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Work is a source of stress for almost half of Australian workers, says a new Australian Psychological Society (APS) online survey.

The APS conducted the survey of 1548 people over two-and-a-half weeks from 18 July to 5 August 2013.

From this it identified a sub-sample of 999 Australian workers. Some 61 per cent were employed full-time, 30 per cent part-time and 9 per cent were employed under other arrangements.

The APS compared the results of this year’s survey with surveys it had conducted in 2011 and 2012.

Similar to previous years, in 2013 almost half of the respondents (47 per cent) rated work as a source of stress.

The survey also found that as workers got older concern about work as a source of stress decreased except for those aged between 46 and 52.

These workers “reported the same levels of concern about workplace as a source of stress (52 per cent) as the youngest group of working Australians (18- to 25-year-olds reporting 53 per cent)”, according to the survey.

Among other results, less than half of Australian workers said they “regularly received relevant feedback and recognition for their work”.

However, half said “their employer valued their contribution and cared about their wellbeing”.

For more details, see the APS for the full report.

Published on 21 November 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Home renovators are the target of the inaugural national Asbestos Awareness Month.

During November the WHS authorities are joining forces with asbestos awareness groups to educate people about asbestos dangers in the home.

“Many wrongly believe that only fibro homes contain asbestos,” says Asbestos Awareness.

“Asbestos products can most likely be found in any Australian home built or renovated before 1987 – even brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes.”

Asbestos could be anywhere, such as under carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, ceilings, eaves and backyard sheds.

“The wisest course of action is to assume that asbestos is present and take precautions,” says WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch.

He said a recent survey found 60 per cent of do-it-yourself renovators reported exposure to asbestos.

For more details, visit Asbestos Awareness and your local WHS authority.

Published on 7 November 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

07 Nov 2013

Bosses lose sight of the big picture

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Many bosses and workers have lost sight of the mental health and productivity benefits of taking a break, says beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO.

“3.8 million people routinely don’t take a lunch break,” according to a joint The Australia Institute and beyondblue survey conducted in the lead up to this year’s Go Home on Time Day (November 20th 2013).

Half of the people who don’t take a break say they are too busy.

And 72 per cent of those who usually take a lunch break eat their lunch at their desk or cut short or postpone their break until mid-afternoon, the survey said.

“It’s great that people are committed to getting the job done, but it is sensible to take a break away from your desk or the production line to exercise and think about other things,” Carnell said.

“A regular walk at lunchtime improves both your physical and mental health and you will resume work feeling refreshed.”

For more details, visit Go Home on Time Day.

Published on 7 November 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

07 Nov 2013

Qld moves to change WHS laws

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Proposed changes to the recently introduced WHS laws in Queensland have led to the expiry date of the transitional arrangements being extended.

Earlier this year the Queensland Government launched a review of the new WHS laws and sought feedback from businesses.

The review found support for the laws but also the need for change, including the removal of audiometric testing for workers and the “streamlining [of] some asbestos-related requirements”.

Details about the changes have yet to be released. However, the government says they are significant and amendments will need to go before the national Select Council of Workplace Relations before they are implemented.

As these changes won’t be made until after 31 December, the expiry date of the transitional arrangements will be extended for another year – until December 2014.

The government says detail on the changes won’t be available until they are approved.

For more details, Work Health and Safety Queensland.

Published on 7 November 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

07 Nov 2013

Landmark High Court ruling

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Comcare has escaped paying workers compensation to a commonwealth public servant for injuries sustained during sex at work.

Last week the High Court ruled in favour of Comcare following an appeal against a Full Federal Court ruling that allowed workers compensation to be paid for injuries sustained during sex in a motel room on a business trip.

As reported in a previous e-bulletin, Comcare had argued that the Full Federal Court had incorrectly accepted the following proposition:

“Once you are at a place where the employer encouraged, required or induced you to be, then absent gross misconduct, any injury you suffer at the place is compensable…”

Comcare said this was an incorrect reading of the law.

It argued that an injury could only be sustained in the course of employment if the person was doing the work they were employed to do or something incidental to it. And the worker’s actions at the time of the incident didn’t fit this definition.

The High Court reserved its decision in August and handed down its ruling last week.

For more details, visit the case .

Published on 7 November 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.


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