CSG Posts

CSG Posts (100)

CSG Posts

Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: May 2023
Speaker: Mike Craig, HSR Support Officer, WorkSafe Victoria
Check out the latest presentation from our May 2023 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.

Health and Safety Representatives – Partners in safety

We have been very pleased to welcome WorkSafe Victoria as a Corporate Member this year and now to have one of their HSR Support Officers, Mike Craig, present to us. The feeling was clearly mutual, because Mike sent a thank you note to the organisers and attendees saying "[There was] some lovely feedback from the participants and some great questions from the audience at the end. Please pass along my thanks to all and sundry."

It is clearly a topic of great interest to our membership, as there was a big turnout for this presentation. It was particulalry timely for some of those present, because they had either just conducted HSR training in their workplace or were about to do so. In fact, it was great to see some HSRs from Melbourne Polytechnic in the audience.

Mike sees HSRs as WorkSafe's eyes and ears on the ground, and so it is a three-way partnership between HSRs, the employer and the regulator. He outlined the powers of HSRs, both what they can do and what they can't do. It is important to point out that they are not a replacement for a safety professional. He made the analogy with First Aiders, who are not required to do more than they are trained to do, but are a first port of call prior to the arrival of paramedics.

One of Mike's key messages about his role as an HSR support officer is that his main purpose is to support consultation in workplaces. Indeed, with consultation and representation being principles of health and safety protection under the Act, HSRs and Health & Safety Committees are vital links in the safety chain.

Mike also mentioned a range of supports available to HSRs from WorkSafe, including a monthly newsletter to which he encourages HSRs subscribe.

Mike's talk stimulated quite a bit of discussion, which is included in the video recording.

Financial members may be interested to read a report from Professor David Caple's presentation in August 2012 What additional support can WorkSafe provide for Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs)? (log in first) to gain an historical perspective and see what progress has been made since David's review.

 View Presentation & Full Event Video
members only, please login first.

View all CSG posts

Wednesday, 10 May 2023 05:57

A free LinkSafe event

Written by

Free Webinar -Practical advice for handling incidents involving contractors

CSG members LinkSafe are holding a free online event on Wednesday 24th May at 2pm AEDT on the topic of Practical Advice for Handling Incidents involving Contractors, to be presented by Mark Alston and Sue Bottrell.

Many organisations struggle to find a healthy balance when a contractor has an incident. Who conducts the investigation? What are the responsibilities of the principal contractor or client? What are the responsibilities of the contractor? Will everyone tell us the truth?

How contractor investigations are handled can significantly impact client/contractor relations, impact safety, increase liability and prevent continuous improvement of safety. Mark Alston from Investigation Differently, and Sue Bottrell will discuss the best way to achieve a healthy balance in managing investigations involving contractors.

Investigations Differently Director, Mark Alston, has extensive experience facilitating investigations that commenced when he was a Federal Agent in the Australian Federal Police. Mark has more than 20 years of experience in Australia and internationally in a diverse range of industries including defence, mining, government, health, utilities and construction https://investigationsdifferently.com.au/

As it's a free event, it's bound to book out quickly, so make sure you register now via the link here.


View all CSG posts

CSG: Over 60 years and still going strong

There are so many people to thank for the past and continuing success of Central Safety Group after more than 60 years of existence: an impressive roll call of volunteers who have run the group; expert speakers who have shared their knowledge freely; and loyal members who have supported us.

All of this was celebrated last October at our special lunch at Parliament House Victoria. I think the joyous atmosphere that day was enhanced by the fact that it was the first time we had all seen each other in person for more than two years. The networking side to CSG was on show and embraced enthusiastically -some of those connections have borne fruit already. Helen O'Keefe offered the use of her Board Room for our monthly events now that we have moved to a hybrid format -it is a great venue and Helen's generous sponsorship means that we are able to use it free of charge. Several people also offered to be presenters / source speakers / host site visits and we have already had a couple of those speakers this year -more to come. 

We were honoured to have Dr Narelle Beer, Executive Director of Health and Safety, WorkSafe Victoria attend and give the keynote address. We welcomed Narelle's commitment on behalf of WorkSafe Victoria to maintain ties with our group, which has been put into practice with WorkSafe Victoria becoming one of three Corporate Members that have joined CSG in 2023.

There were many other highlights of the day, including David Caple AM as MC, and Barry Naismith from OHS Intros giving a fascinating overview of the history of OHS in Victoria. Our longest-serving president, Ollie Matthews, was honoured for his 22 years of service to the group (1998-2022). He had flown in from South Australia for the day, interrupting a holiday in SA & NT! 

