Research

Quad bike fatalities declining
New research has found that deaths from tractors and quad bikes have declined significantly since 2017. The report, Non-intentional Farm Related Incidents in Australia, was developed using data collected by AgHealth Australia's National Farm Injury Coronial Database, based at the University of Sydney, and found that tractor- related fatalities fell from 13 to nine and deaths involving quads fell from 11 to six in the 12 months from 2017 to 2018.

However AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey said the number of farming-related deaths remains alarming. "While some progress has been made in specific areas, the overall numbers are telling us that more still needs to be done," he said. "We know the impact of accidents across Australia's agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries is significant. Australia's RDCs have a renewed focus on reshaping, refocusing and regrouping to address the issue.
Read more: SafetyCulture news. WorkSafe Victoria resources for Quad bike safety

Nail technicians '100 times' more at risk of cancer
Scientists have warned that airborne formaldehyde means the salons are as bad for employees' health as working at an oil refinery. Research suggests that nail technicians are exposed to dangerously high levels of chemicals thought to cause cancer.

Scientists from the University of Colorado studied six salons and found their air contained formaldehyde and other toxic compounds. Concentrations were beyond what is deemed 'safe' to avoid several forms of cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukaemia. Further, the researchers believe that exposure to these chemicals over 20 years could raise a technician's cancer risk by up to 100 times. They warn this prolonged exposure may damage a beautician's health as much as working an at oil refinery or garage.

Studies suggest these employees are at risk of asbestos exposure, as well as cancer of the stomach, oesophagus and lungs.

The study was led by Dr Lupita Montoya, who was curious about the effects of airborne chemicals in nail salons after she visited a nail bar a decade ago and was struck by its pungent smell. She was concerned the confined space and poor ventilation would expose workers to the chemicals, and tried for years to investigate the long-term health consequences nail technicians may face.  Read more: The Daily Mail.

UK: PTSD 'crisis' among police officers
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among police officers in the UK is far more common than previously thought, a new survey suggests. The study of almost 17,000 police across the UK found that 95 per cent of officers and 67 per cent of operational police staff had been exposed to traumatic events, almost all of which were work-related. Of those who had experienced trauma, 20 per cent reported symptoms in the preceding four weeks that were consistent with PTSD or the more chronic condition, Complex PTSD, which is associated with emotional numbness and disconnection. Two-thirds of those with PTSD were unaware they were suffering from it, according to the research.
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"For the first time in the UK we can see behind the cultural trope of the 'burnt-out copper' who has seen too much," said lead researcher Dr Jess Miller from the University of Cambridge, which conducted the 'The job, the life' study. "This is a clinical and public sector crisis," she said, pointing out the rates of PTSD in the police are almost five times higher than in the general population. Gill Scott-Moore, chief executive of Police Care UK, the charity that funded the research, said: "The service has real challenges around recognising and responding to the signs and symptoms of trauma exposure and is heavily reliant upon generic NHS provision that isn't equipped for the specialist treatment needed." In April, a national police wellbeing service was launched to provide expertise on  occupational health provision to forces across England and Wales.
Read more: Cambridge University news release and report [pdf]. Source: Risks 896
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