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CSG Posts (113)

CSG Posts

Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: March 2024
Speaker: Kevin Jones, Editor, SafetyAtWorkBlog
Check out the latest presentation from our March 2024 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.

Emerging OHS challenges

We had a great turnout both online and in the room for the March presentation by Kevin Jones. He covered a range of topics in his usual thought-provoking manner. I think attendees appreciate his approach that doesn't always follow an expected line, and makes us explore the complexities of some of today's OHS challenges.

He talked about the recent WorkSafe awards night and how disappointing it was that psychosocial hazrds were missing as a focus. He also spoke about one of his bugbears: the value of wellbeing programs. In his opinion, it is more important to address systems of work than to offer employees short-term "feel good" options. He recently posted a snippet from The Australian newspaper on this topic on LinkedIn and it sparked a lengthy exchange of views.

Kevin shared his thoughts on the role of OHS advisors within organisations, that there should not be an automatic requirement that they be tertiary educated. After all, guidance from the Authority is supposed to be written so that a lay person can understand it, isn't it?

As always, Kevin is very well read and he reviewed some interesting new publications. These included a book about trouble-making, another on workplace ethics, and the recent book about the construction industry by Michelle Turner and Helen Lingard. Prof. Lingard gave us a presentation on changing OHS culture in construction in October last year. (Financial members can view it here.)

Kevin also alerted us to a free monthly magazine that is published by the European Trade Union Institute -when you subscribe, they post out a hard copy to you. The latest edition features the topic of climate change and workers.

The audience was certainly engaged and there was quite a deal of discussion after the presentation. Those of us in the room were still discussing some of the issues 15 minutes after the recording stopped. Such is the advantage of attending in person and networking face-to-face.

To re-visit Kevin's other presentations from past years, you can do a Search in the Speakers section of our website (log in first).

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New Life Member

At Central Safety Group's AGM on 12th February 2024, we were delighted to confer Life Membership on Frank Mistretta.

Frank joined Central Safety Group in 1980 and is proud to have maintained that membership continuously until today. He served on the Committee from 1980 to 1990 and was President from 1988 to 1989.

As President, Frank produced the first newsletter as a means of improving communication to members. This set the ball rolling for future innovations, including Kevin Jones’ excellent Safety Central newsletter that was emailed to members, and the eventual creation of the website, our greatest asset.

Zoom attendees acknowledge F.Mistretta(1)When we were collating information about the history of CSG to celebrate our 60th anniversary, Frank sent us some gems, including about his own history in safety:

"I started at Red Tulip Chocolates in the late seventies as a Payroll Manager. In 1980, I provided management with a proposal to computerise the company’s payroll (2000+ employees) and costing system, which would commence showing a profit to the organisation within 12 months by making five positions redundant, including my own. This was approved and implemented, allowing me to take on the new position of Productivity/Safety Coordinator. My boss, the Personnel Manager, made membership of Central Safety Group mandatory and part of my position description.

"By 1984 I was Group Occupational Health & Safety Manager. That year Beatrice Foods Pty Ltd (the second largest corporation in America and owner of Red Tulip Chocolates) requested I attend a productivity improvement conference in Los Angeles, and then do a two-week study tour of the major companies owned by Beatrice Foods to learn about Productivity Improvement, Teams and Safety.

"I attended my first meeting of Central Safety Group at the Belvedere Motel in Church Street, Richmond. When the motel closed in the mid-1980s, CSG moved to the North Melbourne Football Club in Arden St, North Melbourne, to continue their monthly Tuesday meetings. The group has had several meeting sites since then.

"I can recall that, during the early years of my membership, it was a tradition at the Christmas meeting and lunch that members would donate a gift for the Christmas hamper for each member to take away on the day. Working at Red Tulip Chocolates, I would bring packets of ‘After Dinner Mints’.