A scrapbook was handed around with documents and photos gathered over the years, which are forming part of a history being written by our Membership Co-ordinator. If you have any memories or achival material you would like to contribute to this project, please conatct Marina via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I asked our current President, Nan Austin, for her reflections on the event and the future of CSG. She said: "Emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, the CSG Committee confidently proceeded with plans to celebrate our 60 years of monthly discussions on workplace safety with a luncheon at the Victorian Parliament House Dining Room in October 2022. This event was all the more poignant with the recent closure of the Western Safety Group as the only other Victorian regional industrial safety group established under the Department of Labour still operating. Our history is displayed in our formal bank account name as the Central District Industrial Safety Group. I thank all our members, speakers and especially committee members who have supported CSG over these years. We are now planning a strategic review to ensure our continued relevance in the fast evolving sphere of workplace safety. We look forward to your contributions to this activity and our ongoing monthly events. We also welcome your reflections on our past, present and future."

For those who missed it, or others who would like to re-live this special occasion, we have produced a memorable package. There were a few technical challenges on the day, including our original plan for filming the speakers. However, our wonderful secretary Heather Turner saved the day by filming it with her phone and, while it will not be nominated for an Academy Award, it certainly captures the atmosphere well.

Financial members can view it here (log in first)

View all CSG posts

Friday, 14 April 2023 07:14

Australian WHS Strategy 2023–2033

Written by

Australian Work Health and Safety (WHS) Strategy 2023–2033

I received a media release from the Australian Institute of Health & Safety that would be of interest to CSG members -about their endorsement of Safe Work Australia's 10-year WHS Strategy. Here is their statement:

aihsToo many Australians each year die or become seriously injured or ill due to work; this is unacceptable and preventable. The Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS) endorses the vision of safe and healthy work for all Australians in the new Australian Work Health and Safety (WHS) Strategy 2023–2033.

We believe that every Australian, whatever their job, whether in rural workplaces or cities, has the right to healthy and safe work. As the peak national body for the health and safety profession, we commit to supporting the vision of the new Strategy.

“It may be a small note in the purpose and scope, but the recognition that this strategy should also contribute to the work and understanding of all in the WHS system including researchers, experts and practitioners who play a role in owning, contributing to, and realising the national vision is an important reminder of the critical role of our profession”, says Naomi Kemp, AIHS Chair.

Each and every day, our members provide evidence-based and practical advice to organisational leaders on health and safety matters so they can prevent work-related psychological and physical harm to their workers and meet their duties under work health and safety legislation.

Alongside Safe Work Australia, its members, and this new strategy, the AIHS will:

  • Uphold standards for WHS education and training to enable good WHS practice, based on the OHS Body of Knowledge.
  • Drive informed collaboration as the independent experts sitting between unions and employer organisations to respond to WHS challenges effectively.
  • Promote and showcase innovation and exemplary WHS practices that prevent work-related psychological and physical harm.
  • Build an effective WHS workforce by promoting the career path and ensuring professional and ethical standards.
  • Raise the capability and credibility of the profession through certification to assure employers and governments of the quality of advice needed to save lives in our workplaces.
  • Support Australian researchers to provide employers and governments with evidence regarding current and emerging risks to deepen knowledge and broaden understanding.
  • Shape contemporary policy and practice by providing regulators with the evidence base beyond the WHS system to inform policy and regulation.


Following the release of the new Strategy, the AIHS will be releasing its new Strategic Plan - Vision 2026 which will provide more detail. “The AIHS looks forward over the next decade to continuing our commitment to healthier, safer workplaces and communities,” Ms Kemp said.

To view the complete strategy, click here.

View all CSG posts

Friday, 14 April 2023 05:47

A free LinkSafe event

Written by

Free Webinar -Cyber Awareness and Safeguarding of Information

CSG members LinkSafe are holding a free online event on Wednesday 26th April at 2pm AEDT on the topic of Cyber Awareness and Safeguarding of Information, to be presented by Michael Connory, CEO at Security in Depth

As businesses continue to expand their online presence and reliance on technology, the emergence of sophisticated cyber-attacks has become a harsh reality that demands immediate attention. 

In this session, Michael will discuss crucial strategies for identifying potential threats, highlight the indispensable value of partnering with ISO27001 accredited businesses, and underscore the significance of adopting robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard the integrity and sustainability  of your company.

Join LinkSafe as they equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to fortify your organisation's digital defences and ensure a secure future in the face of cyber uncertainty.  Linksafe webinar

As it's a free event, it's bound to book out quickly, so make sure you register now via the link here.


