ASHPA, the Australian Safety and Health Professional Associations has been quiet for a while but sponsored La Trobe University to undertake some research into the future of work and its impacts on occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals, hygienists, ergonomists and others. It is an interesting insight into the thoughts and perspectives of safety and health professionals but it also cries out for interpretation and analysis.
The report, not yet available online, is based on the responses of 733 safety and health professionals to an online survey. The statistical profile of the profession in Australia is useful and the key findings
Recently a public relations firm has been promoting a statement about workers’ compensation and occupational asthma in support of the Australasian Asthma Conference. The statement was a timely reminder of the 2015 report – The Hidden Costs of Asthma. These documents are aimed at the management of asthma rather than the prevention but, coincidentally, the Australian Government entered some legislative amendments in Parliament that will help with the prevention of this important condition.
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 changing the behaviours and attitudes of employees. This individual approach is often dropped into a workplace and promoted as an organisational opportunity. But the La Trobe researchers mentioned that this is a very recent perspective.
Being a member of a local safety group provides nuggets of occupational health and safety (OHS) information from speakers and members in a broad range of industries and occupations. The May 2017 meeting of the Central Safety Group at which Wayne Richards spoke provoked several OHS thoughts about safety, leadership and culture. One was that Transdev…
Every government releases a great deal of information, particularly around budget time and occupational health and safety (OHS) funding often gets missed in the overviews and media discussion. The Victorian Government’s budget papers (Budget Paper No. 3 – Service Delivery) for 2017 included A$3 million to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for
“Addressing occupational violence against health workers and workplace bullying” (page 78)
There is no doubt that such funding will help improve OHS but it also seems odd, given some of the recent incidents and riots, the corrections and prison services received no specific OHS funding. The introduction of “a trial of independent workplace facilitators” is also intriguing.
Continue reading “How will “independent workplace facilitators” improve OHS?”