News

News

ALL
NATIONAL
WORLD
ACT
NSW
NT
NZ
QLD
SA
TAS
VIC
WA
Is the move towards 'mental health days' bad for privacy?

Published on Jul 18, 2017

Lately we've come across several articles praising the concept of a "mental health day". Here's an Australian example. The link in the heading represents a contrasting point of view, from a Canadian magazine that argues that the explanation "I don't...

List of workers comp incentives by Aussie jurisdiction

Published on Jul 17, 2017

     We can't vouch for the comprehensiveness of this list, but the people at PR Wire have compiled a list of all the incentives (i.e. premium reductions) available in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. Scroll down to find the detail...

Cautionary tales from a spine surgeon

Published on Jul 07, 2017

Pain is more unbearable when people are experiencing stress and this can be enough to persuade people to have unecessary spine operations, according to US surgeon David Hanscom. He shares a "road to Damascus" moment, describing how he revolutionised his own practice...

High risk claimants research focus for WorkCover QLD and Monash

Published on Jul 07, 2017

WorkCover Queensland and Monash University have announced a new research partnership, which will focus on identifying and supporting injured workers who are at risk of poor return to work outcomes and/or pursuing common law against their employers. “There are...

Mental illness big problem for small business

Published on Jul 03, 2017

Small business owners face pressures that may undermine their own mental health, according to Anthony Hasphall, training team manager for St John Ambulance Victoria. And they can find it difficult to cope when employees struggle too: "For small business owners...

Ergonomics on the line

Published on Jul 03, 2017

Follow the link for a fantastic overview of the science and art of ergonomics, which focuses on shaping the environment to suit people (and not the other way around. According to Ted Dohrmann, managing director at Dohrmann Consulting based in Melbourne: "Wherever y...

In defence of the mental health day

Published on Jul 03, 2017

Finding it hard to concentrate at work? Irritable with your colleagues? You might be due a mental health day! Health and wellbeing psychologist Marny Lishman says, "In a perfect world, confessing to taking a mental health day would be great as, if everyone was...

Injured bull rider tests "obscure" definition of worker

Published on Jun 19, 2017

Mitchell Gajkowski, a 22 year old man who, three years ago, sustained catastrophic injuries riding a bull at a rodeo in Camden, NSW, has won an unprecedented legal case entitling him to lifetime cover for medical expenses, travelling expenses, weekly payments of workers compe...

Should Tassie foster parents should be eligible for workers comp?

Published on Jun 16, 2017

The Tasmanian government has asked WorkCover Tasmania to consider extending workers' compensation coverage to foster parents. Legislative Council Member Ruth Forrest argued that the changes made sense given that volunteer firefighters and ambulance drivers were covered by...

Liberty Mutual research centre closes

Published on Jun 16, 2017

Recently the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety closed. We've brought you a lot of information from this fantastic resource, especially its Centre for Disability Research, and we'll continue to search the back catalogue for relevant RTW gems. In the meantime...

SA members, do you know about RISE?

Published on Jun 16, 2017

The Re-employment Incentive Scheme for Employers (RISE) is an initiative of Return to Work SA that rewards employers for hiring injured workers unable to return to their pre-injury job. In addition to wage reimbursement, a case manager is available to ease the transition, and...

Have you seen excellence in RTW in NSW?

Published on Jun 05, 2017

Entries are now open for the NSW SafeWork Awards 2017. If you’re a worker who has achieved excellence in recovery at work, or you know someone who has, Safework NSW wants to hear from you. If you’re an organisation that has shown great commitment to an...

ACT public sector sticks with Comcare

Published on Jun 05, 2017

The ACT government has abandoned plans to ditch Comcare for public sector workers' compensation, deciding instead to stick with the national body. The plan to ditch Comcare was announced in 2015, amidst rising premiums and concerns about claims management.   A ...

