Sam Witton

Latest Articles

Our clients care deeply about innovation and technology. We know this from our engagement with clients including discussions triggered by reflecting on the findings of the CSIRO’s Workplace Safety Futures report. Our clients care about “machines” (including “robots”, artificial intelligence, biometrics and the harnessing of big data) being developed as a result of innovation and technology because of the unprecedented efficiencies and improvements in safety they unlock. These benefits come with a potentially profound human…
It is widely proclaimed that we are in the midst of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (4IR). The leaps and bounds that are being made daily in information technology and biotechnology signal the end of homo sapiens or provide liberating freedom for the working masses, depending on which commentator’s view you believe. For us, the daily lived experience of the 4IR in working and home life is not yet as cataclysmic nor as emancipating as the…
Allegations of sexual harassment have dominated headlines, most visibly with the #MeToo campaign. Sexual harassment complaints, and the laws that attempt to curb the behaviours, are not new. Despite regulation, sexual harassment is still occurring in workplaces. Why? One answer may be that organisations guard against sexual harassment through policy and lecture style training without reference to the broader workplace context. To counter this, an alternate approach may be to use existing risk management frameworks,…
In the last working week of 2017, the Victorian Government quietly released the Independent Review of Occupational Health and Safety Compliance and Enforcement in Victoria. As we settle into the new working year, we consider whether the Review is likely to change the compliance and enforcement landscape in Victoria – whether more ‘carrots’ will be proffered, or whether duty holders will suffer more ‘stick’. Is the Review likely to result in a seismic shift…
Throughout 2017 we have been supporting clients to prepare for changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), effective mid 2018. In our Safeguard Series, we partnered with the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), highlighting how broad the impact will be on your business, your board and your senior executives. There are a number of resources available, highlighting the risks and pressure points. The road ahead – the industry trends likely to impact the laws The…
Does an employer have to let a union official in? Only if they have a permit! Right of entry disputes are common – partly because of the multiple laws that at a glance seem to overlap in a way that can be confusing. The latest chapter in this saga has recently played out in the High Court. The good news is there is now additional clarity that can be applied in practice when the union comes knocking. Why…
Working with Australia’s leading organisations means we are supporting them on a range of strategic business initiatives, to drive safety outcomes in the workplace of the future. These organisations are extending themselves beyond the regulatory assessment of ‘reasonable practicability’ and embracing innovation. Here is a snapshot of some of the pioneering work. Collaboration is creating relevance Addressing issues including mental wellbeing and workplace responses to domestic violence and sexual misconduct require multidisciplinary approaches. The risk…
The community was rightly outraged by the tragic loss of life in incidents at Dreamworld and Eagle Farm. The recent legislative response to those tragedies has attracted significant media attention, with laws recently rushed through Queensland parliament, introducing new offences into the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) and the Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 (Qld), from 23 October 2017. Much of the focus in the…