Category Archives: Occupational health & safety

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

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.

Read more:

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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Central Queensland vet wants more clarity around Hendra virus protocols

ABC Rural News Lara Webster 21 April 2016

A Central Queensland vet says she is more wary of treating sick horses after another vet was fined last month over how he handled the treatment of a horse infected with Hendra virus.
Three Queensland vets were prosecuted last year by Workplace Health and Safety over how they managed cases of the bat-born virus in horses.

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Coroner calls for temperature threshold to stop outdoor work in extreme heat

ABC News Casey Briggs 20 April 2016

A coroner has urged the construction industry to set a temperature level for halting heavy outdoor work in extreme heat in a bid to prevent worker deaths.
The recommendation came as part of the coroner’s ruling into the 2013 death of construction worker Glenn Newport near Roma in Queensland’s southern inland.
The 38-year-old died in an ambulance after collapsing in extremely hot conditions on a coal seam gas (CSG) pipeline construction worksite.

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Workplace wellness programs: Do they work?

ABC News | ABC Health & Wellbeing Scott Spark, Tegan Osborne 18 April 2016

A growing body of research actually suggests that without a targeted and well thought out approach, workplace wellness initiatives often fail to yield results.  But conversely, ignoring employee health costs money too.

Studies have shown that properly designed wellness programs can deliver significant benefits, with an average rate of return of between 2:1 and 5:1 for every dollar spentEncouragingly, a 2014 report by Buck Consultants found that about 47 per cent of companies in Australia offered some kind of health promotion service to employees — but only about half of those had measured, specific outcomes.

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Desks fail to stand up

The Courier Mail 13 April 2016 page 18

The promise of standing desks is that they get us to move more at work – but there is actually little evidence that they benefit health, according to a recent report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

View the article ‘Workplace interventions for reducing sitting at work’ / Cochrane Library 17 March 2016

Man dies after electric shock on the Gold Coast

Brisbane Times April 7 2016

A man has died after a possible electric shock in a Gold Coast ceiling, with officers from the Electrical Safety Office investigating.
Paramedics were called to a private residence on Cottlislow Drive, Robina, shortly after 12.30pm to reports a man had been electrocuted in the ceiling.
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Gold Coast Bulletin April 8, 2016
Gold Coast man electrocuted in tragic home accident