Fatigue and impairment are two of the most difficult workplace hazards to address. These are further complicated when they are contextualised in workplace mental health. So it is concerning when an entrepreneur produces a product that is meant to help address mental fatigue but that may also mask occupational health and safety (OHS) actions that are required to provide truly sustainable workplace improvement.
I have tinnitus. There I have outed myself along with 18% of men and 14% of women, according to a research report* from Hearing Research journal published recently. For those unfamiliar with tinnitus it is a persistent buzzing or ringing in one’s ears usually caused by exposure to loud noise. It is relevant to occupational health and safety (OHS) in a number of ways:
It needs to be considered in issues of communication
Tinnitus can be distracting
Tinnitus may be a symptom of poor noise management practices at work.
The research study conducted by David Moore and others was focusing on “lifetime leisure music exposure” so workplace noise is mentioned in the report only in passing.
It is common that unless a worker is deaf or seen signing, the default assumption is that everyone’s hearing is undamaged. The research data above shows that the assumption is false.
Login or subscribe to SafetyAtWorkBlog to continue reading.
Episode 6 of the Cabbage Salad and Safety podcast is now available with the discussion centring on drugs and alcohol issues at work. For those looking for information on drug and alcohol testing, this episode is not for you. We thought that the testing issue is dealt with in many workplaces through legislative and regulatory matters and you have to comply with what you have to comply. Continue reading “Cabbage Salad and Drugs”
On 18 September 2015 Senator Eric Abetzintroduced amendments to the Building Code so that drug and alcohol testing will be required on construction sites. In his media release he states that:
“The construction industry is a high risk industry where the risks associated with the use of heavy machinery, mobile equipment, working in congested areas and working from heights, are accentuated by the effects of alcohol and drug use.”
Following this argument, would not greater safety benefit be gained by addressing the risks posed by machinery, working at heights and in congested areas? Drug and alcohol testing will do little to reduce these risks, or more correctly, hazards. Being impaired may make it more likely for a worker to fall while working at heights but creative and safe design could eliminate the risk of working at heights altogether. Continue reading “Drug and alcohol testing for Australian construction sites”