Gun control, primary prevention and OHS

Our experience with a global pandemic has blurred the lines between what is public health and what is occupational health. In that context, it’s worth considering the public health strategies and interventions. There are three levels of interventions: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Recently, on NPR’s All Things Considered, a public health specialist in the United States, Dr. Cedric Dark, discussed public health proposed strategies in relation to gun control in light of a recent report by the US Surgeon General.

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The Occupational Moral Injury Scale

Many people are promoting various tools, usually apps, for identifying and managing psychosocial hazards at work. Some experts in the field of organisational psychology are cool on these tools, others are dismissive of poorly designed tools promoted by rent-seekers, others promote free tools, and some say that all the information required is already available if you ask for it and if the keepers of the data will share.

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A broad perspective on Work, OHS and Mental Health

A whole generation of workers has grown up believing that if they are having a hard time at work, if they are not coping with the workload or the sexual advances of their boss, or their difficult workplace, or the discrimination they feel about their gender or their sexuality, that it’s their fault, and it’s their problem, and therefore, it’s their role to solve and fix it. But there were generations before the current one, and I’m from one of those earlier generations. When I started work, there was good work and safe jobs, and there were social movements for women’s rights, and then gay rights and dignity at work, and respect at work. It was far from a paradise, but there was exciting progress and lively, challenging debates and social protests. A little of that passion has returned this decade, but more is needed.

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Let’s talk about Zagi

Zagi cried. I cried, and the conference delegates cried. Zagi Kozarov‘s presentation at the Psych Health and Safety Conference was confronting, disturbing, and a highlight. Occupational health and safety (OHS) conferences often hear from survivors of physical work injuries and, usually, wives of deceased workers, but Kozarov spoke of the injustice she faced from her managers in an industry sector that few would want to work – the (then) Specialist Sex Offences Unit of the Office of the Public Prosecutor (OPP). What she saw at work was horrific, but the job was less the source of her mental anguish than the negligent treatment she received from her managers.

Caution: this article mentions sexual abuse and assault.

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Psychosocial incidents to be notifiable in Australia

The CEO of Safe Work Australia, Marie Boland, told delegates of the Psych Health and Safety Conference in Sydney on June 19 2024 that psychosocial injuries are likely to be notifiable to occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators, including instances of work-related suicide.

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Different OHS messages to different audiences

Last week, WorkSafe Victoria held its annual Business Leaders’ Breakfast. The keynote speaker was Karen Maher, who spoke about the need for an effective and respectful workplace culture that would foster a healthy psychosocial environment. Her presentation would have been familiar to many of the occupational health and safety (OHS) and WorkSafe personnel in the audience, but it may have been revolutionary for any business leaders. Maher outlined the need for change but not necessarily how to change or the barriers to change.

The event did provide a useful Q&A session and afforded the new WorkSafe Victoria CEO, Joe Calafiore, his second public speaking event in a week.

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The 23rd OHS World Congress opens ….. curiously

The 23rd World Congress for Safety and Health at Work was officially opened last evening after a day of occupational health and safety (OHS) workshops. The indigenous Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony were excellent, and from the number of delegates recording the dancing, entertaining and enlightening. The same cannot be said for the speeches.

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