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Mental Health Foundation launches Open Minds e-learning modules

The Mental Health foundation has launched online e-learning modules to assist people managers in supporting employees experiencing mental distress or illness at work....

May 26, 2021

Exposure to silica dust - Are we doing enough for those at risk?

The health risks of working with RCS (Respirable Crystalline Silica)  for stonemasons, tunnellers, miners, and concrete workers have been known for more than 100 years. Accelerated silicosis is a type of progressive lung disease caused by exposure to high levels of silica dust, common in engineered stone cutting. It is a more aggressive form of silicosis and appears sooner and may progress faster than silicosis. (WorkSafe) Stuff reports Dr Alexandra Muthu, RACP spokesperson on sil...

May 3, 2021

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

April 28th 2021 was World Day for Safety and Health at Work.  Its also International Commemoration day for dead and injured workers.Each year in NZ, up to 900 people die from work related illnesses, and 50-60 die from work related injuries.  Below is a link to data that WorkSafe have collated over the years relating to fatalities in the workplace and members of the public who have died as a result of somebody else's work activity.  This does not include those who have died from oc...

April 28, 2021

Employers - should Covid-19 vaccinations be mandatory for all staff?

With the pandemic disrupting work, travel and how we communicate with others - the question is being asked about how business will manage the health of their workers when it comes to being vaccinated against Covid-19.Already we are seeing what is happening overseas with business owners trying to protect what they have worked hard to build."If you don't get the vaccine, you don't have a job".NZ to date, has been fortunate that we have not seen the same devastation that Covid-19 has caused in many...

February 2, 2021

Alert Level 3 Guidelines PCBU

WorkSafe has published an updated reminder of the public health guidelines for PCBUs operating under alert level 3 lockdown....

August 14, 2020

Erionite in Auckland bedrock - potential for cancer

Scientists have learnt that a little known mineral distributed within rock in the Auckland region has the potential to cause mesothelioma if it is disturbed during construction excavation. The NZ Medical Journal reports the mineral, erionite, is likely to have been present in the vast amounts of rock excavated in major civil works such as the recent Waterview Tunnel and the current City Rail Link project. (Safeguard) Erionite is now classified by the IARC as a Class 1 carcinogen a...

July 24, 2020

Contractor or Employee?

A judge in an Employment court decision found a courier driver was legally an employee, even though he had a signed agreement stipulating he was an independent contractor.   Under the HSW Act an independent contractor would be classified as a PCBU. Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 17 Meaning of a PCBU - a person conducting a business or undertaking(i)  whether the person conducts a business or undertaking alone or with others; and(ii)  whether or not the business or un...

June 1, 2020

Right to refuse work?

What rights do employers have when a worker refuses to return to work if just being at work risks contracting Covid-19?Stuff article: Workers afraid to go to workUnder the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 "Right of worker to cease or refuse to carry out unsafe work"83.1: A worker may cease, or refuse to carry out, work if the worker believes that carrying out the work would expose the worker, or any other person, to a serious risk to the worker's or other person's health or safety arising from...

May 1, 2020

Level 3 Day 1 Breakout!

After seeing the pictures of long queues for fast food, large groups gathering in car parks, and the big food chain packaging being dropped on the ground because the rubbish bin was obviously too far or the excitement of getting their fast food fix was too much - makes me wonder if we have learnt anything from the Alert Level 4 lockdown?We are seeing people behave as if everything is back to normal - while a large number of us are losing jobs, livelihoods and unable to pay rent, bills.Many of us...

April 28, 2020

COVID-19 What's the new normal?

Each level brings questions around our health and safety with new problems that we as employers must find solutions to protect all workers.  Communication is key.  How can we perform our tasks safely with minimum contact to others?  In the coming weeks we will know if the clear message from our governing bodies regarding what we shouldn't do has sunk in. WATCH THIS SPACE...

April 20, 2020

Mining - To Mine or Not To Mine

WorkSafe received a number of enquiries from High Hazard duty holders asking the question if their sites are "Essential Services".Last week we saw Waihi Gold mine shut down due to Covid-19, not wanting to risk workers and the community.  Yet other mines around the country are continuing to operate?WorkSafe have left it to duty holders to work it out for themselves referring them to their website for further information....

March 27, 2020

Is this appropriate?

Salters Cartage Ltd Serious health and safety convictions relating to 2017 where convictions for multiple breaches of the HSE and HSNO  Acts in relation to the death of a welding contractor (2015) - due to the incorrectly labelled and uncertified fuel tank he was working on exploded.  Police commenced proceedings against Auckland business owner Ronald Thomas Salter (Salters Cartage Ltd) under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009, to seize assets worth more than $8m. It is a first...

February 16, 2020

Monitoring of Truck Overloading

Eight new weigh-stations will open in 2020 and four existing weigh-stations will be upgraded - a screening system which uses in-road scales to weigh trucks while they're still on the road will be an added feature.As the truck is moving, number plate recognition cameras will share their data which is checked against the vehicle's permits and, within seconds, the number plate of potentially overweight trucks will appear on a roadside screen with instructions to pull over.  It comes as the Au...

