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CSG November 2011: Jim Kent: Regulatory accountability through an office of a Victorian Health and Safety Ombudsman

Regulatory accountability through an office of a Victorian Health and Safety Ombudsman

Presentation by: Jim Kent, Director, Jim Kent & Associates

Health and safety is increasingly important to society, at work and in the community. OHS offences are indictable and carry heavy fines. It is imperative that there be external review of the regulators of health and safety. Jim Kent spoke about his proposal for the establishment of a Health and Safety Ombudsman for Victoria at Central safety Group's meeting on 8 November, 2011. This role would encompass public authorities with a role in workplace and public safety, such as WorkSafe Victoria, EPA, Department of Health, Department of Primary Industry, Energy Safe Victoria and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
He described WorkSafe’s current review processes involving its Advisory Service Complaint System, VCAT, the DPP and the Public Service Ombudsman, using the example of a long-running workplace bullying case to highlight failings in the current process.
He also made reference to the use of Section 131 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which permits a person to request WorkSafe to launch a prosecution if one has not been commenced 6 months after the person believes an offence was committed.

The presenter:

Jim Kent & Associates (JKA) is a Victorian based, national occupational health and safety consultancy providing a range of specialist and technically authoritative services to clients with varying profiles – large, medium and small, with national and international interests. Having worked with WorkSafe for many years, JKA has an in depth understanding of health and safety law and the requirements of businesses in relation to these laws.

CSG October 2011 Presenter: Professor David Caple - Psychological Health

Why is psychological health the current big OHS issue?

Presentation by: Professor David Caple, OHS Consultant and Adjunct Professor, Centre for Ergonomics & Human Factors, La Trobe University, David Caple & Associates

Presentation package now available (members only)

The WorkSafe Advisory Service experienced a 300% increase in calls about psychological illness, especially bullying, following publicity about the Brodie Panlock case. Professor David Caple spoke about this prominent issue at Central Safety Group's meeting on 11 october, 2011. He said that 450 of these calls have been analysed, but only 16% of the calls fitted the WorkSafe definition of ‘bullying’.
David provided an analysis of the Advisory Service calls, including what indicators there are for sources of risk to psychological health. He also talked about a prevention program that contains layered interventions..

The presenter:

Professor David Caple, who has a background as an ergonomist, has been a leading figure in occupational health and safety in Australia for many years. He has advised a wide range of businesses, industry groups and public sector organisations and worked with Australian and overseas governments on work health and safety strategy. He is an OHS consultant and Adjunct Professor, Centre for Ergonomics & Human Factors, La Trobe University.

OHS Laws
CSG September 2011 Presenter: Steve Baltas, Manager, Strategic Policy–National OHS Reform, WorkSafe Victoria

National Health and Safety update–the new model laws

Presentation by: Steve Baltas, Manager, Strategic Policy–National OHS Reform, WorkSafe Victoria

Presentation package now available (members only)

WorkSafe Victoria is working towards harmonisation of OHS laws by 1 January 2012, but there are still a number of sign posts to pass on that journey. Steve Baltas, Manager, Strategic Policy–National OHS Reform for WorkSafe Victoria, gave an update to Central Safety Group on 13 September 2011. In particular, there has been a delay in adopting the model regulations while the Minister considers the Regulatory Impact Statement.
Steve also spoke about some of the key changes in the legislation and about WorkSafe Victoria’s communication strategy, as some Codes of Practice are about to be released for public comment.

The presenter:

Steve Baltas has been with WorkSafe Victoria for the last 11 years, working in management roles in the fields of strategic policy and safety reform. In 2010 he was appointed one of 4 directors of the National Health and Safety Reform Division to support the Health and Safety Business Unit, which was undergoing extensive restructuring, and to develop and implement a business plan for 2010/11. Since then he has been involved with leading and directing all the activities of a multi-disciplinary Strategic policy team to support Victoria’s role in the national OHS reform process established by COAG in 2008.

