Improving the effectiveness of OHS regulation in the temporary agency sector through enhanced host-supplier relationships. Dr. Elsa Underhill, Deakin University Prof. Michael Quinlan, UNSW. PDR model: Risk factors associated with Insecure and contingent work.
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Improving the effectiveness of OHS regulation in the temporary agency sector through enhanced host-supplier relationships
Dr. Elsa Underhill, Deakin University
Prof. Michael Quinlan, UNSW
Study of OHS experiences of agency workers
Explaining the risk: economic and reward pressures
Contributing to workplace risk: economic pressures
I kept working and put up with the pain which was worse when I stopped and I didn’t mention it to anyone at the time as I was concerned my job would be terminated…I needed the money and didn’t want to attract attention by wearing a brace.” (process worker)
We’ve had labour hire guys pass out, working hard…was stifling hot up there (3rd level, warehouse) …they were under the impression they wouldn’t get hours, so they went flogging themselves then they passed out (storeperson, distribution, focus group)
The permanent staff here always get priority on the better shifts…certain jobs are regarded as easier than others, and the permanent and host casuals get priority on those ahead of the agency… (storeperson, distribution, focus group).
Explaining the risk: Disorganisation
Disorganisation: Poor person-placement match, low/unskilled workers
…appears the claimant is not physically suited to the work she performs…she told our investigators she has always been prone to back pain from bending and lifting… (25 year old, back injury)
…I looked over and thought he looked a bit uncertain about what he was doing… (20 year old, electrocuted performing equipment maintenance
Disorganisation: Inadequate training
He’s not been given any specific lifting technique training, although we have a policy of continual safety training…
When I started my only training with the pump was being shown the on/off switch and the reversing procedure…
… the social club, history & expansion plans, other locations…etc. etc.
Insufficient knowledge to make safe decisions
Disorganisation: undermining host OHS management system
… Each driver is responsible for the ongoing cleanliness on a daily basis of any fork he is using. While permanent employees of the company use the same forklift each day, casuals can swap and change from one fork to another during the course of the day depending on the type of work being undertaken… (claims investigator).
Regulatory failure: culture of non-compliance
Most examples provided are also examples of lack of compliance
The “don’ t care” small suppliers & hosts
I don’t think it is an ambiguity around what they’re reading. They’re just not reading. There is no exposure to it.
Send us the fittest of your fittest, young blokes that aren’t broken. And when we finish with them, and they’ve got problems later in life, they’ll be some else’s issue