"The other significant event I recall was the annual ‘Apprentice Safety Day’ with speakers (mainly members) on all things Safety. The members not only delivered the information and training sessions (3 or 4 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon), but also helped with the preparation and correction of the papers completed by the apprentices in attendance. In my early years on the committee, we would have close to three hundred, if not more, apprentices attending on the day, and it was fantastic to see the number of female apprentices’ attendance grow each year."

Frank Mistretta with fellow Life members(1)Frank’s long career in safety has included almost 15 years leading the Risk Management team for the City of Darebin, before utilising his knowledge and skills across a number of different sectors. He also runs his own Risk Management consultancy, FM Risk Management.

Frank is a Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia and a Certified Practising Risk Manager.

Frank has always been a committed member of our group and, in the words of Kevin Jones, “an unwavering support of OHS professionals who joined CSG.  He provided the CSG meetings with an important local government perspective, in particular.”

He is indeed a worthy recipient of this honour.

Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: February 2024
Speaker: Helen O’Keefe, Director, HOK Talent Solutions
Check out the latest presentation from our February 2024 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.

OHS job market analysis

HOK Talent Solutions is a fantastic supporter of Central Safety Gro up with provision of their beautiful Collins St boardroom for our monthly events and an annual informative review of the current OHS recruitment scene nationally.

The February 2024 presentation was based on Helen’s direct contact with hundreds of employers and deep data analysis from online recruitment sites such as Seek.com and LinkedIn. Further insights were derived from the thousands of interviews that Helen has undertaken while coaching candidates to land their dream OHS job. In summary, OHS job numbers have increased by 3% with candidates at advisor level being most in demand.

Helen's expertise and passion for her work were greatly appreciated by those of us online and in the room. In-person attendees not only enjoyed the view from the top floor of 120 Collins Street, but also the opportunity to continue the conversation with Helen after the formal part of the event.

Financial members can watch the full presentation on the CSG website. If you are looking for a new job check out www.hoktalentsolutions.com.au


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Tuesday, 13 February 2024 06:24

CSG committee bulletin: AGM news

Central Safety Group Inc. AGM news

On the 13th February 2024, Central Safety Group held its 2023 AGM.

As an incorporated association, CSG must hold an annual general meeting and submit our financial statement to Consumer Affairs Victoria.

As there were no new nominees, this meeting confirmed the CSG Committee members as listed below:

  • President - Nan Austin
  • Vice-President - Christina Rennick
  • Secretary - Heather Turner
  • Treasurer - Cameron Cranstoun
  • Committee Members - Jane Loudon, Marina Milankovic, Dominic Melling

Due to pending retirements, all members are encouraged to consider nominating for a committee role to ensure effective handover and longevity of your CSG as we move into our 64th year of sharing safety knowledge. We particularly need committee members with strong social media and IT skills. If you are interested, please go to the Contact US section on our home page.

In addition to the formal election of committee members and receipt of the Annual Report and Financial Statement, the AGM raised two proposals that were accepted unanimously. The first was to increase Corporate Member’s fee to $350 per calendar year (whilst maintaining the individual membership fee at $85). The Corporate Membership fee has remained at $300 ever since this tier of membership was introduced over 10 years ago. As Individual fees have increased steadily over the same period, it was thought that corporate membership fees were due for a modest increase.

Currently the annual fee allows corporations to send up to 3 employees to in-person events at the membership price (Zoom attendance is unlimited). This will increase to 4 employees when the fee increases in 2025.

The second proposal was to accept Frank Misteretta as a Life Member of CSG. Frank has maintained continuous membership since 1980 and has served on the committee in various roles including President.

Many thanks to those who attended the AGM as we look forward to another great year!

Log in to view the Minutes, Annual Report and Financial Statement.


Officeworks community support program sponsors Central Safety Group


Now that we are in full swing of the hybrid format for our monthly presentations, we regularly look for ways to improve their delivery.

Towards the end of last year, I made a trip to Officeworks' Russell Street store to investigate microphones that would make our recordings sound better, particularly during the discussion portion of presentations.

