Risky Conversations, The Law, Social Psychology and Risk

New book by Dr Rob Long, Greg Smith and Craig Ashhurst

It is with pleasure I can announce the publication of my new book, Risky Conversations, The Law, Social Psychology and Risk which has been produced in conjunction with Dr Robert Long and Craig Ashurst.

The book is also the 5th in Dr Long’s series on the Social Psychology of Risk.

Risky Conversations

The book is the result of three days of conversations between myself, Dr Long and Craig in February 2016 when we gathered together with Rick Long of InVision Pictures and recorded conversations on twenty three topics in risk and safety. The recorded conversations were transcribed by Max and Sylvia Geyer and then we wrote commentary into the margins of the book (see an example below).

The book is 160 pages and included in the $49.95 price is access to all the videos. In addition a talking book of all the conversations can be purchased for $10.

The book can be purchased here: http://cart.humandymensions.com/?product_cat=books&paged=1

A sample of the Introduction and Chapter 1 can be downloaded here: Risky Conversations Chapter 1

You can see a sample of one of the videos here: https://vimeo.com/162034157

Perth Book Launch: A full launch will be held in Perth on 11 August where all three authors will be present in conjunction with a training day on the Social Psychology of Risk. Details to be announced soon in conjunction with a training day in the Social Psychology of Risk in Perth (to be held in conjunction with IFAP).

Melbourne Book Launch: Kevin Jones (safetyatworkblog) will be launching the book in Melbourne on 27 July (lunch time on day two of the SEEK program). Places for the launch are strictly limited to 30 and can be secured by email toadmin@humandymensions.com Download the SEEK flyer here: http://cart.humandymensions.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/SEEK-Program-Human-Dymensions.pdf). All people participating in the SEEK program receive a complimentary copy of the new book.

Comcare v Transpacific Industries

Comcare v Transpacific Industries [2015] FCA 500 is an interesting case that looks at the liability of an employer for the death of a non-employee in a motor vehicle accident. In February 2011 a Transpacific employee driving a garbage collection truck ran into a vehicle killing the driver. Subsequent investigations revealed that the truck had faulty brakes.

The case provides some very interesting insights into the “illusion of safety” where it appears that, notwithstanding regulator approval and a routine maintenance regime, the high risk of poorly maintained brakes on a garbage truck was not identified.

There is also an interesting point raised in the case about the extent to which an employer should monitor the work of an employee who has been issued a warning for safety related breaches. Should an employer monitor the employee until they are satisfied that they are working in accordance with the safety requirements?

A short video presentation about the case is available here.

You can access a copy of the case here.

Case discussion: Capon v BHP Billiton – Part 2 the appeal

Early in 2013 BHP Billiton was convicted and fined $130,000 following a fatality at one of its facilities in Port Hedland. They were also ordered to pay $300,000 in legal costs.

Amongst the reasons for the conviction was BHP’s apparent failure to implement and enforce its own requirements for supervision and risk assessments by workers.

A video presentation and discussion about the case is available by following the link below:

Capon v BHP Billiton Iron Ore PH 1917/11

On 28 July 2014, the Western Australian Supreme Court allowed, in part, an appeal by BHP against the conviction. A key finding was that, while BHP did not enforce or supervise its own processes in relation to JHAs or Take 5s, that failure did not “cause” the fatality.

You can access a copy of the case here:

BHP Billiton Iron Ore Pty Ltd v Capon [2104] WASC 267

You can also see a video presentation and discussion about the case by following this link:

BHP Billiton Iron Ore Pty Ltd v Capon [2104] WASC 267 – discussion

(There is also an App available if you want to download the presentation to your device and view it later – iSpring Mobile Player)

A key question that comes out of the case – and one that I think has had some relevance for a number of years now is, what value does the JHA process add to our safety management system, and is there a case for removing them from our day to day processes?

At least, it seems that there is an arguable case that the JHA process should not be adopted with such lemming like dogma, and we can consider front line risk assessment processes that actually add value to our business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contractor Safety Management: Waco Kwikform Ltd v Perigo

A recent NSW Court of Appeal decision has examined the very interesting (and vexed ) issue of how the actions of a Principal can create liability, by taking over responsibility for a Contractor’s safety system of work.

In Waco Kwikform Ltd v Perigo and Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer [2014] NSWCA 140, the Court found, in part, that by developing a Safety Work Method Statement, Waco had taken primary responsibility for the safe system of work out of the contractor’s hands.

You can see a video presentation about the case by clicking here.

And apologies, but there has been a little bit of a glitch in the sound quality – there is sound but you might need to turn it up.

I also need to let you know that there is a new app available to make watching these video updates easier. You can find it by clicking here.

The app will allow you to watch the presentation, or download it so you can watch it offline later.

Best Regards.

Contractor safety management series Part 4: The Queen v ACR Roofing

The Queen v ACR Roofing involved a fatality at a construction site, when a worker was electrocuted after a crane contacted overhead power lines. The worker was employed by a sub-contractor engaged by a 3rd party, and did not have any contractual relationship with ACR, the company that was prosecuted.

The case explores a number of interesting concepts, including whether a sub-contractor can be “engaged” when there is no contractual relationship. The case also explores the ongoing issue of “control” in a contracting relationship, and considers what role the relative “expertise” of the parties has in determining who has control.

You can access a video presentation about the case here.

Contractor safety management series Part 3: Nicholson v Pymble No 1

Nicholson v Pymble No 1 (Inspector Nicholson v Pymble No 1 Pty Ltd & Molinara (no 2) [2010] NSWIRComm 151) is not strictly speaking a contractor safety management case. However, it does involve a contracting relationship, but more importantly, it builds on the issues of “control” that we looked at in the last presentations.

Pymble had engaged a contractor to carry out construction work at the premises, and there were a number of allegations that the construction site was unsafe. Mr Molinara was a director of Pymble and lived in South Australia.

Pymble and Molinara were effectively charged on the basis that they were both (relevantly) “persons” with control of a premises being used by people as a place of work, and they failed to ensure that the premises were safe and without risk to health.

The case turned on whether Pymble and/or Molinara had relevant control.

You can see a short video presentation about the case here.