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Workplace Health and Safety Within Religious Organisations


Operating teatime

This could be an irritation to abusive cults in NSW Australia...

From ABC Radio Website
Mark Cardone on workplace health and safety within religious organisations
Mark Cardone was recruited into a religious organisation as a young man, and his experiences there left him reflecting over risks and stresses within religious organisations.

And that might include serious issues like coercion and psychological pressures.

He is a workplace safety expert in NSW.

You can hear more from Mark as well as other speakers who (in contrast) decided to leave religion behind on RN's Earshot program.

The link includes an interview with Mark Cordeone on ABC Radio National about workplace health and safety compliance in workplaces that are also religious organisations.

Some points raised follow, but best to listen to the interview itself.

A group including religious groups that violates the health and safety rights of the worker - even a volunteer - is in breach of the legislation. A workplace needs to provide systems of information and training. It also needs to provide systems to protect physical and psychological welfare of the workers.

Concerned public or friends and family of a person can lodge a complaint about physical or psychological risks to the health safety or welfare of a volunteer worker in a religious group. If they know harmful actions are going on, if the complaint can link specific breaches of the work health and safety legislation particularly those dealing with discriminatory, misleading or coercive conduct or misrepresentation.

If they can link the offence to primary duty-of-care requirements for the person managing the organisation or due diligence requirements for the person that has authority within that organisation, or link it to the requirement of workers or others at the workplace not complying with policies and procedures. He advises not to report as bullying or harassment because these matters require the permission of the actual victim and some victims do not wish to be identified as a complainer in the organisation as they fear retribution from the leaders.

Link the complaint to the legislation, state the specific effect that it is having on the victim or a group of workers, whether the impact is physical or psychological, short term or long term impacts, or even the after-effects of being excommunicated. The complaint should also provide suggestions for strategies that could be introduced by the organisation to control that risk and prevent the incident from re-occurring. This should be enough material for the matter to be allocated to an official person to follow up and deal with the complaint.