Category Archives: Occupational health & safety

Laboratory safety | Relevant workplace accidents/incidents including those where fatal injuries and investigations occur.

Temptation grows to use drugs to stay awake in the workplace

The Sydney Morning Herald Anna Patty 26 May 2016

The US military’s drug of choice for helping people stay awake while working long hours is finding its way into the 24/7 workplace, researchers warn.
Billable hours and the pressure to perform is tempting workers to risk their own health to gain a competitive edge.

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Black lung: Miners union warns of 20 cases as another former miner is diagnosed

Brisbane Times 17 May 2016

The number of former Queensland coalminers diagnosed with black lung disease has risen to eight, the miners union says.

The latest diagnosed man, who is in his early 40s and the youngest of the eight to be diagnosed, worked at a number of mines throughout Queensland and NSW before finishing in the industry a year ago.

Black lung disease: Seventh Queensland miner diagnosed, union expects more

ABC News 12 May 2016

A 55-year-old man has become the seventh Queensland coal worker since May last year to be diagnosed with black lung disease.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union’s Steve Smyth said it was terrible news for the man and his family.

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Asbestos-laden building materials slipping into Australia as result of weak regulation, report finds

ABC News Stephanie Smail 4 May 2016

Glaring weaknesses in regulations and border protection issues are allowing building products contaminated with potentially deadly asbestos into Australia, a Senate committee has warned.
In an interim report tabled late on Wednesday, the committee raised particular concern about “the ability of Australia’s enforcement agencies to effectively police borders so that [contaminated products] are detected and prevented from entering Australia”.

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Inquest begins into Qld awning death AAP May 4, 2016

The partner of a man killed when an awning fell on him outside a Gold Coast shop has appealed for authorities to ensure a similar accident doesn’t occur in the future.
Property developer Christopher Walton, 54, died after an awning fell and crushed him at James Street in Burleigh Heads just before Christmas in 2012.
Witness reports at the time suggested Mr Walton pushed other passers-by out of the way as the awning fell.
Paramedics attempted to revive him but he died at the scene while three women were taken to Gold Coast Hospital with minor injuries.
An inquest into his death started at the Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday and will look at what caused the awning to collapse, in particular the method used to attach the awning to the building.
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ABC News 4 May 2016 Shopfront awnings in Queensland at risk of collapse: Workplace Health and Safety inspector
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Black lung: Return of disease due to poor regulation of mining industry says Senate committee

ABC News Dan Conifer 28 April 2016

A Senate committee has slammed poor regulation and incompetence within the mining industry for the re-emergence of a deadly condition in coal miners.
Black lung disease is sustained by inhaling coal dust and was thought to have been eradicated about three decades ago.
But eight Queensland miners have been diagnosed with the condition over the past year.

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Link to Fifth Interim Report: Black Lung: “It has buggered my life”
28 April 2016 Senate Select Committee on Health


Black lung’s back? How we became complacent with coal miners’ pneumoconiosis

The Conversation Peter Gibson April 21, 2016

The name black lung says it all. When miners inhale excessive amounts of coal dust, the fine air filtration system of the lungs sieves out the dust, which then remains permanently in the lung. These deposits can even be seen with the naked eye if the lungs are removed from the body, hence the name.
The sinister part is the slow progressing breathing disorder that develops over many years due to excessive lung inflammation and scarring that is triggered by coal mine dust. This disease, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis or black lung, is preventable and was widely considered a thing of the past in Australian miners.

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