New OHS toolkit for small business

October is the peak month for promoting occupational health and safety (OHS) in Australia. “OSHtober” as some on social media are saying. SafeWorkNSW has released a handbook designed to help small businesses, in particular, to assess their own workplace hazards.

The “toolkit” employs the traffic light format to prioritise hazards.  That format

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Structural v Individual approaches to preventing psychological harm persist

At the end of September 2018 the Australian Psychological Society held its 2018 Congress.  As conferences do, various media statements are released to generate interest in the speakers.  One caught the attention of this blog.  It was released on September 25 2018, and was called:

“Resilience isn’t enough to combat the effects of burnout, world renowned psychology expert says”

This sounded like it may look closely at the prevention of harm and SafetyAtWorkBlog was able to interview that world-renowned psychology expert,

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When guidance is unhelpful

Some organisations struggle to understand the prevention of harm.  In September 2018 the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) released its “People Managers’ Guide to Mental Health“. The guide is intended to address

“…the whole lifecycle of employment, from recruitment, through keeping people well and managing a disability or ill health at work, to supporting people to return to work after a period of absence.” (page 3)

It includes the prevention of psychological harm but in words and phrases that are very unhelpful. 

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The jury remains out on standing desks but maybe we are asking the wrong questions

The 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association in Florence Italy recently concluded.  Australia’s Professor David Caple attended and brought the latest research into the benefits of sit/stand desks to the September meeting of the Central Safety Group in Melbourne.  Caple said that evidence remains confusing on this increasingly popular piece of office furniture and echoed the modern approach to occupational health and safety (OHS) matters – look at what the work involves and how and where people do it.

Caple explained how large companies are moving away from open-plan offices to those designed around “activity-based work or

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