Quad Bike safety? It’s the UK’s turn

A recent article in The Observer illustrates just how far behind Australia the United Kingdom is on requiring the installation of crush protection devices on quad bikes. It is also surprising that the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is not just relying on independent Australian research into quad bike rollovers. The vehicles are the same makes and models, the terrain is similar, and the risk is the same …??

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Calculate the cost of your overwork

Long working hours have been identified as a major contributor to poor workplace mental health. International benchmarks have been identified as tipping points for mental health. A local Australian initiative to highlight the risks associated with overwork is Go Home on Time Day, which The Australia Institute supports.

Fewer companies than when the day started in 2009 seem to be supporting and promoting the day in their wellbeing calendars. Perhaps because the day identifies the shameful fact that employers will not stop workers from working long hours “if the workers choose to” even though the evidence is that the practice is harmful.

Its working hours calculator is a major part of the Go Home on Time Day initiative.

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Interview with ILO’s Manal Azzi

Last week, I was able to interview several speakers, sponsors and delegates at the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, sometimes on behalf of the Congress and at other times privately. Some of these interviews were edited from forty-five minutes of content to ten. The interview with the Team Lead on Occupational Safety and Health at the International Labour Organization, Manal Azzi, available online, was once such. This SafetyAtWorkBlog article is the full, slightly edited, transcript of that interview.

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Arguing over the WorkCover scheme’s viability again avoids harm prevention

The Victorian Parliament has been debating legislation the government claims is essential to fix a “broken” workers’ compensation system. There are a lot of elements to what is broken – premium increases, political access to WorkSafe finances, political topping up of WorkSafe finances, high numbers and costs for workplace mental health compensation claims and more. What is largely missing is a discussion on the prevention of mental health injuries at work.

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Making Noise – Asian migrant workers

Racism is a word increasingly thrown around these days, the most current incarnation being in the controversy surrounding whether or not to allow Australia’s indigenous peoples a formalised Voice to Parliament.

Unfortunately, Australia has no patent on this illogical and offensive tendency. In Asia, it is often aimed at other Asian races of what is perceived as lower social class. 

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Global Occupational Health and Safety Handbook – A Critical Review

OK, let me own up. In 1999, I wrote Working for Life A Source Book on Occupational Health for Women.  Earlier, I was posted to Indonesia to head up a program on occupational health and safety with the International Labour Organisation (ILO). I was supposed to improve the skills of labour inspectors, using specific training devised by other highly paid experts with the ILO.

What wasn’t included was how to cover corruption and studied ineptitude.  Factory inspections inevitably concluded with the uniformed inspectors carting goods ‘donated’ back home.

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