Safety signs can be a mix of symbols, colours and words. On a recent vacation in the United Kingdom, I saw a configuration of pedestrian crossing signs that challenged my interpretation of signs I had seen since I was a child. I wondered if this new configuration still communicated the essential safety message.
Caesarstone Asia Pacific managing director David Cullen told the Australian Financial Review (AFR – paywalled) on October 27, 2023, that:
“A full ban on the use of engineered stone would double the cost of benchtops..”
So? That seems to be enough of a reason to continue to allow the use of a product that is causing a large number of preventable deaths in Australia and elsewhere??!!
A stronger argument may be that the occupational health and safety (OHS) management of the cutting of engineered stone has failed.
Many companies have policies for driving work and company vehicles safely. Distracted driving has been identified as a high risk activity that contributes to injuries and deaths of road users. Recently, the Victorian road safety regulator introduced bans on touching mobile phones while driving. This has caused enormous debate, mostly from those who do not want to change their habits, about the safety of workers and others on the road.
Although not in Australia, this example in the UK Daily Telegraph (paywalled) on September 22, 2023, illustrates an example of very distracted driving, lying and hypocrisy.
The Australian Financial Review published an article on April 14 2023 (paywalled) about workplace health and safety risks faced by retail workers. The entry point was the stabbing death of twenty-year-old bottle shop worker Declan Laverty in Darwin. That a business newspaper includes an extensive article on workplace safety is a positive, but it tries to be too inclusive and overlooks hazard control measures.
One of the favoured characteristics of a successful corporate leader is empathy for those under one’s duty of care. The logic is, if you care about your workers, you will look after them and prevent them from harm. But in some jobs, the empathy needed to do the job well also exposes workers to psychosocial harm. This issue of vicarious trauma is an element of our increased attention to workplace mental health and is receiving global attention.
“One of our key roles as the regulator is to understand why workplace injuries happen” –Dr Natassia Goode. Worksafe Victoria, February 9, 2023.
Dr Goode made this statement at a research seminar for the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research. She went on to explain those “widely acknowledged” causes in an expansive discussion about “systems thinking“.
Some of the recent guidance on mental health at work from occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators is not scintillating or even engaging. Their purpose is to provide information with the hope it is presented in a workplace by someone super-communicative and influential. (C’mon, really? We’re talking about OHS here.)
Luckily there is a recent easy-to-read book of fewer than 150 pages that reads like a conversation over a single afternoon with the reader about Mental Health At Work.Continue reading “Mental health book should be influential due to lack of bullshit”