It was reported during the recent Farm Safety Week in Australia, that the Federal Government is willing to work with the States to improve quad bike safety. The New South Wales (NSW) Government has responded by saying the Federals should provide a national five-star safety rating system on the farm vehicles. Such a system is widely supported until the discussion turns to the criteria to be included.
Some of the print reporting of the current discussions sound has the NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Matt Kean, sounding like a politician – reasonable and measured. However, the delivery of the same message on the NSW Country Hour program for July 18 2017 (at the 43 minute 40 second mark) is much tougher. The Minister should be even tougher on this issue and take it up to the quad bike manufacturers. Continue reading “NSW Minister should take the tough decision on quad bike safety”
A recent report from the UK Society of Occupational Medicine highlights several issues of note to the occupational health and safety (OHS) professional. But it is also worth looking at the SOM’s media release.
As well as offering financial costs and benefits of good occupational health management the full report also contextualises occupational health:
“The report cites a survey of 1,000 UK employers in which respondents gave their most common reasons to spend on health and wellbeing initiatives as: a motivated and healthy workforce is more productive (41%); to attract and retain staff (25%); to be perceived as a caring employer that takes duty of care requirements seriously (21%). Meanwhile, a survey of 1,000 employees found that they were more likely to choose an employer who took employee health and wellbeing seriously (66%) and would feel they have a duty to work harder for such an employer (43%). The survey results are reflective of the intangible as well as tangible benefits of occupational health.”
Continue reading “New report provides important data on occupational health”
The mainstream media regularly includes articles and, increasingly, advertorials, about the modern workplace, usually office buildings, that are designed to foster creativity, communication, productivity and improve physical health. In many of these workplaces, it quickly becomes apparent that there are never enough meeting rooms for confidential discussions, making the coffee shop in the foyer or a nearby building, essential venues for conversations that would, in the past, be conducted in an office.
It also does not take long for a lot of the workers to be at their desks wearing earbuds or headphones in order to negate the noise that the modern workplace allows and creates. This need for isolation and concentration is contrary to the intentions of the office designers. It is not simply a reflection of the modern ipod technology but a human desire for privacy, focus, diligence and productivity. New research seems to indicate that the situation is not helped by sit/stand desks.
The court case between the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and WorkSafe Victoria has been resolved and, according to both parties, they both won. According to WorkSafe Victoria:
“The Supreme Court proceeding issued by Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and other quad bike manufacturers against WorkSafe Victoria was dismissed just prior to a trial that was listed to commence yesterday.
The manufacturers had wanted the Supreme Court to rule that WorkSafe’s public announcements about quad bike safety were unlawful. The challenge has been dismissed and will not proceed to trial.”
According to FCAI’s media statement:
“In the Supreme Court proceedings, WorkSafe Victoria specifically declined to pursue a claim that the fitment of an OPD is an appropriate way of reducing the risks to operators of an ATV overturning. It has produced no data or other evidence to support its claim that OPDs will “save lives”.
The revisions now made by WorkSafe Victoria are welcomed by the ATV industry as an important clarification to correct previous reporting that, as a result of its March 2016 announcement, OPDs had become mandatory on Victorian farms. That was not the case, as WorkSafe Victoria has now acknowledged, as a result of the legal proceedings taken against it.”
At a well-attended La Trobe University alumni seminar in May 2017, researchers discussed the reality and the hype surrounding mindfulness. They explained the varieties of mindfulness, the clinic research history over the last four decades and the personal advantages of living mindfully. However in the workplace and organisational context, they said that there was insufficient evidence to show benefits from workplace mindfulness in this “emerging area of research”.
The seminar was hosted by Latrobe University with three speakers
Many mindfulness advocates have developed programs that they claim can offer substantial benefits to workplaces by increasing productivity and reducing injury and illness, primarily, by change the behaviours and attitudes of employees. This individual approach is often collated into a workplace and promoted as an organisational opportunity. But the La Trobe researchers mentioned that this is a very recent perspective.