• Chris Peace
    41
    Several years ago a discussion about due diligence in this forum prompted me to research an academic article about due diligence under section 44 of Health and Safety at Work Act. The article is Peace, C., Mabin, V., & Cordery, C. (2017). Due diligence: a panacea for health and safety risk governance? Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 15(1), 19-37.
    Yesterday I found an article on due diligence written by a lawyer for lawyers published 'open access' in the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review (open access means you don't have to pay for it whereas most academic articles like mine are behind a paywall). This one can be downloaded from https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/vuwlr/article/view/6609.
    One of my academic research interests is the use of "grey literature". For example, the UK Health and Safety Executive research reports are often very helpful to me.
    So, my question is: What sources do you use that is open source but reliable?
  • Peter Bateman
    197
    Chris, apologies for not addressing your question, but I've had a quick scan of the paper you link to and it is fascinating. It suggest a way to strengthen the due diligence obligations of officers under the HSW Act.

    This is the paper's conclusion:

    "A possible solution would be the use of SRA-type structures where industry associations would help officers come up with compliance plans that would then be approved by WorkSafe. These associations would be able to extend regulatory capacity by devolving some responsibility for regulation on private parties. In order to maintain the accountability of those private parties and to avoid a neo-liberal spiral, a modified type of judicial review process can be used to hold the SRA-type structures accountable. There should also be duties for internal regulators to report repeated or breaches of the due diligence duties to WorkSafe. Tensions within the SRA-type structures are bound to exist, but an external committee that can review the functions of the SRA may help to smooth relationships."

    (SRA = self-regulated associations)

    Whew. Fascinating. What does the brains trust think?
  • Ben Thomas
    8
    I am clearly not one of the 'brains' trust'; more a Neanderthal cave dweller. I read the paragraph quoted and my eyes started to bleed. Enlighten me: what is a neo-liberal spiral? It sounds like something found at Rainbow's End.

    Feeling masochistic I then turned to the full article and found that I did not have enough matchsticks to prevent my eyelids from slamming shut.

    With apologies to the learned author, I happen to think that article and proposals such as this just serve to bring ridicule on 'elf and safety. Possibly Grant Dalton had a point.

    I realise that I will be in a minority on this forum and will be excoriated for my backward views but since I shall soon be retiring I am more than happy to take on the role of cave dweller.
  • Jo Prigmore
    26
    not a cave dweller, more likely a practioner who has to work in the real world rather than an academic setting. Its something I'm increasingly frustrated by. Maybe we could create a drive for change by just simplifying the language we choose to use.
  • Ben Thomas
    8
    I have just twigged; it is 1 April. Clearly an elaborate joke.
  • Peter Bateman
    197
    A pinch and a punch for the first of the month, as my mother used to say.
    I too despair of academic writing, which too often looks like circling the wagons of language to keep non-speakers out.
    But buried somewhere in that paper is an interesting idea, if only someone could translate it for us.
    Any volunteers?
  • Steve H
    70
    I realise that I will be in a minority on this forum and will be excoriated for my backward views but since I shall soon be retiring I am more than happy to take on the role of cave dweller.Ben Thomas

    When you make the move Ben, you'll find the hours and conditions are great :smile:

    But buried somewhere in that paper is an interesting idea, if only someone could translate it for us.
    Any volunteers?
    Peter Bateman
    Not me Captain

    Isn't the use of an SRA part of the reason that the engineer in overall charge of the design of the CTV building wriggled away from prosecution for his part in that buildings demise in the February Earthquake?
  • Ben Thomas
    8
    "buried somewhere in that paper is an interesting idea"; and that is exactly the point. A good idea (if there is one) remains buried and the only thing visible is this damned, neo liberal spiral. And is no-one going to tell me what it is? I want one planted on my grave.
  • Chris Peace
    41
    Perhaps I should have made this two posts. I agree about the opacity of academic language. When marking my students' assignments I give marks for good plain English.
    But there was a second part to my post, repeated here so it doesn't get lost.

