How bad is workplace mental health and what can be done about it

The recent RTW Forum in Melbourne had one speaker who analysed the workers compensation data for mental health claims.  Dr Shannon Gray was able to draw some clear statements on workplace mental health from Australia’s national claims data and provide clues on what the workplace safety profession needs to do to reduce psychological harm.

Gray and other speakers at the forum had access to a lot more data than has been available in the last few decades and they, rightly, continued to stress caution in analysis. 

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Safety insights from Return-To-Work Forum

A lot of statistics were presented at a workers’ compensation research seminar in Melbourne on 1 March 2018.  Monash University’s Insurance Work and Health Group provided a useful perspective on return-to-work matters with several points relevant to occupational health and safety (OHS).

Both Professor

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Old books, contemporary advice

Recently I searched the book shops online for some old and rare occupational health and safety (OHS) books.  I often bang on about needing to understand OHS beyond our own professional and academic life times, as OHS, like any other discipline, continues to evolve.

Below are a few of the books I purchased.  I am not going to have time to read them all but there are snippets of interest in each of them.

There are many books that I buy new but when some of them are a couple of hundred dollars, the only option is to look at secondhand shops or head to the local WorkSafe library.

The Safety and Health guide was published in 1993 by The Safety League of New South Wales.  It includes many archaic recommendations for public and personal health but in “Safety and Health in Industry” it says this:

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WorkSafe Victoria’s optimism is for the whole community

Marnie Williams, Executive Director of WorkSafe Victoria launched 2018 with a presentation at a breakfast seminar organised by the Safety Institute of Australia and hosted by Herbert Smith Freehills in Melbourne.  Williams illustrated that WorkSafe is very aware of community and business expectations on her authority’s performance and showed WorkSafe is very busy as it restructures around its relocation to Geelong and elsewhere  However it could change even more or in different, more sustainable, ways.

Williams’ presentation proposed a positive future where the actions and issues associated with occupational health and safety (OHS) broaden to involve the Victorian community and address safety and health concerns that may no longer fit within the established OHS definitions, approaches and strategies.

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5 top OHS issues for 2018

The annual Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) breakfast was held in conjunction with Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) law firm on 21 February 2018.  This year the audience heard from two representatives of WorkSafe Victoria – Marnie Williams, the Executive Director and Paul Fowler, the Director of the Enforcement Group.

The WorkSafe presentations were interesting but included what was largely expected – an introduction to the recent Independent Review report and a reiteration of the WorkSafe Strategy 2030.   (More on WorkSafe’s presentation in the next article)

Some of the more thought-provoking content came from HSF’s Steve Bell.  He presented several issues and perspectives for consideration.

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