The week's SafetyNet we look at research on occupations linked to an increase in ovarian cancer risk, a related paper on limitations in women's cancer research, unsafe management practices at Amazon, catastrophic failures in a student drowning and safety awareness for food delivery drivers.
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For previous issues visit our SafetyNet Archive.
A lecturer in my workplace is doing way above his workload, believing he needs to do so to 'stay compliant with his position'. He frequently says he's working up to 3.30am, up a 6.30am, drives his kids to school, drives to work to deliver a lecture, drives home to give an online lecture - a disaster waiting to happen. Any advice?
Has anyone spoken with your colleague about what's going on? Before we proceed, it's important we establish workload expectations from the employer are the cause, and not some other factor.
Are others facing similar pressures?
But if we proceed on the basis that his long hours are the result of work overload, your colleague's working conditions pose a significant risk.
Research suggests that being awake for 17 hours impairs driving performance as much as having a BAC of 0.05; double the risk compared to driving sober.
Read our full response here
TAKE THE SURVEY: HOW SAFE AND HEALTHY IS YOUR WORK?
Australian Unions are conducting their third national survey about workers’ experience of health and safety in the workplace, and they really want your input.
Work Shouldn’t Hurt 2023 survey link: https://ausunions.io/WSH2023.
IDENTIFY PSYCHOSOCIAL HAZARDS: A TOOL FOR HSRs
Ever wondered which psychosocial hazards are affecting you and your workplace?
Check out our new psychosocial hazard library to pinpoint the hazard, get up-to-date on the OHS terminology, and look at some example controls for the associated risks..
Access our psychosocial hazard library here
ENSURING COMPLIANCE & CONSULTATION: VTHC’s CONSULTANT LIST
Have you or your employer ever needed the assistance of an OHS Expert?
VTHC has recently updated our list of consultants. Companies in this list have committed to making sure that HSRs and involved in the risk assessment process.
WEEKLY COVID NUMBERS
From 7 July - 13 July, Victoria recorded:
543 (-33%)* total cases for the past week
6 COVID deaths on average each day over the past week
137 cases in hospital (7 day rolling average) with 8 in ICU (7 day rolling average)
*The recommendation to report positive rapid antigen test result was removed on 30 June, so new cases include PCR test results only from 1 July.
More COVID weekly stats here
CANADA: POOR HOUSING IS KILLING MIGRANT FARM WORKERS
This month, Canada’s federal government is holding a roundtable to improve migrant farm workers’ employer-provided housing. Academics are calling on the Canadian government to take urgent action to ‘significantly’ raise and enforce standards for ‘physical housing conditions (eg. no bunk beds), health and safety, freedom from employer control and security of tenure.’
PAKISTAN: MINE SAFETY STILL A DEADLY CONCERN
Continuing high numbers of mineworker deaths in Pakistan due to lax safety procedures and inadequate emergency response must be addressed, the global union IndustriALL has said.
‘The government must commit to strictly enforcing the existing policies related to mining, and register all miners under social security schemes. We also demand that mine owners should maintain an attendance register of workers going underground.’
USA: AMAZON’S WAREHOUSE ‘DISCIPLINES’ OUT OF CONTROL
Internal Amazon documents reveal how routinely the company measured workers’ performance in minute detail and admonished those who fell even slightly short of expectations – sometimes before their shift ended.
FOOD DELIVERY WORKERS: EVERY RIDE A SAFE RIDE
Since 2019, ten food delivery workers have died at work - a devastating statistic for workers, their friends and families, and the broader community.
To address this, Safe Work Australia has developed an awareness campaign to improve food delivery workers’ safety.
OCCUPATIONS AND CHEMICALS THAT INCREASE OVARIAN CANCER RISK
Researchers who analysed the job histories of nearly 500 women with ovarian cancer and almost 900 healthy female workers have identified occupations and chemical agents linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
MORE ACTION NEEDED ON WOMEN'S CANCER RESEARCH
Occupational and environmental epidemiology specialists from the National Cancer Institute have raised concerns regarding the limited representation of women and outdated research approaches in workplace cancer studies; factors leading to missed opportunities in identifying risk factors for female-specific cancers and evaluating sex-specific differences in risk.
$25,000 FINE IMPOSED FOR HAND INJURY AT BUILDING SITE
A 24-year-old employee of Above and Beyond Plastering had his index finger severed and middle and ring fingers lacerated when the circular saw blade made contact with his left hand while cutting plywood sheets. The sheets were not properly secured, as required by the relevant SWMS.
ASLYUM SEEKING STUDENT DROWNED DURING SCHOOL CAMP
A high school operator has been fined $420,000 over the death of a student who drowned during a camping trip. The tribunal found that no risk assessment was conducted for the dangerous rock fishing activity that led to the incident. The camping trip took place in the Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, located on the southwest tip of Yorke Peninsula, about 300 kilometres west of Adelaide.
1.6M TRIPPING FINE HIGHLIGHTS IMPACT OF TIME PRESSURE
A NSW court has ordered two companies to pay over $1.6 million in damages to a worker who was injured while performing a task that had an inherent tripping hazard, with the court finding time pressure the worker was under was a critical point.
OHS TRAINING UNIT
The Victorian Trades Hall Council’s OHS Training Unit is one of the most experienced training providers in Victoria.
We have delivered OHS training to tens of thousands of Health & Safety Reps across Victoria since 1983.
We deliver high quality WorkSafe Approved training that is practical and solution-focused in multiple locations around Melbourne’s suburbs and regional Victoria.
- 5 Day HSR Initial OHS Training Course Fee - $950 (inc GST)
- 1 Day HSR Refresher Training Course Fee - $350 (inc GST)
Click on the links below for dates and locations.
VTHC also offers tailored training, including for managers and supervisors, on Comcare, and gendered violence.
Check out our website for more information.