Recently Huffington Post Australia posted a video about male suicides called “Men are killing themselves to be real men”. Many of the speakers talked about their experiences at work or with work. The video is highly recommended.
SafetyAtWorkBlog had the opportunity to talk with the Associate Video Editor, Emily Verdouw. Below is an edited transcript.
There has been a lot of discussion recently about occupational health and safety (OHS) data. This article is another because the issue is critical for understanding OHS, for planning for the future and managing productivity.
“Accidents leading to work injuries cost an estimated $57 billion in Australia and new research from the University of South Australia shows workplaces are unlikely to be adequately addressing injury prevention because management decisions are informed by inaccurate data.”
The Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) indirectly acknowledged the ILO theme for World Day for Safety and Health at Work in its media release for International Workers Memorial Day 2017. The ILO was calling for more, and better, data on workplace injuries and illnesses. VTHC questioned the official workplace fatality numbers issued by the government. It stated:
“A VTHC analysis shows that in 2016-17 over 200 Victorians died as a direct result of Workplace injury or illness, although the government’s official tally for the year is just 26.”
This disparity needs to be discussed across jurisdictions because occupational health and safety (OHS) data has always been incomplete, a fact acknowledged by many government inquiries in Australia for many years.
There are many advocates of the importance of a mental health and wellbeing in workplaces. But few of them address the worst-case scenario for workplace mental health of work-related suicides. In some cases, the mental health advocates are overly cautious about even speaking the reality, which does not help reduce mental health stigma.
“That work can kill the will to live is a fundamental ethical problem that we must attend to…”