Young workers fear risky business

Published on Jun 05, 2017

According to RUOK, Australian businesses need to create more interpersonal trust. Research recently launched by RUOK and NSW icare found that more than 1/3 (36%) of Australian workers aged 25-34 are concerned they'll be blamed for mistakes at work, compared with arou...

Black dog travels with 22% of truckies

Published on Jun 02, 2017

More than one fifth of truckies experience mental illness and most aren't receiving treatment, according to research cited by the Transport Workers Union. They've partnered with beyondblue to draw attention to the issue. According to Beyondblue’s Head...

Tassie "tops" mainland for workers comp claims

Published on Jun 02, 2017

Tasmanians make more workers' compensation claims per head than their counterparts on the mainland, and their claims are more likely to be successful too, according to the latest edition of the Comparative Performance Monitoring report from Safe Work Australia. Howev...

A Doctor on the pleasure (and risk) of getting sick

Published on May 22, 2017

Karen Hitchcock is a doctor and writer who has a regular column in the Monthly. Recently she had this to say about the sick day: "Getting sick has its advantages: time off work, the presence of doting loved ones, fiscal compensation, identity solidification, sympathy, at...

Legal advice: working from home and workers compensation

Published on May 22, 2017

If you're lucky enough to work for an organisation that allows its employees flexibility about where and when they do their work, here's some free advice from a lawyer: you need to have clear policies and procedures about working from home, and understand the impact t...

Employer foots bill for non-work related PTSD

Published on May 19, 2017

In 2011 a truck driver on his way home from an induction session was involved in a head-on collision with a motorcyclist, who died at the scene. The driver subsequently developed PTSD, and his employer (Bernie Howe Pty Ltd) covered the workers' compensation payments. Fast...

Considering surgery? Read this first.

Published on May 15, 2017

Surgeons often overestimate the benefits of their work and underestimate the harm of it, according to leading orthopaedic surgeon, Ian Harris. As reported in the Canberra Times, Professor Harris recently told a gathering of surgeons that around half of orthopaedic surgic...

Big insurers out of NSW icare scheme

Published on May 08, 2017

As of 2018, EML will be the only insurer operating in the NSW workers' compensation scheme, with GIO and Allianz acting as "transition agents" and CGU and QBE out in 2017. According to an icare spokesperson, the selection of scheme agents was based on factual ou...

QLD Return to Work Awards open now

Published on May 05, 2017

WorkSafe Queensland wants to acknowledge excellence in return to work in 2017. Categories include: Injured worker achievement award Best rehabilitation and return to work system Best individual contribution to rehabilitation and return to work ...

"Improbable beliefs" about chronic pain linked to US opiate deaths

Published on May 05, 2017

In 2015, 33,091 Americans died by overdosing on opioids, the most fatalities from all categories of drugs. Although many of these deaths were heroin-related, experts estimate that 80% of heroin users start their habit with prescription opioids - and "improbable beli...

Black lung training for QLD doctors

Published on May 05, 2017

Queensland miners attending their compulsary health assessment will soon be seen by doctors with additional, mine-specific training, including an underground visit in a coal mine. The aim is to enable early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung) or ...

Work satisfaction on the radio

Published on Apr 24, 2017

Best Practice airs on Radio National. In this episode, Rhonda Brighton-Hall asks questions about work satisfaction: "What makes a difference when it comes to how you feel about work and who are the happiest workers in Australia?" ...

Personal face of work injury

Published on Apr 24, 2017

A short article in The Age paints a vivid picture of the lingering impact of traumatic injury at work. Three years ago Dan Casey's foot was nearly amputated after a young co-worker mistakenly flicked the hydraulic arm of a Bobcat he was driving.  "I walk w...

$50 mil for workplace mental health in Victoria

Published on Apr 18, 2017

In good news for Victorian organisations, WorkHealth is expanding, with the aim of helping employers make mental health a priority in the workplace. The new program will offer initiatives including an interactive online platform and business-wide "mental health checks&qu...