A New
for R-t-W
CSG August 2011: A New Framework for Managing Returning to Work

A new framework for managing returning to work

Presentation by: Mark Phillips, Operational Strategy Manager (Return to Work Inspectorate), Return to Work Division, WorkSafe Victoria

Presentation package now available (members only)

In 2010 there were major changes to the Accident Compensation Act 1985, especially in the return to work provisions. Earlier this year WorkSafe Victoria launched 4 Compliance Codes on return to work. Mark Phillips, Operational Strategy Manager (Return to Work Inspectorate), Return to Work Division at WorkSafe Victoria gave an update on these codes at Central Safety Group's meeting on 9 August, 2011.
The codes cover the practicalities of returning an injured worker to work, including consultation and providing information; the role of the Return-to-Work Co-Ordinator, and situations that involve labour hire employees.

CSG July 2011 Presentation: Will Shacklock, Principal Trainer, Master Your Mind

Empowering your staff to self manage their stress

Presentation by: Will Shacklock, Principal Trainer, Master Your Mind

Presentation package now available (members only)

High stress has serious physical and psychological health effects, including high blood pressure and depressive modes.  However, there are programs available to reduce these stress-based psycho-social hazards. Will Shacklock, principal trainer at the Corporate Training Network and creator of the Master Your Mind program, outlined his program at Central Safety Group's meeting on12 July 2011. The Master Your Mind program aims to improve workplace functionality by giving staff the skills they need to self-manage their stress.
The presentation included a practical demonstration, in which he took attendees through a 10-minute mediation exercise.

The presenter:

Will Shacklock has over 20 years' experience training individuals and workplace teams to build stress resilience, increase productivity and engage more fully in their lives. Since the foundation of Master Your Mind in 2006, Will has been developing and delivering resilience programs within the public and private sectors. Prior to his career as a corporate trainer, Will held planning, environmental and development roles across the private, local government and state government sectors. He now specialises in training workplace groups to build resilience and better manage the process of change.


Next Meeting


Safety Risks -
Human Factors

CSG May 2021 Zoom meeting - Speaker: David Trembearth, Safety Business Partner, Coles

Safety risks and understanding human factors

Presented by Dr Kate Branford, Senior Human Factors Specialist, V/Line

Tuesday 8 June 2021, noon

Safety risks and understanding human factors
Human Factors issues constitute a significant source of risk in many industries. Human error contributes to an estimated 60-80% of incidents, while other Human Factors issues also play a part in a large proportion of incidents.
Understanding human error, how it contributes to safety incidents and how it can be managed, will be the subject of a zoom talk by Dr Kate Branford at midday on 8 June.
Kate is the Senior Human Factors Specialist at V/Line, which operates Victoria’s regional public transport network, and has worked in this role for seven years. She will talk about what Human Factors is, how it relates to human error and how it can be applied in the workplace to help improve health and safety performance.
She says the rail industry attracted her due to its collaborative approach to safety and the many opportunities for improvement. She will give examples of these in her talk.

About the Speaker:

Dr Kate Branford studied at the ANU, majoring in Sociology, with a focus on industrial accidents. She wrote her Honours thesis on the role of blame in accident investigation and then completed an industry-based Doctorate in Human Factors with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation. Her supervisor was Professor Andrew Hopkins, who is internationally recognised for his ground-breaking work in industrial safety and accident analysis.
Before joining V/Line in 2014, Kate worked as a Human Factors consultant focusing on defence, aviation and nuclear power projects. At V/Line her role includes error management, incident investigation, Rail Resource Management and supporting Human Factors integration into rail projects and changes.

Date: Tuesday 8 June 2021
Time: 12:00pm to 1:00pm
How: Online via Zoom.
N.B. A video recording of the session will be available on the website exclusively for financial members.
Cost: Financial members* free. Others $10
[Individual membership fee for 2021: $75]
*If unsure of your membership status, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
RSVP: COB Monday 7 June, 2021.
The Zoom meeting link will be emailed upon confirmation of payment.
Online using our RSVP form
or phone the secretary T: (03) 9387 9768 Mobile 0417 040 252
or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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