    One of my academic research interests is the use of "grey literature". For example, the UK Health and Safety Executive research reports are often very helpful to me.
    So, my question is: What sources do you use that is open access but reliable?
  • Steve H
    70
    and the only thing visible is this damned, neo liberal spiralBen Thomas

    Attention ships at sea, there is a damned neo liberal spiral lying somewhere to the west of New Zealand, mariners are advised to avoid this area at all costs :lol:

    One of my academic research interests is the use of "grey literature". For example, the UK Health and Safety Executive research reports are often very helpful to me.
    So, my question is: What sources do you use that is open access but reliable?
    Chris Peace

    Yes I have found the UKHSE useful too Chris, Dr Google never fails to pull in information, how reliable and relevant to the situation in New Zealand is always the 64K dollar question.
  • PaulReyneke
    29
    There are very useful academic papers, but we have to accept they have to meet a different standard when they want their papers to be peer-reviewed. Take my word for it, the rules of academic writing is complex and wide-ranging. Not once did I even attempt it without employing a copy writer

    Having said that, I am often concerned about the schism between the 'academics' and the 'professionals'. They write in a 'funny language/style' and we over-simplify things to the point that it sometimes become scientifically/empirically devoid of any meaning

    I read many, many articles. I simply reject the rubbish, but it keeps my thinking ticking over - and I am sure I grow in the process.

    If you want to find articles you can download, its not difficult to find. Go to https://scholar.google.com and type in the topic your are interested in. As a rule of thumb, limit your search to papers in the last 5 years max, and those published in reputable journals.

    When the list of articles come up, look at the far right of the topic: if there is a hyperlink showing (e.g. [PDF] helsinki.fi), the link will take you to the PDF version of the article

    I add a screenshot to this, showing where the links are a9to77xs6wufweu7.jpg

    Hope it helps @Chris Peace
  • Chris Peace
    41
    Well said Paul.
    Sometimes just the abstract can be read in Google Scholar but even that may give some useful clues.
  • Prof Joanne Crawford
    33
    Hi Everyone
    What an interesting discussion and one of the things we are tasked with doing now is writing paragraphs and lay summaries to go alongside papers. Knowledge isn't usable unless its shared. Having done research for IOSH, there is the demand there for the short report which is more accessible and usable (gets to the point more quickly!)..
    If you do find abstracts on Google and want the full paper, contact the author. ResearchGate is also a useful resource where authors can be contacted and when possible can upload papers when copyright allows.
  • Mike Cosman
    5
    Chris, I agree with Peter that there are important nuggets in amongst the tortuous academic style
    The self regulating system could be the growing ESG agenda from investors who want to know that boards have the right composition, strong ethical principles around human capital (aka people) and the wider environmental and sustainability issues.
    I ran a webinar last week as part of the onepercentsafer.co.nz movement with Mike Bennett’s and George Adams on ESG and it’s potential impact. See https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/literature/publication/blk-commentary-engagement-on-human-capital.pdf

    However the article is also correct that I don’t think WorkSafe or the other regulators have the current capability to address corporate governance issues which is why the only prosecutions I’m aware of involve small businesses with very hands on owner/ managers. IOD met with Phil Parkes just before Easter to discuss how we can raise the proactive as well as reactive engagement by WS and also possibly update the due diligence guidance that was issued in 2016.
    I don’t think governance is a lost cause by any means but it is unrealistic to expect workers to hold directors to account without worker directors (another neo-liberal idea!) so it’s up to the other system stakeholders to exercise their influence.
  • Peter Bateman
    197
    Mike, not so sure that 'worker directors' is a neo-liberal idea, but setting that aside, there is always the German system to consider, whereby in companies of a certain size workers get to elect several of their number to sit on the board as directors.
  • Allister Rose
    5
    I read the “Boardroom” magazine by IOD which had comments by Phil Parkes. I particularly liked Phil's closing remark that Officers should place less emphasis on the monthly board report and get out to speak to workers to see what workers real problems are....rather than the sanitised boardroom version
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