An assistant was helping me to navigate the many options and, while I was focussing on the cheaper versions, I mentioned that I was purchasing on behalf of a not-for-profit organisation. He summoned the Store Manager, Dan, who outlined their program of supporting local organisations and community groups. Every month each store's team selects the local charity or group they would like to support based on connections within community, and who needs it most.

I had a good discussion with Dan about Central Safety Group and our place within the Melbourne health and safety community, then followed up with an email containing more detail and a link to our website.

blue yeti nano

A couple of weeks later I received the great news that Officeworks Russell Street wanted to sponsor our group with a microphone. We chose a Blue Yeti Nano model, valued at $158. It had its first outing at our February event and the sound in the room is nice and clear on the recording.

We are very grateful for Officeworks' generous support, and we give particular thanks to Dan!

CSG Annual Networking Lunch

Friday 15th December, 2023

Our annual get-together to celebrate another great year of speakers and events


We had an excellent turnout for our end-of-year gathering, the first one we've been able to hold since 2019, so it was extra special. There was certainly a great atmosphere with plenty of networking taking place amongst the enjoyment of each other's company.

Mamas Canteen 2023

We chose a less formal setting this year, partly because the cost of holding the event at Parliament House has now climbed out of our range.  Instead we opted for a Middle Eastern Feast at Mama’s Canteen, which is situated in the super handy location of Federation Square overlooking the Birrarung. The food was delicious and we were blessed with good weather, so spirits were high.

Mamas Canteen 2023It was also great to see a mix of members at the event, from some who have been members for decades to others who joined just in the last year.

It is thanks to our financial members that we are able to hold this annual event, which is so important in fulfilling our function as a networking group. For all the advantages of a Zoom event, it is these opportunities to meet face-to-face that give real life to Central Safety Group.

Mamas Canteen 2023

If you have any feedback to share with us about the event, we would love to hear from you. Write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to another great year of events and seeing you there!






Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: November 2023
Speaker: Dr Marilyn Hubner, Manager, OHS Body of Knowledge
Check out the latest presentation from our November 2023 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.

Recent OHS research results

How lucky are we to have someone like Dr Marilyn Hubner presenting to us. She has delved into a great wealth of research, both in Australia and abroad, and gave us a very interesting distillation of some key findings. She has done so much work on our behalf. Her presentation was also a very fitting one to end 2023, because she covered a number of areas that relate to and enhance other presentations we had in the year.

Marilyn began by referring to a recent piece of research that confirms what many of us have suspected for some time: our brains need breaks between meetings! What a valuable message for all workplaces.

She then focussed her talk on 5 topics: construction; training; working from home; WHS Radar project; and harmonious safety passion. She discussed several aspects of construction safety that follow on from Dr Helen Lingard's talk in October. It includes a report that is hot off the press from Helen and her team: the RMIT Safety Index.

Research into the use of digital technology in both construction and training is extensive. Members who went on the site visit to the Victorian Tunnelling Centre will recall seeing first-hand how these tools can be used. The effectiveness of safety training in general is always a hot topic and Marilyn pointed to some interesting studies in that area. It also stimulated quite a bit of discussion amongst those present.

The WHS Radar project comes from the NSW Centre for Work Health and Safety. Marilyn recommends their work and says that they are great communicators.

Marilyn was very generous and provided each in-person attendee with a USB containing all the research papers she discussed. However, financial members not present have not been left out, because we have all of them in our presentation package in our Events archive.

We look forward to having Marilyn present to us again in the future. If there is a particular topic you would like discussed, please get in touch through our Contact Us portal on the website.

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Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: October 2023
Speaker: Distinguished Professor Helen Lingard, Director, Construction Work Health and Safety Research, RMIT University
Check out the latest presentation from our October 2023 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.

Changing OHS culture in construction

One can only marvel at the depth and breadth of research Professor Helen Lingard has undertaken and drawn upon in her work in OHS in the construction industry. We had a taste of it during her presentation on 10th October and luckily her power point is available to financial members to look at it more closely.