Management lip service not enough to avoid psychiatric injury

Published on Apr 18, 2017

A youth justice case manager who suffered a breakdown and failed to return to work after more than a year of conflict with her immediate manager has been awarded $625,345 for lost earnings and pain and suffering after the Supreme Court of Victoria ruled that she had unnecessa...

Interaction needed to do wellbeing training well

Published on Apr 10, 2017

Online training packs more wellbeing punch when it is combined with interactive elements, according to research recently released by a UK team based at the Universities of East Anglia, Sheffield, Reading and Essex. The researchers will now examine the cost-effectiveness ...

No compensation - yet - for teacher in union fall

Published on Apr 10, 2017

A teacher who was injured in a fall at a regular, work-approved union meeting has been denied compensation by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. The finding raises questions about the liability of employers when an employee is hurt in the course of an a...

Julia Gillard talks Beyond Blue

Published on Apr 10, 2017

The ABC has published the transcript of a speech Julia Gillard gave at Adelaide University, hot on the heels of the news that she has replaced Jeff Kennett as the chair of Beyond Blue. Gillard announced that Beyond Blue has now set its sights on suicide prevention, and ...

Australia has fewer serious claims, but they cost more

Published on Apr 10, 2017

There was a 33% drop in serious workers compensation claims between 2000-01 and 2013-14, according to the 2014-15 Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics report recently released by Safe Work Australia. However, median compensation paid for a serious claim rose...

Work has to be good to counteract ill-effects of unemployment

Published on Mar 27, 2017

A systematic review of research from the UK, Germany, Australia and the United States shows that the ill-effects of unemployment can be counteracted by work - but that work has to be good. According to Professor Sara Connolly, one of the study authors: “Unemployment is ...

Workplace wellness assessed by health experts and employers

Published on Mar 27, 2017

US employers believe that workplace wellness programs improve employee health, performance and productivity. But according to Ron Z. Goetzel, director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health an...

SA Employment Tribunal: heart attack after firing is work injury

Published on Mar 22, 2017

The South Australian Employment Tribunal has ruled in favour of a former employment trainer who suffered a heart attack seven months after being stood down with pay from his job at the Careers Institute of Training in Hindmarsh. According to the Advertiser, the tra...

Psychologists recognise excellence in workplace wellbeing

Published on Mar 22, 2017

The American Psychological Association has named Prudential Financial as the recipient of its Organizational Excellence Award, designed to recognize organisations for their efforts to foster employee well-being while enhancing organisational performance. According to PR ...

American footballers launch class action around work, pain and prescription painkillers

Published on Mar 22, 2017

Earlier this month, the Washington Post gained access to a sealed court filing of a class action lawsuit representing 1800 ex-players in America's National Football League. According to Louisa Thomas in the New Yorker, the action alleges that "teams violated sta...

Immersion therapy brings freedom to injured worker

Published on Mar 13, 2017

Lynn Morgan's work injury left her with incomplete paraplegia: in workers' compensation terminology, 92% total body disability. Now as a result of total immersion therapy she is free to move again. According to the Adelaide Advertiser, therapy creator Pete...

Mental health concerns for PR professionals

Published on Mar 13, 2017

You could argue that it's a recipe for stress and ill-health. "In communications and public relations there’s no longer a clear distinction between work and play, day and night, " writes academic and PR professional, Stephen Waddington. "M...

Room to improve in NSW workers comp

Published on Mar 13, 2017

A parliamentary review of NSW's workers' compensation system has called for a "one stop shop" to handle disputes about claims. Other recommendations were aimed at stopping aggressive covert surveillance, preventing insurers from "doctor-shopping" a...

Whooping cough to stroke to workers comp

Published on Feb 27, 2017

In late 2013, Paul Wanders alleges he contracted whooping cough while teaching a forklift training course in remote Western Australia. Three months later he suffered a coughing fit followed by a strong headache, later found to be a serious stroke. South Australian Emplo...

