CSG: Over 60 years and still going strong

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)

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Save the date & join us for our 60th anniversary lunch

Save the date & join us for our 60th anniversary lunch
Friday 14th October, 12:00-2:00pm
Parliament House Victoria Dining Room

Don’t miss this highlight of Health and Safety Month: Central Safety Group is holding a very special celebratory networking lunch to mark our 60th anniversary.

What an occasion! Compered by Professor David Caple with guest speakers Dr Narelle Beer, Executive Director of Health and Safety, WorkSafe Victoria; and Barry Naismith from OHS Intros, who has some fascinating insights into the history of safety.

Further details to be announced soon.

WHEN: Friday, 14th October, 12:00 - 2:00pm.
WHERE: The beautiful surrounds of Parliament House Victoria's Dining Room
COST: Members: $25 Non-members: $60

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As our first face-to-face event in more than two years, it will be a wonderful celebration indeed!


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September 2021 Presentation: New research into manual handling injuries in healthcare

Presentation & Full Meeting Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: September 2021
David Caple AM, Adjunct Professor, Centre for Ergonomics & Human Factors, La Trobe University
Check out the latest presentation from our September 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.

New research into manual handling injuries in healthcare

We had a great turnout this month as David Caple proved once again what a popular speaker he is. We really appreciate his access to up-to-date research along with the practical advice he offers in dealing with emerging health and safety risks. Not to mention an element of interactivity: not even the constraints of zoom could hinder his exhortation to us to try out some of the postures under discussion!

While David's presentation focussed on hospitals, many of the issues and solutions could apply equally in other settings. One is the role of design in both creating and mitigating risks, a topic that was prominent in the discussion after the formal presentation. Another is the notion of broadening risk assessment to encompass Associated Non-Technical Skills (ANTS), such as situational awareness and communication.

It was interesting to ponder some of the developments that have arisen over the last 18 months. For instance, the restriction on family members being able to visit in hospitals has led to a reduction in occupational violence. Conversely, new deep cleaning protocols can create extra workload and harmful repetitive postures for cleaners.

David's annual "State of the Nation" address is always keenly anticipated and this iteration was no exception. His style and knowledge are always greatly appreciated.

David's presentation complements the one given by David Trembearth in April this year, Musculoskeletal issues – what’s new in risks and prevention, which you can access here (log in first)

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December 2020 Presentation: What Covid-19 means for workplace safety

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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September 2019 Presentation: When workplace changes outpace OHS Standards

Presentation Now Available
CSG Meeting: September 2019
Professor David Caple, AM
Check out the latest presentation from our September 2019 meeting, along with notes to accompany the Powerpoint, now available to members.

When workplace changes outpace OHS Standards

The group is lucky to have an annual presentation from renowned ergonomist Professor David Caple, who is always such an engaging speaker as he shares the latest developments in his field of study.

This month he focussed on 2 Australian Standards that deal with workstations and chairs, both of which bear little relevance to today's ways of working in offices. One is 22 years old, so it is easy to see how workplace changes have moved so far ahead of its recommendations. The other, however, was revised in 2018 and yet it contains recommendations that do not relate to any data that David is aware of. It is also silent on the issue of dual and multiple screens, which has become very common. In fact, David asked for a show of hands in the room to see how many people work with dual monitors and the majority of attendants put up their hands.

David also mentioned an initiative of La Trobe University’s Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors, the APHIRM toolkit (A Participative Hazard Identification and Risk Management toolkit). There will be a workshop on it for Health & Safety Professionals at the university’s city campus on November 14th. For details & bookings, visit www.aphirm.org.au


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September 2018 Presentation: Sit to stand desks..

Presentation Now Available
CSG Meeting: September 2018
Professor David Caple
Check out the latest presentation from our September 2018 meeting, now available to members.


Sit to stand desks: what's the verdict?

Professor David Caple is a popular annual speaker at Central Safety Group and has spoken on a range of topics. On 11 September a keen crowd attended his talk about the latest findings on the benefits of sit-stand desks. 

He talked about changes in workplace design that have brought more variety into the use of sit-stand desks. However, there is also the need for people to have a better understanding of desk height and positioning, patterns of use and the appropriate posture, at which point the presentation became interactive when he had us all up trying it out.

David also outlined current research findings that disputed some of the earlier assumptions about the benefits of using these desks – including cardiovascular benefits and alleviating shoulder and lower back fatigue.

Once again David Caple's presentation proved why his appearance at Central Safety Group is always one of the highlights of the year.


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