Financial CSG members can also catch up with the presentation given to us on this topic by Michael Connory in November 2020 Web Safety Risks. That was our first zoom presentation and it was as timely then as it is now. Michael has a wealth of knowledge and gave a great deal of practical advice.

View all CSG posts

Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: April 2023
Speaker: Rosie O’Halloran, Ergonomist, University of Melbourne
Check out the latest presentation from our April 2023 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.

Designing a sustainable workplace

We were so pleased to have this interesting topic presented by long-time CSG member Rosie O'Halloran. One of the strengths of our association is that we have members who share their expertise and knowledge with us, and that their particular experiences can also be applied in a range of other workplaces.

Rosie began by giving a snapshot of the period from the 1970s to the 2000s and the evolution of design issues with indoor workplace environments. One aspect that hasn't changed much is the tendency for ergonomics to be the poor cousin to design -that it can be sacrificed to an overriding consideration of aesthetics.

Rosie showed photos that demonstrated this challenge as well as other images of poor design from the workplace that was the subject of her recent Green Star project at the Unversity of Melbourne. Rosie developed a comprehensive methodology that includes a range of engagement methods as well as the application of science and photographic evidence.

Rosie gave many practical examples of what to consider when choosing furniture and equipment. It was interesting to see how her project team developed prototypes and mock-ups of furniture that were tested by users and improved prior to manufacture and roll-out.

While the Green Star ergonomics credit rating for interior design requires certification by a Certified Professional Ergonomist, Rosie emphasised that her methodology can be applied by a generalist OHS practitioner, because she has proven that it works and it complies. In fact, she won an award for it! A great catchphrase sums up one of Rosie's take-home messages: good ergonomics = good economics.

Ergonomics is always topical and we have several other presentations in our archives that may be of interest, including David Trembearth's Musculoskeletal Issues - What’s New and David Caple's Sit-Stand Desks (log in first).

We encourage members to follow Rosie's example in sharing knowledge by presenting to the group, so if you would like to make a contribution, please contact Jane Loudon: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 View Presentation & Full Event Video
members only, please login first.

View all CSG posts

Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: March 2023
Speaker: Kevin Jones, Editor, SafetyAtWorkBlog
Check out the latest presentation from our March 2023 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.

The hot topics of OHS today

You can always count on Kevin Jones to stimulate discussion about OHS, and his March presentation was no exception.

He started by talking about what he considers to be the 5 hot topics at the moment. One of those topics is working from home, which comes up against the prevailing approach of OHS systems that are based on "workplaces" rather than "work". This issue is linked to another of the hot topics, systems thinking, which Kevin believes tends to be very limited. In particular, during investgations the thinking can become bogged down in old systems and not open to the possibility of change.

Another topic that has been hot for quite a while is that of psychosocial hazards. Kevin had many interesting thoughts about these, including challenges with the traditional hierarchy of controls as well as the tendency for HR to see this as their patch rather than sharing a united front with OHS.

This led Kevin into a discussion of some of the books he's been reading lately on these various topics, and what an extensive reading list he presented to us. On the topic of psychosocial hazards, he started by talking about some books that are "shockers", mainly self-help books that put the onus on the person having difficulties to deal with it themselves, instead of tackling organisational aspects. Luckily there are publications about that do deal with the organisational side, and Kevin shared some of those with us.

It is impressive how well-read Kevin is, and it is not confined to published books alone. He also alerted us to an online research paper along with an interview on RN. The full list can be viewed here (log in first).

One of Kevin's key messages was that he encourages OHS practtioners to be less timid about speaking out, to be more visible and not be afraid to talk about politics. He invites us to join him on the May Day march to highlight the importance of safe jobs! As part of his message, he delved into some interesting ethical topics, including conflicts of interest with big consultancy firms; the profit versus  productivity motivation of business and individuals; and even talked about the UN's Sustainable Development Goals that include "decent work". OHS is a fundamental human right.

To learn more of Kevin's insights, you can also re-visit his presentation from February 2022 New perspectives on OHS (log in first).

 View Presentation & Full Event Video
members only, please login first.

View all CSG posts

Tuesday, 21 March 2023 06:45

CSG committee bulletin 005

Central Safety Group Inc. AGM news

On the 14th February 2023, Central Safety Group held its 2022 AGM.

The committee has changed slightly due to Frank Imbesi stepping down from the role of Vice-President. He has been replaced by Christina Rennick, and we have a new ordinary member, Dominic Melling. Congratulations Christina and welcome Dominic! The current committee is made up of the following people:

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


There were no nominees for the new position of Social Media Co-ordinator, but hopefully someone will put up their hand during the year. The primary purpose of the role is to maintain up-to-date information on our LinkedIn page, blog posts on our website, and develop other platforms over time.

