experience as an office bearer and in marketing and fundraising for other committees. Welcome aboard, Adrian!

To view the full list (and smiling faces) of our committee, go to the About Us section of the website here.



Presentation Now Available
CSG Meeting: March 2020
Kenn Rogers, Safety Team Leader, The Reject Shop
Check out the latest presentation from our March 2020 meeting, now available to members.

Customer abuse: The Reject Shop’s frontline solutions

What a timely presentation we had at our March meeting! With the current outbreak of bizarre behaviour from shoppers brawling over toilet paper, it is the workforce of young people at the front line, in supermarkets and retail outlets like The Reject Shop, that are bearing the brunt.

Kenn Rogers' information-packed presentation gave real insight into the kinds of behaviours his staff has to deal with at normal times as well as in these peculiar ones. He was determined to turn this around and, in conjunction with Griffith University in Queensland and icare NSW, The Reject Shop took part in a pilot program called 'Respect and Resilience'.

The program has already had a positive impact on the workforce who took part in the pilot, so now it can be expanded throughout the organisation. Key elements include a range of training, workplace modifications and developing a peer-to-peer network. Kenn handed around an example of a weekly diary that was developed: a user-friendly tool for workers to record incidents and interactions. This has been used both to inform aspects of the initial program and to modify it during regular reviews.

This excellent presentation was very well received by a good turn-out of members and non-members alike.


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Tuesday, 26 November 2019 15:07

Annual Christmas Networking Lunch 2019

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Networking at Parliament House

Central Safety Group's annual Christmas networking lunch on Tuesday 10 December 2019 was very popular once again. Along with the many members in attendance, it was great to see some new faces and a few of our speakers from 2019.

CSG Christmas Lunch 2018 Parliament House

For the third year in a row, the event was held in the dining room at Parliament House Victoria, where we all enjoyed a delicious meal featuring seasonal Victorian

produce. Best of all we had the dining room to ourselves, which was conducive to excellent conversation and a relaxed atmosphere.

The occasion was also an opportunity to reflect on the past year. While the group faced a few challenges during 2019 - including not having a permanent meeting place - we were fortunate to have a great line-up of speakers and we look forward to more of the same next year.

We wish all of our members and friends a wonderful 2020 and we look forward to seeing you at our meetings.

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