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In addition to our e-newsletter the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board puts out a quick update when there are news items that may be of interest. This Quick Update includes information on the new chapters for the OHS Body of Knowledge, three conferences and some new OHS books. If you do not wish to receive these updates then email the

OHS Body of Knowledge

Four new chapters for the OHS Body of Knowledge for Generalist OHS Professionals were launched in October last year. Principles of OHS Law, User-centred safe design and Organisational Culture were published on in November 2014 with OHS risk and decision-making to be published shortly. Videos of the presentations of the launch are now available and have also been posted on the OHS Body of Knowledge channel on YouTube. The videos are in 7 parts: Part 1 includes the opening and welcome presentations, Part 2 is the launch presentation by Andrew Hopkins on the Role of knowledge as a conceptual framework to underpin OHS professional practice with Parts 3 – 6 being chapter summaries by the authors; part 7 is a look to the future for the OHS Body of Knowledge. If you have not yet looked at the new chapters they are well worth the read. You may wish to refer your students to the video presentations of the chapter summaries.

The OHS Body of Knowledge continues to receive recognition both within Australia and internationally.

I am the Policy, Data, and Research Fellow for the National Head Start Association, a non-profit advocacy group for Head Start programs, in Alexandria, VA, USA.  We wanted to create a guide for Head Start professionals to use when they are reading research.  We found the appendix of “The OHS Professional as a ‘Critical Consumer’ of Research” to be most helpful and adapted a version for the Head Start community. Sylvia Jauregui, M.Ed.

I am teaching a class on human factors in safety at the State University of New York at Buffalo. I just discovered the OHS Body of Knowledge and am impressed with its content (it is better than most of the text books I have seen on the subject).  Matthew L. Bolton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo.

It (OHS BoK chapter Principles of OHS law) is the best and the most accessible overview of the new Workplace Health and Safety statute which now governs most Australian jurisdictions. I know the work of its authors, and especially of its lead author Mr Neil Foster. Professor Emeritus Ron McCallum AO.


Future of Work, 29-30 April 2-15

Centre for Workplace Leadership, University of Melbourne

Topics include: meta-system shifts impacting on the world of work; what will it take to lead the future of work; reinventing organisations; yesterday’s office todays workplace; the future of technology; the power of values and a number of pane discussions. Speakers include Bernard Salt (Partner KPMG), Dale Fisher (CEO Peter MacCallum Cancer Center), Deb Eckersley (Managing Partner, Human Capital PwC). See

KNOW Cancer Risks at Work: A national forum highlighting prevention and elimination of occupational cancer risks in Australia

Monday 18 May 2015

Cancer Council Australia’s Occupational & Environmental Cancer Committee

Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney

The kNOw Cancer Risks at Work 2015 forum will explore occupational cancer risks within Australia and abroad, namely those associated with diesel particulate emissions, asbestos, pesticides, firefighting, painters, and shift work. Other topics will also include the burden of occupational cancer, epidemiology, workplace cancer clusters, exposure modelling, and the Australian WHS regulatory framework.

International keynote speaker Professor John Cherrie, Research Director at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), Edinburgh will be the key note for the forum. John has over 30 years’ experience working in the field of occupational hygiene and has undertaken a wide range of occupational health research in the areas of human exposure assessment, epidemiology, natural and synthetic fibres – including asbestos, dermal exposure to chemicals and dermatitis, and particulate air pollution.

Detailed information regarding keynote speakers and guests will continue to be posted to the kNOw Cancer Risks at Work 2015 forum website . Or contact the forum coordinator: , (08) 9388 4388

SIA Conference, 16th, 17th September


The Safety Institute of Australia annual conference not only has a new date (being in September) but has a new format and the line-up of international and national speakers is impressive. A program will be published shortly. The list of speakers and topics is impressive. Speakers include Rosa Carillo (USA) Corrie Pitzer (USA), Sidney Dekker, Innes Willcox (CEO AiGroup), Jennifer Taylor CEO Comcare, Michael Borowick (Assistant Secretary ACTU).

Put the date in your diary and pass it on to others.

New Books

“Ten pathways to death and disaster: Learning from fatal incidents in mines and other high hazard workplaces”

Michael Quinlan


Why do mine disasters continue to occur in wealthy countries when major mine hazards have been subject to regulation for well over a century? How can this problem be addressed as part of work organisation, regulation and policy? Are the causes of single fatality incidents significantly different to those that result in multiple fatalities? Do the underlying causes of fatal incidents in mines have relevance for other high hazard workplaces like refineries and off-shore oil rigs. This book seeks to answer these and other critical questions by analysing mine disasters and fatal incidents in five countries – Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the USA between 1992 and 2010 together with catastrophic workplace incidents in other industries.

The book finds that there are 10 pattern causes of both single and multiple fatality incidents in mining . Further, these pattern or repat causes can be identified in other workplace disasters including aircraft crashes, oil-rig explosions, refinery and factory fires, and shipping disasters. Drawing on this the book proposes a number of practical measures for addressing the pattern causes of workplace death. It identifies instances where lessons have been learned while also exploring why it has proved so hard to reshape the political economy of safety.


The Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’ (3rd Ed).

Sidney Dekker


When faced with a ‘human error’ problem, you may be tempted to ask ‘Why didn’t these people watch out better?’ Or, ‘How can I get my people more engaged in safety?’ You might think you can solve your safety problems by telling your people to be more careful, by reprimanding the miscreants, by issuing a new rule or procedure and demanding compliance. These are all expressions of ‘The Bad Apple Theory’ where you believe your system is basically safe if it were not for those few unreliable people in it.

Risky Rewards: How Company Bonuses Affect Safety

Andrew Hopkins and Sarah Maslen, both at The Australian National University, Australia


Financial incentives have long been used to try to influence professional values and practices. Recent events including the global financial crisis and the BP Texas City refinery disaster have been linked to such incentives, with commentators calling for a critical look at these systems given the catastrophic outcomes. Risky Rewards engages with this debate, particularly in the context of the present and potential role of incentives to manage major accident risk in hazardous industries. It examines the extent to which people respond to financial incentives, the potential for perverse consequences, and approaches that most appropriately focus attention on major hazard risk. The book is based in part on an empirical study of bonus arrangements in eleven companies operating in hazardous industries, including oil, gas, chemical and mining.

‘This is a thought provoking book. It lays out the inherent conflicts in including process safety performance (a long term issue) in senior managers’ remuneration which almost inevitably focuses on the short term. But the book also makes clear that all major hazard industries still have a very long way to go in developing meaningful indicators of process safety performance – whether or not they are linked to individuals’ financial reward.’ Judith Hackitt CBE FREng, Chair Health and Safety Executive

If you would like to include information in the next Update contact Pam Pryor. Information may include: position vacancies, research updates, key references, invitations for collaboration, or anything you think may be interesting to your OHS educator and researcher colleagues.
Pam Pryor, Registrar

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