Chinese Whispers on drugs and alcohol at work

Evidence-based policy making needs make sure that the evidence is accurate and valid. Evidence is also the foundation of the state of knowledge of the occupational health and safety (OHS) professional, action and regulations. To achieve and sustain these aims and requirements, evidence needs to be questioned in order to verify it.

On July 17 2019 WorkSafe Victoria distributed an email newsletter which stated that

“… 15% of workplace injuries worldwide are caused by alcohol and drug use”

and referencing Comcare as its source. But that source says something significantly different.

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Mixed bag conference format succeeds

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The Safety Institute of Australia (soon to be trading as the Australian Institute of Health and Safety) conducted its Perth Safety Symposium on September 28 2018.  It was the event’s second year and, overall, was a success.  But how does one measure the success of a one-day conference?

Firstly, one has to have an interesting and, if possible, fascinating pool of speakers. The keynote speakers included:

Simon Millman MLA represented the West Australia Premier Continue reading “Mixed bag conference format succeeds”

Safety At Work Talks – Eldeen Pozniak

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Canadian safety professional, Eldeen Pozniak, has been touring the Australian and New Zealand occupational health and safety conference over the next few weeks.  I was able to have a coffee with her earlier this week in Melbourne where we talked about

  • HSE credibility
  • Royal Family security logistics
  • Paw Patrol and OHS education
  • ISO45001, and
  • The workplace impacts of Canada’s impending legalisation of cannabis.

A WorkCover book that works

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Many consultants publish books on the understanding that a published work provides legitimacy and authority to their advice.  Sometimes these books are vanity productions but increasingly, and particularly in the safety sector, small-run publications are appearing that are well-written, well-edited and well worth reading.  The latest of these, in Australia at least, is “Workcover That Works” by Mark Stipic.

Stipic has been planning this book for some time and developed a clear strategy for this book to address the workers compensation processes in just one Australian State – Victoria.  It is not a workplace safety book but it acknowledges the role of occupational health and safety (OHS) and devotes one of its four parts to “Foundations of Success” in which Stipic discusses safety climate and culture and those management practices that minimise the likelihood of a workers compensation claim being lodged.  Continue reading “A WorkCover book that works”

Smart drinks may be dumb safety

Puzzle head brain mental health symbol idea conceptFatigue and impairment are two of the most difficult workplace hazards to address.  These are further complicated when they are contextualised in workplace mental health.  So it is concerning when an entrepreneur produces a product that is meant to help address mental fatigue but that may also mask occupational health and safety (OHS) actions that are required to provide truly sustainable workplace improvement.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR, $), on 12 December 2016, reported on the establishment of a “smart drinks” company called Shine+.  AFR reporter Misa Han, wrote:

“Shine+ is one of many companies who are trying to take advantage of professionals and students who take drugs in order to enhance their performance and brain functions.”

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