A SafetyAtWorkBlog reader emailed me this question:
“does a loss of shift due to fatigue equal a Lost Time Injury?”
My standard response is “why not?”
This type of LTI (Lost Time Injury) issue is one that will become increasingly common as the occupational health and safety (OHS) prominence of wellness and work-related psychological health and safety Continue reading “Does a loss of shift due to fatigue = a Lost Time Injury?”
The guidance on workplace psychological health and safety forecast by Safe Work Australia’s Peta Miller was released on June 14 2018. There is potential for this guidance to change how mental health is managed and, most importantly, prevented in Australian workplaces.
It is important to note that “Work-related psychological health and safety – a systematic approach to meeting your duties” has been developed with the involvement and approval of all of Australia’s occupational health and safety (OHS) or work health and safety (WHS) regulatory bodies. Workplace mental health promoters and resilience peddlers are unlikely to find much support in this document as the prevention of harm is the benchmark.
The guidance is also intended to operate in support
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has released a very good report about Australia’s immigration detention centres which includes a long discussion on duty of care to detainees under Common Law. The report, “In Poor Health: Health care in Australian immigration detention” does not include any discussion on the duty of care under work health and safety (WHS) legislation however it can be argued that the Australian Government, through its supply chain, chain of responsibility and contract management, also has a duty of care to detainees under health and safety laws.
Several recent legal actions and workplace safety guidance indicates that clarification about the duty of care on physical and psychological risks to “others” is overdue.
On June 5 2018, Sharon O’Keeffe of the North Queensland Register newspaper aired the response of the Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Mick Keogh to claims from the Federated Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) on the safety of quad bikes and crush protection devices (CPDs). O’Keeffe says “the gloves are off”.
In March 2018, the ACCC announced its intention for a mandatory safety standard for quad bikes, or All Terrain Vehicles (ATV,) that included CPDs.
Peta Miller has worked at Safe Work Australia (SWA) for around 17 years. She leaves there at the end of June. One of her last public appearances for SWA was the National Health and Safety Conference in Melbourne in May 2018 at which she provided an outline of the new work-related psychological injuries guidance that has been signed-off by SWA but not yet released to the public.
This guide is said to be a large one but not one that requires a re-education on safety and psychological terms. There is discussion about applying the risk management Hierarchy of Controls to psychosocial hazard identification, the prevention of psychological harm through the design of good work and the identification of psychological hazards without the need to diagnose a medical condition.