Structural v Individual approaches to preventing psychological harm persist

At the end of September 2018 the Australian Psychological Society held its 2018 Congress.  As conferences do, various media statements are released to generate interest in the speakers.  One caught the attention of this blog.  It was released on September 25 2018, and was called:

“Resilience isn’t enough to combat the effects of burnout, world renowned psychology expert says”

This sounded like it may look closely at the prevention of harm and SafetyAtWorkBlog was able to interview that world-renowned psychology expert,

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The US discovers job strain and suicide

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently written about suicide prevention and the organisational structures that can contribute to poor mental health.  The prominence of the CDC should result in a spate of media reports about this NIOSH Science Blog article.

Evidence of the link between the two has been building in Australia for some time through the work of several researchers. The CDC/NIOSH draws on

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The sexual harassment you walk past is the sexual harassment you accept

Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, has released the findings of the Commission’s latest survey on sexual harassment in workplaces.  It is an important analysis of an improving dataset that should make actions to prevent sexual harassment more effective.

The statistical report is separate from the Commission’s National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces and does not emphasise the role of harm prevention but it does contain references to prevention that are worth considering.

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Arts Wellbeing Collective gets a future

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In November 2017, SafetyAtWorkBlog wrote about a pilot occupational health and safety (OHS) and wellness program created by the Victorian Arts Centre.  At the time the future of this very good program was in doubt as continuing funding was not available.

On August 30 2018, Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, pledged some funding to the Arts Wellbeing Collective.  How much funding has not been revealed but providing a future for the program is a sound OHS and political move.

A major attraction of the Arts Wellbeing Collective is that it was an initiative from outside the established OHS and Human Resources networks.  This cuts out a lot of baggage but also risks acting without an understanding of what has gone before.

Perhaps more importantly, this program is not a response to the Weinstein issues or the #metoo agenda.  It was developed prior to both of these events but will benefit from the profiles these tragedies have created. All strength to it.

Kevin Jones

Workplace Health Management programs save one hospital around $200k

It is always good to see researchers assessing issues related to workplace health and safety rather than relying on overseas data.  Recently researchers from the Australian Catholic University and St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne looked into “measuring the effectiveness of workplace health management programs” .  The research adds to our understanding of these programs but the relevance to occupational health and safety (OHS) is limited.

The researchers,

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