The financial statement shows that our current account had a very low balance at the end of 2022, which was mainly due to costs associated with our 60th anniversary activities. Our Treasurer Cameron Cranstoun also informed members that the website is in need of a major upgrade this year, because the current platform will no longer be supported without it. This will be a considerable expense that cannot be avoided. As our webite is our greatest asset, it is certainly worth the investment.

This led to the first of 2 proposals: that the individual membership fee for 2024 increase to $85 per calendar year. There was quite a bit of discussion about this, as the fee has only just been raised to $80 and it is unusual for the fee to increase in consecutive years. In the end, the proposal was passed with 60% of the vote.

However, it was agreed that there is an option to hold a Special Meeting later in the year to reverse this increase, if our financial situation warrants it. For example, if we boost our membership numbers or if we receive sponsorship to pay for the upgrade. We also discussed having a slightly lower-key event at the end of the year instead of the Parliament House luncheon, the cost of which has increased substantially since pre-pandemic times. If you have other ideas, or can help us secure some sponsorship, we would love to hear from you!

The other proposal came from Jane Loudon: to form a working group to update and formalise the aims and purpose of Central Safety Group. This was passed with 80% of the vote. Volunteers for the working group so far are Nan Austin, Jane Loudon and Craig Ramadge. If you would like to be involved, contact Jane at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thanks to those who attended the AGM and we are looking forward to another great year!

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


Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: February 2023
Speaker: Helen O’Keefe, Director, HOK Talent Solutions
Check out the latest presentation from our February 2023 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.

Recruiting and retaining OHS staff

It was a great start to a new year of presentations with Helen O'Keefe's insights into the OHS recruitment scene. As it happened to be St Valentine's Day, Helen gave her presentation a cute twist by drawing an analogy between the employee life cycle and a marriage, and it fitted surprisingly well. She covered the full gamut from recruitment as the dating phase; onboarding & retention equating to a marriage; and separation as a divorce. To avoid the latter, Helen gave several tips on how to maintain a happy marriage in the work sense.

She explained how January started as strongly as 2022 did, which had already broken records with the number of positions being advertised. In particular it is specialists that are being sought. Post lockdown candidates have become more selective, which is making recruitment harder. Position descriptions are changing as a result of this, so that they are more like an advertisement to attract people. Helen gave some pratical suggestions about how to make a PD more attractive.

Helen also had some great tips during her presentation for retaining staff, and further tips came up during the engaging discussion afterwards. One fascinating insight was how important a platform like LinkedIn has become. Having an up-to-date profile is advantageous for both a candidate and a potential employer, because it can show how well-connected you are and the range of activities you are involved in. In fact, Helen predicts that CVs will become obsolete and will be replaced by a LinkedIn profile or similar.

Helen is such an enthusiastic speaker on her topic and the attendees really appreciated her expertise.

 View Presentation & Full Event Video
members only, please login first.

View all CSG posts

Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: November 2022
Speaker: Ross Macfarlane, Director, RM The Risk Manager
Check out the latest presentation from our November 2022 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.

5 top tips for successful auditing

What a great presentation this was as Ross demonstrated the qualities of the high-calibre speakers we have been able to bring you once again this year. His enthusiaism for the topic and incredible breadth of knowledge shone throughout the presentation. As he said himself, he could have spoken for hours.

The tips he discussed were around scheduling, planning, the audit interview, evidence and corrective action, and he showed how they can be applied to variously sized organisations. The tip he concentrated the most on was the third one, the audit interview, because this is the area most people struggle with. He talked about strategies to put people at ease and emphasised that the core aim of an audit is to verify risk controls and not to trip people up. I certailny felt that, if I were about to be audited, I would like it to be done by Ross.

During the discussion after his presentation, Ross mentioned that he had discovered surprising advantages with "zoom" audits, so it is good to find a silver lining from the pandemic restrictions of last year.

One of the comments from an attendee in the zoom chat sums up perfectly the standard of this presentation: "Great to hear what you have learnt throughout your years of auditing. Love the positive approach."

 View Presentation & Full Event Video
members only, please login first.

View all CSG posts

Page 1 of 8
Relax at Sunshine Motor Inn

Contact Us

© 2023 Central Safety Group Incorporated - Privacy Statement
Central Safety Group acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we meet and work. We pay our respects to all First Nations people, and to their elders past and present.
Website developed & designed by Concatenate Aust Pty Ltd