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.
Hazardous manual task training forms an important part of an employer's risk identification and control processes, but can't be relied on to tackle the scourge of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, in part because it doesn't address the multiple causes of these injuries, and the techniques taught are often ignored or impractical, according to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia.
Australia's COVID-19 transmission rate is currently low, but having an employee with viral symptoms attend work still poses a significant psychological risk to other workers, according to a leading occupational physician and past president of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine.
Stressful quarantine experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic could have long-term psychological impacts on workers in the absence of mental healthcare, according to researchers who also suggest the confinement period is a unique opportunity for employers to enhance their psychological resources.
Work-family conflict and demands can not only harm workers' mental and physical health, but double the likelihood of developing a mental health problem in some cases, two studies involving nearly 10,000 workers have shown.
A worker who won access to psychometric testing data deeming him unsuitable for his role has lost his unfair dismissal case, but the Fair Work Commission criticised his employer for exposing employees to fundamentally unfair third-party testing protocols.
A worker's fatal heart attack caused by the stress of attending proceedings to defend her compensation claim was causally related to a work injury, a commission has found in awarding her family death benefits.
Workers returning from COVID-19-related working-from-home set-ups have valuable insights on how to optimise workspaces for their wellbeing, which employers can capitalise on to make workplaces healthier and less stressful, a building and workplace design expert says.
Workers who don't believe they are provided with adequate PPE are at risk of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions that can erode their ability to work safely, a study of service personnel operating in COVID-19-like environments has shown.
A major review of studies covering more than 270,000 police personnel, including from Australia, has found police are at greater risk of poor mental health and risky drinking than previously thought, highlighting the importance of stigma-reduction strategies and continuous rather than reactive "psychoeducation".