November 29, 2019

Revised Data - Health Deaths

According to revised data, between 750 and 900 people die each year from ill health caused by exposure to hazards at work.Figures released by WorkSafe, show 50% of these deaths are from cancers, of which 250 are from lung cancer, 90 mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, and 25 breast cancer attributed to shift work.The report estimated of the half of the deaths not caused by cancer, 200 arise from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease due to exposure to vapours, dust, gases and fumes, 80% due t...

August 30, 2019

Taskforce formed: Accelerated Silicosis

In April, HeadSafe sent out an newsletter to its subscribers on Silica Dust - The Facts.  We have also brought to the attention to readers topics that we believe need a strong focus from our regulators.A task force has recently been formed to address the "urgent emerging issue"  of accelerated silicosis among stonemasons.  Based on what has been reported in Australia, we are only now looking at this serious disease in our industries.This is a serious disease that takes years to de...

June 28, 2019

What do you know about Organic solvents?

WorkSafe NZ issued a Safety Alert recently after  2 workers died in two separate incidents due to acute exposure to organic solvents.One case involved a worker who was applying a UV treatment to windows, the second case a worker was applying adhesive while laying carpet.  Both workers fell unconscious and later died.  The UV treatment and the carpet adhesive contained Organic Solvents.In these circumstances, short-term exposure to very high levels of organic solvent vapors can cau...

April 8, 2019

Deceitful Builder first to be fined under NZ Asbestos Regulation

In February 2017, prosecuted under ss 206 (1) (a), (b) and 3 (a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 Richard John Knight was fined $3000 at the Christchurch District Court.Worksafe found Knight not only was working without a Class A removal license - which ensures he is a competent person engaged to carry out the work, Knight also failed to obtain the certification required for the work he completed.Knight failed to safely mana...

March 28, 2019

Professor Bill Glass - Senior New Zealander of the Year

For over 60 years Professor Bill Glass contribution to Occupational Health in New Zealand has seen major improvements in working conditions for those exposed to life changing effects of long term exposure to substances in the workplace.Bill is a continuous advocate for the worker, he challenges his medical colleagues and government agencies to listen to the worker in order to understand the job they worker does and how it effects their daily life.The Asbestos Exposure Register was created by Bil...

February 18, 2019

Mental Health

Recently in the UK 50 business leaders called on their government to "bring mental health care in line with physical health and to make mental health first aid mandatory in all workplaces".According to Mental Health First Aid England, one in six people of working age will experience mental ill health including depression, anxiety or issues relating to stress and this is estimated to cost the UK economy over NZ$65bn a year.In a recent Safeguard article Nicole Rose (WorkSafe) talks about the chall...

November 23, 2018

Do We Take Risks WhenTravelling For Work?

An article in the NZ Herald revealed results from a survey conducted on international business travelers - it found that 41% of those who travel on an average of 40 days find their mood suffers and up to 27% experience mental health issues that can range from mild to "extremely severe".Increased engagement in their jobs was reported by 67% due to the business travel however 34% of international business travelers are more likely to engage in risky behaviour when they are traveling than at home.&...

November 16, 2018

Engineered Stone Benchtop Workers & Silicosis

Queensland recently issued a safety alert to highlight the significant health risks caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) for workers in engineered stone bench-top manufacturing, finishing and installation industries.  Workers can be exposed to crystalline silica while cutting, grinding, sanding and polishing stone bench tops and during installation process.Generally exposure to RCS occurs during manufacture of the stone bench-top rather than during installation due to l...

October 12, 2018

Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is being reported across all sectors - schools, hospitality, retail, healthcare, community service, corporate, construction, the list goes on -  "so far as is reasonably practicable" you must ensure the health and safety of workers, and ensure that others aren't put at risk from your work.  Risk is the likelihood that a person may be harmed or suffers adverse health effects if exposed to a hazard.  Businesses invest in putting measures in place whether it be tra...

September 18, 2018

Create the Risk - Own the Risk

Did you know that in Victoria, Australia with a population of 6.3 million, have had 18 work related fatalities year to date including 2 last week - in comparison NZ has had 20 work related fatalities yet our population is only 4.6 million?Why do you think that is?In the last 2 years, NZ has had 50 work related deaths per year, excluding aviation and transport.Do the statistics matter?...

September 10, 2018

Complacency in the Workplace?

WorkSafe NZ has sounded a warning about complacency regarding health and safety, after fatality numbers in 2016 and 2017 bucking the downward trend of the previous couple of years."In general, New Zealand is seeing a stagnation of attitudes towards health and safety, which is concerning". Chief Executive Nicole Rosie told Stuff. In the years since Worksafe was established in 2013 – after the Pike River disaster – rates of workplace deaths had been falling. By 2015, fatalities ...

September 2, 2018

Bullying and Harassment

Allegations of  harassment and bullying in the workplace are nothing new but we are now starting to see the fallout of years of a culture of denial. Below is an excerpt from the WorkSafe site under "Bullying and Harassment" (dated 2 August). Workplace bullying and harassment (including sexual harassment) is a serious issue for New Zealand. Studies suggest that up to one in three workers report experiencing some form of bullying or harassment each year. Bullying and harassment allegations o...

August 28, 2018 Posts 1-25 of 32 | Page next
 

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