Risk management as a framework for occupational health and safety
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Using a model of risk management developed by the authors as a framework, this article explores some aspects of occupational health and safety (OHS). The requirement for management commitment to OHS, particularly at a strategic level, is emphasised. The model incorporates both pure and speculative risk topics as potential threats to effective organisational functioning as well as key risk management contexts. Pure and speculative risks may be differentiated upon the basis of their respective risk management objectives. The model also addresses risk management methods through a system model and a process that includes eight generic risk treatment strategies. The article considers key features of the Australian standard on risk management and some recent Australian evidence on senior management ranking of risks faced by their organisations, drawing attention to the problematic nature of OHS risk management. Overviews of selected aspects of managing OHS using a best practice approach and through standards application are finally considered.