The importance of evidence in addressing workplace mental health issues

At the recent Scientific Meeting of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine (ANZSOM), Allison Milner stepped in for an ill Tony La Montagne and added value to his intended presentation on workplace mental health. This meeting is different from other conferences in one particular way, in relies on evidence and not marketing for its presentations.  This difference made Milner’s presentation very powerful.

Milner set the scene with a broad picture of mental health:

“1 in 5 Australians have a mental illness, which equivalates to about 1.5 million.  And over 3000 people lose their life to suicide every year, and the vast majority of these people being men.  But suicide affects far more people than those people who attempt or sadly lose their life.  It affects their work colleagues, it affects people in our community and it affects our family.”

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ACCI on silicosis

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The business sector of Australia has been remarkably quiet on the recent media attention given to hazard of silicosis in, particularly, the synthetic stone commonly used as kitchen benchtops.  However the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) did make a media statement.

It largely emphasised its role as a member of Safe Work Australia and the action taken on silicosis matters through that mechanism.  However membership of a tripartite consultative mechanism does not mean that that is the only pathway for change.  SafetyAtWorkBlog put some questions to ACCI about silicosis and its Associate Director, Work Health & Safety and Workers’ Compensation Policy, Jennifer Low, responded:

SAWB: The media statement says that ACCI will continue to be active through its representation on Safe Work Australia.  Are there any specific dust-related initiatives that ACCI is recommending to its members?  Perhaps in relation to supply chain safety on high silica-content products? Continue reading “ACCI on silicosis”

Families get a good deal from the Industrial Deaths inquiry

Photo credit: Workplace Safety Services

Will the recommendations of the Senate Committee’s inquiry into industrial deaths benefit relatives of deceased workers? Yes, mostly.

It seemed like relatives gained greater access to this Senate Committee than in other inquiries.  Some public hearings were held with only relatives presenting.  This is a major change.  The transcripts of the 2012

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Mayman at the Perth Safety Symposium

The Senate Committee inquiry into industrial deaths has released its report which, amongst many things, recommends the introduction of Industrial Manslaughter laws.  At the end of this year, Marie Boland will present government with the final report of her review into Australia’s work health and safety (WHS) laws.

Before all this, in September, in Perth, Stephanie Mayman told a safety conference in Perth that:

“… I think we’re about to see industrial manslaughter recommended by Marie Boland.”

Boland has heard a lot about Industrial Manslaughter

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