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06 Feb 2014

What happens when one worker sneezes

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Influenza is highly contagious and much more debilitating than the common cold.  This poses a difficult problem for persons conducting businesses or undertakings (PCBUs) who, while needing workers to perform their duties, must also strive to protect the health of their other staff as well as that of their customers and visitors.

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Published in National Safety magazine, April 2013.

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06 Feb 2014

The buck stops here

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Here is the story of an organisation that decided it was time for the managers to take responsibility.

Communicating safety messages to 6000-plus mainly casual staff in more than 160 locations across Victoria is a daunting task.  In 2011, with the backing of the organisation’s CEO, YMCA Victoria devised a communications strategy that placed the ownership of safety in the hands of its senior management team.

With a defined target audience and a clear message to impart, managers were simply asked, “What can you do to protect your staff?”

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Published in National Safety magazine, June-July 2013.

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06 Feb 2014

Taking Stock

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(Re)building resilience in the face of natural disasters.

Natural disasters cost Australia more than $5 billion per year.  Climate experts say extreme weather events will become more the rule than the exception.  It’s also becoming increasingly clear to Australian businesses that simply having disaster recovery plans in place is no longer good enough.

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Published in National Safety magazine, April 2013.

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06 Feb 2014

Should flexibility drive safety?

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Those managing WHS must take a more sophisticated approach to flexible work arrangements.  Increasingly, businesses are thinking of WHS and flexibility as having a synergistic relationship so as to better support WHS and flexibility outcomes.

The benefits of this are said to include reductions in sick leave and lost time injuries; increased job satisfaction, energy, creativity and capacity to handle stress; a greater degree of employee engagement; increased productivity; increased capacity to attract, retain and motivate high-performing and experienced employees; and being able to help employees manage their responsibilities outside of work.

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Published in National Safety magazine, June-July 2013.

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06 Feb 2014

Long way to fall

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Copping abuse is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to preventing and responding to falls.

Despite improvements in safety, falls continue to be a significant problem in Australia.  Falls from height were the cause of 23 deaths in the period from January to October 2012, says Safe Work Australia’s monthly notified fatality report 2013.

But the statistics tell only part of the story.  Intimidation, accidents waiting to happen, poor communication, changed lives and ruined relationships also take their toll.

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Published in National Safety magazine, June-July 2013.

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