Anne Richey | When dealing with cancer, fatigue is a common side effect of treatments. It may include physical, emotional or mental tiredness, and is often unpredictable, hitting without warning.
Everyday activities may become overwhelming tasks, and with cancer-related tiredness, sleep doesn’t help. The fatigue doesn’t stop when the treatment stops either – it may continue for months or years afterwards. Many people report that fatigue is the most distressing side effect of cancer and its treatment. It’s worth remembering however that not everyone who has cancer suffers from fatigue, and for those who do suffer it may vary from minor to severe. more >>
Anne Richey | The history of work disease is as old as the concept of work itself. This article takes a look back in time at some of the serious and deadly workplace hazards which were faced in the past.
Some of these diseases set precedents in the development of workplace safety changes, and these have been built on as the years have passed. While workplace disease is an ongoing challenge, we tend to forget how enormous some of those improvements have been. Employees can now generally expect safe workplaces and if their health suffers as a result of the workplace, compensation is possible. more >>
Antonia George | When a health insurer offers support after a potentially life-threatening diagnosis, Antonia agrees to learn how to self-manage her chronic condition. Does the coaching provide value for money?
Have you ever had the experience of a serious medical diagnosis and wondered if a) this means the end, b) you need to take this seriously, or c) it will go away? Your brain definitely goes into overload! Recently, I had an episode in hospital where I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. I was admitted via the emergency room of my local hospital because I was struggling to breathe. In truth, I felt I was drowning and it was genuinely scary. more >>
Tom Barton | Avoid heart disease with this fact sheet and our top tips for a healthy workplace.
As we focus on the cost and impact of chronic disease in the workplace, it is not long before we arrive at one of Australia’s leading chronic diseases - cardiovascular disease. Healthy workers make for healthy business. Fostering health of employees can have direct impact on their well being, as well as a positive impact on the well being of the employee-employer. Heart, stroke and vascular (blood vessel) disease top the Australian Government’s list of five national health priorities, with coronary heart disease and stroke our nation’s singlehanded first and second biggest killers. more >>
Anna Kelsey-Sugg | Why is it then that cancer survivors have less access to help with rehabilitation post-treatment?
After cancer treatment, getting back into the swing of life – often involving getting back to work – can be tough. Why is it then that cancer survivors have less access to help with rehabilitation post-treatment? Are cancer patients less worthy of rehabilitation? Hopefully the overwhelming response to that question is 'absolutely not.' A patient recovering from an illness or treatment is surely worthy of rehabilitation no matter what the illness. more >>
A new report from the Cancer Council shows that around half of all workers who spend time outside as part of their job are missing out on sun protection. The Council reminds employers that they need to protect their workers skin to reduce the risk of skin cancer. More than 2.5 million Australian workers spend time working outdoors without protection. The Cancer Council estimates that around 34,000 non-melanoma skin cancers and 200 melanomas are linked to the workplace each year. A spokesperson said that, "Australian workplaces have a duty of care to protect their employees from health and safety risks."
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released a report in 2014 which studied eight chronic diseases: arthritis, asthma, back problems, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and mental health conditions. They found that 46% of Australians have at least one of the eight chronic diseases. Due to under-reporting, the figure may be higher. If additional chronic diseases were added to the list, the number would again be higher. Age was also found to be a significant factor in the study, with older people having an increased incidence.
The average mental stress workers' compensation claim through Comcare costs $342,000, but nearly 500 cases in the last five years have cost over $500,000 according to a report by Comcare. A number of trial programs are being developed to address the problem, with the main focus on returning people to the workforce quickly. Nearly 39% of claimants in the last financial year said that bullying or harrassment had left them unable to work. The same proportion cited workplace stress. The trial measures will look at whether manager are effectively mitigating risk and supporting staff. The trials begin in mid-2016.
New guidelines are being released in NSW for the handling of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in emegency workers. Around 10% of workers in the police, fire and ambulance services are thought to suffer from PTSD, although the rate could be higher if retirees from these services were factored in. The Black Dog Institute and the University of NSW workerd together to create the guidelines, detailing both diagnosis and treatment. The guidelines were developed for use by GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapeutic providers and workers' compensation staff. They are also likely to be of use to workers and their families and carers.