On November 15, 2016, the NSCA Foundation (NSCAF) and Westwick-Farrow Media (WFM) announced a new publishing deal for one of Australia’s few remaining occupational health and safety (OHS) publications, National Safety. The media release was very upbeat about the change but the reality is that Australian OHS professionals and business operators will lose a free, hard-copy source of safety information, Safety Solutions.
National Safety magazine is a good magazine that, although long promoted as the journal of the NSCA Foundation, has a good reputation for independent and informative OHS articles and seems to have had a loyal readership amongst OHS professionals. There had been no hint that the magazine was “in trouble” or that a change was warranted. Safety Solutions has more of an advertorial approach and seems to appeal more to the small business owner and OHS professional who is more focused on the manufacturing industry sector. The magazine has existed since 2002 and has been a consistent presence. More…
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. More…
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.
For this episode we included a guest, Natasha Jager of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation because we wanted to talk about what businesses of all sizes can do to reduce the risk of alcohol and drug impacts at work. It was important also that this was not a seasonal discussion in relation to naughty and unsafe behaviour at a work’s Christmas Party. (There’ll be plenty of discussion on that issue from others, as there is every year)
We talk about impairment, risks to others, the relation to fitness-for-work and workplace mental health issues.
The podcast audio has been cut to have this as a two part episode with the next part being available in the next week or so.
If you have any comments on the podcast, please email me or include a comment below.
When talking about workplace health and safety there is almost always questions about why one type of workplace hazard is given more priority than others. This is most common in discussing the neglect of mental health and psychosocial issues in comparison to incidents that result in physical injury or death. The reasons given are almost always social ones, external to the workplace. A commentary in The Guardian newspaper for 1 November 2016 by David Conn adds another reason. More…
As Australia’s Safe Work Month closes, the media is focussed on the four fatalities at Dreamworld theme park in Queensland. That situation is complicated as, although the incident is being investigated partly under Work Health and Safety laws, the decedents were visitors to the workplace. On the other side of the continent in Perth, prior to the Dreamworld incident, was another workplace fatality, this time of a worker. Her death was no less tragic and deserves not to be forgotten, particularly as it links to other occupational health and safety (OHS) and labour issues.
“Marianka Heumann, who was on a working holiday in Australia and had been employed at the site for three months, fell 13 storeys down a ventilation shaft at the Finbar and Hanssen development on Adelaide Terrace on Monday afternoon. She was rushed to hospital but could not be saved.”