Employers have been warned they bear the onus of ensuring their sites comply with the new COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria, which include stringent PPE requirements and workforce caps in many cases, while doctors have warned of the consequences of never "switching off" while working from home during the pandemic.
Australia's recovery from COVID-19 has the earmarks of an industrial safety disaster, but also presents an unprecedented opportunity for WHS professionals to become a trusted voice in their organisations going forward, a leading safety lawyer says.
In an important judgment on work journey incidents, in favour of a worker, an appeals court has ruled that the proper liability test is whether employment "increased the risk" of the type of accident that injured a worker, not whether employment "caused" the accident.
The increasing focus on risk reduction measures in work safety laws and practices over the last 20 years has failed to reduce the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, with digitalisation and automation increasing mental stress and muscle tension, and forcing some workers into "machine-paced roles", a major research review has found.
A union made misleading statements linking a major retailer's cost-cutting measures to the deaths of workers and others in vehicle crashes, but some of these measures, which included potential penalties for drivers who were 10 minutes late, did lead to safety contraventions, a court has found.
Workers who support people in distress are at risk of burnout that can lead to ill health, insomnia and substance abuse. Employers and employees all have a responsibility to reduce compassion fatigue, UK researchers say.