Grab bag of OHS issues – heavy vehicles, mental health, bullying and fatigue

There are a few occupational health and safety (OHS) matters in Australia that happened in the last week that are of note. SafetyAtWorkBlog has put together a quick list of those matters of interest.

Big Mental Health Challenge

“The Australian Capital Territory has appointed its first “dedicated psychological health officer [who] will equip workplaces with the tools and resources needed to support the social and emotional wellbeing of working Canberrans.

The psychological health officer will provide employees, managers and supervisors with support such as information sessions, accessible resources and training programs. WorkSafe ACT inspectors will also receive training and access to ongoing mentoring for responding to psychological hazards.”

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Be part of the Mental Health conversation

Public submissions for Victoria’s Royal Commission into Mental Health close on July 5 2019. If you believe that work-related mental health is important, tell the Royal Commission through its, very easy, online submission process. Below is the text of the submission I made earlier this week.

The website asks you questions, many more than I answered, so you just have to think a little bit, and comment. If you don’t have time for a detailed submission, there is a Brief Comments option.

What is already working well and what can be done better to prevent mental illness and to support people to get early treatment and support?

Employers have had legislative obligations to provide safe and healthy work environments for many decades, but the inclusion of psychological health has been largely overlooked in preference to those hazards that have a direct relationship to traumatic injury and death.  It is only since 2000, and the various campaigns since to prevent and reduce stress and bullying, that psychological risks have been on the workplace agenda.

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Burnout – OHS regulators clarify their positions

The prominence of Burnout as an occupational health and safety (OHS) matter has gained renewed prominence since the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised it as an “occupational phenomenon“. But WHO equally stressed that Burnout

“… is not classified as a medical condition.”

SafetyAtWorkBlog asked several OHS and workplace experts in Australia and overseas about how to prevent Burnout. Below is the first of a series of articles in which Australian OHS Regulators provide their take on the issue. The next part will look at some overseas and non-regulatory perspectives.

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The potential of undocumented safety

SafeWorkSA’s CEO, Martyn Campbell, is fast becoming the highest profile occupational health and safety (OHS) regulator in Australia, partly because he has committed to communicating with stakeholders. Recently on the SafetyOnTap podcast Campbell, spoke about non-paper-based compliance. Given the current attention to safety clutter by David Provan and Greg Smith, his comments deserve some brief consideration.

Campbell was speaking about the importance of formalising OHS investigations through ICAM or root cause analysis and how proof of safety compliance comes through paperwork:

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Running with scissors in Parliament

The workplace death of Jorge Castillo-Riffo continues to raise important discussions about occupational health and safety (OHS), responsibility and accountability. The South Australian parliament discussed scissor lifts and OHS on June 6 2019. The criticism of the Coroner was concerning and the debate was a sadly typical political discussion but the issue of improving OHS in construction sites has not been forgotten by some South Australia politicians.

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