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Young Workers Need to Heed Workplace Safety Advice

A recent opinion piece in the Courier Mail highlighted the fact that young workers have an increased risk of work-related injury because of their inexperience. Other factors include their comparatively limited social, emotional, physical and intellectual development.

Many Occupational Health and Safety experts are driven to find strategies to encourage young people, particularly young men, to recognise that the care they take of themselves is a direct investment in their own future. By taking precautionary measures, they have a lowered risk of suffering from many of the occupational hazards that can have an impact many years after a working life has concluded. These measures are often as simple as wearing the sun-protective clothing that they are issued with, or wearing sunscreen and hearing protection.
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Ways to Foster Improved Mental Health in the Workplace

According to Beyond Blue, efforts to improve mental health in the workplace can reduce the likelihood of an organisation suffering direct and indirect negative repercussions.

Beyond Blue suggests that in order to build a workplace that is mentally healthy and a workforce that is functional and high-achieving, organisations must develop and implement the necessary policies. This will involve increasing awareness of mental health issues, and decreasing the stigma around making claims. Employers will also need to facilitate access to services for psychological support and, whenever possible, perform a supportive role in helping employees stay at work or return to work.
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How Big a Liability is a Negligent Worker?

An employer’s duty of care in terms of health and safety legislation includes negligent workers who cause incidents in the workplace through their own negligence. This means that under health and safety laws an employer can be found liable for the actions of all workers, including those who are careless and inattentive.

Experts suggest that employers must ensure that safe work procedures for any machinery are in place, and then provide appropriate training for all workers. The safe work procedures that exist in the workplace must explicitly set out what employees should and should not do as they operate machinery. Also, it is imperative that inexperienced workers are supervised, and that more experienced employees are able to access refresher training.
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The Relationship Between Anti-Bullying Laws, WHS and Other Claims

New anti-bullying laws have been passed which allow the Australian Fair Work Commission (FWC) to hear complaints of bullying and to issue appropriate orders as of 1 January 2014. Bullying is increasingly being understood as a significant cause of mental health issues and surprisingly common in some workplaces.

These laws widen the scope of the law by extending protection to contractors, subcontractors, apprentices, work experience students and volunteers (as well as a range of others). This is in line with the WHS definition of a worker.
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What are the Most Dangerous Jobs in Australia?

Safe Work Australia figures show that last year 212 people died while at work. And in 2013, 112 people have already lost their lives while working.

According to news.com.au, one of the most dangerous jobs in this country is commercial fisherman. In this role, people are offshore for many weeks and face very difficult working conditions, including wild weather.
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Transport News in Australasia

Despite significant improvements in safety in recent years, the most dangerous sector in Australia continues to be the road freight industry.

Safe Work Australia report shows a decrease of 48% in the number of work-related fatalities occurring each year between 2006-07 and 2010-11.
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