News by JP Smith Toowoomba

News

23 July 2014

Health and Safety Blog

I've been fortunate to have just come back from a developing South East Asian country and, among other things, have been amazed by their take on Health & Safety. I am no health and safety consultant and don't profess to be one, in any way.  I will also state first and foremost that I believe everyone has the right to go home from work, in a safe and sound manner.   What I did see there was an excellent, common sense approach to health and safety, where every individual  took responsibility and looked out for their mates.  Yes, I saw people with bare feet on worksites and people not using welding masks, whilst welding and agree that this is  unsafe. But I also saw roadworks completed in an amazingly short amount of time because they had  flashing lights and the section cordoned off, but no one "guarding it".  I saw airport staff lifting heavy bags by using two of them, instead of placing a sticker on it saying it was too heavy.  I saw multilevel buildings being erected that had excellent access and space to work, because it wasn't a labyrinth of scaffolding and restricted access zones.  I'm not wanting to get into an online debate over the validity of our health and safety practices and laws.   But one thing came to mind when I got back to Australia. That is, our health and safety system has jurisdiction and regulation over just about everything we do. But who regulates our health and safety system?  (heaven forbid that we have a regulatory body that regulates a regulatory body). But who keeps it in check to make sure that it is  practical as opposed to oppressive?

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