Television exposé of children at risk on roof insulation worksite

On 16 February 2010, I was interviewed by Channel 7 television in Melbourne over 20 minutes of footage they had received that showed unacceptable work practices at a domestic site in Cranbourne. Emails from friends told me that my words and face were used in promotional ads by the TV program. At the time of writing this, … Continue reading “Television exposé of children at risk on roof insulation worksite”

OHS and the death of Brodie Panlock from bullying

On 8 February 2010, four workers at Café Vamp, a small restaurant in Melbourne Victoria, were fined a total of $A335,000 for repeatedly bullying, or allowing bullying to occur to, 19-year-old Brodie Panlock.  Brodie jumped from a building in September 2006.  Her family watched Brodie die from head injuries three days later.  They were unaware …

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“Respect Agenda” – seriously?

Recently the Victorian Premier, John Brumby reshuffled his Cabinet and created a new portfolio the “Respect Agenda”.  The Minister with responsibility for the portfolio is ex-footballer Justin Madden.  Very little has been revealed about the agenda, which has been launched after a major international kerfuffle over serious racist attacks against Indian students.  It is likely … Continue reading ““Respect Agenda” – seriously?”

Work harder? You must be mad

On 24 January 2010, the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, encouraged all Australians to increase their “productivity growth“.  But what if increased productivity could result in developing a mental disorder? The February 2010 edition of the  Harvard Mental Health Letter includes a report that lists the following key points: “Symptoms of mental health disorders may be different … Continue reading “Work harder? You must be mad”

Wriedt provides context of her depression

Former Tasmanian MP, Paul Wriedt, has provided an Australian Sunday newspaper with a long article that provides the context for her suicide attempt, depression and career implosion.  The full article is well worth reading and shows the combination of factors that led to her suicide attempt. Excessive workload is mentioned several times and, although it … Continue reading “Wriedt provides context of her depression”

Worker health continues to get government support

Just because Victoria’s WorkHealth program is not functioning anywhere near its initial intention, it does not mean that the issue of workers’ poor health is being ignored.  In mid-June 2009, Australia’s federal government announced a targeted program called the Tradies Tune-Up. The funding for this program is very modest in comparison with WorkHealth’s proposed riches. … Continue reading “Worker health continues to get government support”

OHS as an agent of change

Tom Bramble is a Queensland socialist academic who recently published a history of Australian trade unionism.  I attended his book launch in Melbourne and found it partly inspiring and partly disconcerting. Tom (pictured here) was an excellent speaker and seemed to be a known entity to the strongly socialist audience.  It was the audience that I … Continue reading “OHS as an agent of change”