Behind the figures, however, is a wealth of knowledge that informs improvements in safety culture. One of the main topics Helen covered was hours of work, where a large data set has identified a tipping point between hours worked and mental health issues. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that point is different for men and women. One finding that fascinated me was the fact that practical support from supervisors matters more than emotional support when it comes to dealing with prolonged hours of work.

Long hours of work is just one of the three main drivers in a poor culture, the other two being lack of diversity and wellbeing issues. Helen talked about a culture project that began in 2018, from which a Culture Standard has been developed that is now part of a pilot program in NSW & Victoria. Helen recommends visiting the website to learn more about it: https://www.constructionindustryculturetaskforce.com.au/

 A really interesting innovation Helen spoke about was an online role playing game that has been developed to improve skills, especially among young construction workers. It was developed from the time not so long ago when face-to-face training was not an option, and draws upon real-life scenarios. There has been some positive feedback about it so far, and one can imagine how such an initiative would appeal to a younger cohort.

Once again we had the speaker and several attendees in the room, which is such a boon for stimulating discussion. In this case we had two attendees from WorkSafe's Construction Division, including an Inspector and it was great to gain his insights as well. He said that the different cultures at different workplaces are palpable.

Financial members can listen to the extensive discussion as well as Professor Lingard's excellent presentation by clicking on the link below (login first).

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Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: September 2023
Speaker: Professor David Caple AM, Centre for Ergonomics & Human Factors, La Trobe University; David Caple & Associates
Check out the latest presentation from our September 2023 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.

New thoughts on the role of ergonomics

Central Safety Group is privileged every year to hear the latest in the world of Ergonomics and Human Factors from Professor David Caple AM and this year did not disappoint. In fact, he is such a drawcard that we had a big attendance both online and in the room. It was great to have a hybrid meeting, where those in the room were able to pick David's brain as well as enjoy the networking opportunites. We hope this is the start of a new trend for our events.

David's talk followed his attendance at two recent international conferences and was so up-to-date that the proceedings from the conferences aren't even out yet. At the first conference he caught up with Pierre Falzon, who some members will recall, visited Australia in 2004 and gave an excellent presentation to CSG at the time.

One of the most fascinatng topics of David's presentation was that of the ratio between human wellbeing and systems performance. It is on the latter that industry spends their money and so, this is the angle ergonomists need to take in order to achieve the former. Leaders have a big influence on safety and David provided a great example of this.

The other topic that came up in the second conference is the enormous impact of AI on ergonomics, and this certainly stimulated quite a bit of discussion in the room.

David also alerted us to a new assessment tool from the UK, and to the fact that the La Trobe tool has been updated to include psychosocial factors. Links to these tools are in his power point presentation.

Finally, David gave a plug for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA) conference that will be held in Adelaide this year from 19-22 November. More information can be found here.

Financial members can access all of David Caple's previous presentations in our CSG archives. Once logged in, click on the Speakers tab on the banner at the top of the page, then type in "David Caple" in the Search box.

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Continuing Professional Development points: an added benefit for CSG individual members

Central Safety Group frequently reviews its benefits for members in order to provide as much value as possible for your annual membership subscription. Earlier this year we surveyed our current members about the accumulation of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for CSG-related activities.

We received a very positive response and now we are pleased to offer this benefit to individual financial members each calendar year, with CPD certificates to be sent out each December.

As not all members require this service, it will be an opt-in offering. Financial members will be contacted closer to the time to determine who requires a certificate.

Points can be accumulated from a range of activities:

  • Attendance at a monthly presentation or site visit 3 pts
  • Preparation and submission of an article that covers an OHS issue in detail for publication on the CSG website and/or CSG LinkedIn page 5 pts
  • Development and delivery of a presentation to CSG members 10 pts
  • Active annual service on the CSG committee 10 pts


If you would like any further information or have other suggestions to benefit members, please contact our Membership Co-ordinator Marina: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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