A deep look at sleep and mental health in the workplace needed

In September 2018 Australia commenced an inquiry into sleep health awareness.  At the time:

“The Committee Chair, Mr Trent Zimmerman MP, stated that ‘the Committee will examine the causes, economic and social costs, and treatment of inadequate sleep and sleep disorders.” (link added)

Although there is no timetable for the tabling of this Committee’s final report, many of the issues raised in the submissions relate directly to work and work-related mental health risks. Sadly there are hardly any solutions but this is a challenge to all public inquiries and which is particularly relevant to the current spate of Australian inquiries into OHS and mental health.

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Many safety lessons from one workplace death

The Coronial Finding in to the death of Jorge Castillo-Riffo is an important occupational health and safety (OHS) document. It discusses, amongst other matters,

  • A curious attitude from SafeWorkSA
  • The role of Safe Work Method Statements and risk assessments
  • Using the right plant for the right task
  • Contractual relationships
  • Construction methodology.

More issues than these are raised in the Finding and I urge all OHS people to read the document and reflect on the OHS management in their workplaces.

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Change in mining OHS laws needs innovation

Discussions about safety in the mining sector continue with recent debate in the Queensland Parliament but change continues to be at a slow pace and in a manner that reflects “business as usual” rather than being innovative and establishing a sound base for business to grow, and grow safely.

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The future of the worker

There have been many inquiries and investigation in Australia and elsewhere about the “future of work” but rarely about the “future of the worker”.  Research often looks at how work may be transformed by technology and new labour/employment structures with an assumption that the worker is a passive and static element in this change.  Those in occupational health and safety (OHS) and workers’ rehabilitation know that this is not the case.

This article looks at one aspect of the future of the worker.

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Advertorial over-simplifies workplace health and safety

On Sunday November 4 2018, The Herald-Sun newspaper’s regular Body & Soul supplement devoted several pages to an exclusive article about workplace wellbeing ($). It is clearly an advertorial as the supplement has several full page advertisement from Medibank Private and the article includes a text box labelling it as the

“b+s 2018 Worklife Survey in partnership with Medibank”.

The article and survey is less than helpful from an occupational health and safety (OHS) perspective as there is no mention of organisational control measures or even the recent campaign in National Safe Work Month by WorkSafe Victoria on wellness!

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