Mental health book should be influential due to lack of bullshit

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.

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Small steps in acknowledging workplace psychosocial risks

Australian workplaces need more diversity in their workforce, including workers affected by psychosocial illnesses and conditions. Recently Mental Health Australia released a position statement on employment and mental health.

The statement promoted increased employment opportunities but also touched on the role of occupational health and safety (OHS).

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Fascinating trend survey that is really a snapshot

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has released a fascinating report into occupational health and safety (OHS) trends in Australia. As with the survey report by the Australian Council of Trade Unions earlier this month, the results are far from representative of the Australian population. In fact, the ACCI report is based on only 86 respondents.

The small sample limits some of the conclusions made by ACCI’s Director WHS Policy, Jennifer Low, but regardless, the report provides some insight into the OHS priorities, concerns and OHS literacy of ACCI members.

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Why are farms still unsafe?

The start of School Holidays is always a good time to issue reminders of the risks associated with farms, beaches and wherever holidaymakers go. The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), recently reinvigorated in its occupational health and safety (OHS) efforts, has released a new safety booklet – “Child Safety on Farms – A practical guide for farming parents“. However, the coverage of this guide by the ABC is a little loose.

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SafeWorkSA’s approach to psychological harm is as much as it can do but doesn’t have to be

The harm presented by working in Australia’s mining sector has been a concern for a long time. Over the last decade or two, the psychosocial harm from the same work has come to the fore. The occupational health and safety (OHS) responsibility sits clearly with the employers who, in Australia, are often well-resourced national and international corporations. Recently SafeWorkSA issued a media release entitled “Sexual harassment in mining sparks campaign“. SafetyAtWorkBlog took the opportunity to put some questions to the South Australia OHS agency, to which it has responded.

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Worksafe Victoria’s new gendered violence campaign

WorkSafe Victoria has actively campaigned against occupational violence for the last few years. The pandemic, understandably, brought the focus onto violence against emergency services workers and healthcare staff. Recently the campaign has focussed on gendered violence at work. The intention is to be inclusive, to address the variety of violent acts and the variety of people gendered violence affects, but it is not as inclusive as it could be.

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A workplace injury could include adverse effects on physical, mental or cognitive conditions.

I recently refreshed my Lead Auditor in OHS training – the first time since Australia updated its Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Standard to ISO45001. It was challenging on some issues but generic on others. Due to the recent heightened awareness of psychosocial hazards in the workplace, I was watching for how this hazard would be addressed. Still, I became stuck on the inclusion of “cognitive condition” in the definition of “injury and ill health”.

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