Excessive prescription of opioid medication is doubling the risk of long-term disability among injured workers, and highlights the need for workers' compensation schemes to take urgent action, says a leading occupational health researcher.
Two leading universities, including Australia's Monash University, will join forces to investigate how to best support workers diagnosed with silicosis, which now number more than 168 in Queensland alone, the State's Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has announced.
Work health and safety regulations for diesel emissions are likely to be overhauled, after two research projects found occupational limits need to be slashed, and there are "critical gaps of knowledge" on the behaviour of nanoparticles.
All workers are at risk of being exposed to dangerous substances and cancer is the leading cause of work-related death, while some common workplace chemicals can trigger "organic psycho syndrome", the European Union's OHS body has warned duty holders. In Australia, new workplace exposure standards for dozens of substances are set to be released for comment.
Older workers suffer more cardiovascular damage from working long hours and will require extra management and more breaks if the issue isn't addressed, researchers specialising in "overwork" disorders say.
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