Occupational Health and Safety, or OHS, is something many workers take for granted but the ASU believes it is a core workplace issue. We think that all employers should show the same high standards of care towards their employees, but this is not always the case.
As workplaces differ, so do the tasks required of employees, and so do laws and regulations across the country. For ASU members needing assistance with OHS matters it is important that you contact your Branch direct as they will know exactly what applies in your particular workplace.
John Nucifora is the National Officer responsible for occupational health and safety matters as a policy area. He is the ASU representative on the ACTU OHS Committee. For further information on OHS policy matters, please contact John.
1 January 2014 saw the introduction of new laws to give bullied workers a way to make the bullying stop via the Fair Work Commission (FWC). The FWC has extensive explanatory materials available on its website here: Anti-bullying at FWC. However, if you are experiencing bullying at work, please speak with your delegate (shop steward, union rep) or call your Union office right away for advice.
Read more here: How to identify workplace bullying
If you believe you are being discriminated against at work, don’t delay because dealing with issues before they become entrenched can lead to the best outcomes. Contact your union delegate or ASU Branch for advice: www.asu.asn.au/contact
The Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 prohibits discrimination in public and private sector employment on the following grounds:
- impairment, mental, intellectual, psychiatric and physical
- marital status
- medical record
- political opinion
- criminal record
- race, colour, nationality, national extraction
- social origin
- sexual orientation
- trade union activity
- Don't Risk Second Rate Safety - OHS laws
- Workers' Compensation
- Occupational Cancer
- Bullying - "Being bossed around is bad for your health"
- Stress at Work - "not what we bargained for"
- Work Strain Causes Real Pain
OHS information and resources are available from the SAFE AT WORK website run by the union movement.
What have unions achieved in relation to occupational health and safety?
For over 160 years, unions have campaigned to reduce death, injury and illness at work. Many protections and rights we take for granted were fought for, and won by unions.
Download the Health & Safety Timeline 1856-2009 for more information.