WA mining companies audited for mental health

Published on Feb 27, 2017

The West Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum has conducted an audit of mental health management at more than 140 mining companies, measuring four outcomes: Management systems that address mental wellbeing; Resourcing of systems relating to mental w...

Australia Post goes postal...again

Published on Feb 22, 2017

Australia Post is again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, with managers accused of manipulating injury rates and using corporate credit cards to pay for workers' medical treatments in order to secure bonuses for KPIs (key performance indicators) relating to LTI ...

Do office workers design the happiest, most productive workplaces?

Published on Feb 22, 2017

We loved the insights in this article, which challenges the contemporary fashion for carefully top-down designed office spaces, asking "What if the ideal office isn’t the coolest or the most aesthetically visionary? What if the ideal office is the one, dog pictures...

Workplace psychologist explains mental health safety at work

Published on Feb 08, 2017

Jennifer Newman, a Canadian workplace psychologist, believes that organisations fail to protect workers from mental health problems because bosses tend to see mental illnesses like depression and anxiety as purely personal problems. "If we focus mainly on anxiety a...

Too hot to work?

Published on Feb 08, 2017

There were 662 workers compensation claims for workplace fatigue, skin cancer and heat stroke in Queensland in the four years to July 2015. According to union branch secretary Lyndal Ryan, heat in the workplace is managed for some workers but not others. "Ther...

PTSD claimant criticises NSW workers comp

Published on Feb 08, 2017

A woman who claims to have lost everything because of PTSD that developed as a result of a knock to the head at her Hunter Valley workplace says she was further traumatised by her experiences on workers' compensation. “It’s cost me my marriage, it’...

Skate ramps for workplace wellness!

Published on Feb 08, 2017

Some UK SMEs have a creative take on workplace wellness, according to this piece from the Guardian: a meeting room that doubles as a skate ramp, a "calming" office dog, a communal worm farm and more.  ...

Black lung returns to NSW

Published on Feb 08, 2017

NSW mine workers, past and present, have been invited to contact Coal Health Services to arrange a medical examination after a worker was diagnosed with the state's first confirmed case of black lung disease since the 1970s. According to SafetyCulture.com.au, the person a...

Happy anniversary, Workcover Queensland!

Published on Feb 06, 2017

At the end of February 2017, WorkCover Queensland celebrated it's 20th Anniversary. For most of that time, the organisation was led by CEO Tony Hawkins, who retired in 2016.  Among WorkCover Queensland's achievements, Current CEO Bruce Watson listed financi...

How many times does an injured worker return to work?

Published on Jan 30, 2017

According to a recent presentation by Dr. Christopher McLeod at the Institute for Work and Health, RTW is not a one-off event but rather a trajectory that may be short or long, simple or complex.  He presents key demographic, clinical and work characteristics that ...

Managing mental health in the workplace: Fantastic guide from ABC

Published on Jan 30, 2017

Do you feel as though you need to be a counsellor or psychiatrist to manage mental health issues in the workplace? The experts have spoken: just as you don't need to be an orthapedic surgeon to help someone cope with a broken leg, you don't have to be an expert in men...

Job redesign and sick leave go hand in hand

Published on Jan 30, 2017

Two thirds of Canadian workers have experienced organisational change at their current workplace and 40% say that it had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing, according to new research from HR consultancy Morneau Shepell. "We have found that among the ty...

An enlightening take on wellness at work

Published on Jan 30, 2017

Winter seems far, far away at the moment but, as loyal Game of Thrones fans know, it is definitely coming. When it arrives, workers who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or even just the garden-variety afternoon slump could benefit from light therapy. Accord...

Return to Work Survey reports now online

Published on Jan 16, 2017

Two new reports from Safe Work Australia detailing the results of the 2016 Return to Work Survey are now online. The biannual survey compares the return to work experiences and outcomes of injured workers against a number of variables, including returning to work, workplace r...

Short, regular walks improve worker wellbeing

Published on Jan 16, 2017

The Age reports on new research that shows that "standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during the workday could lift your mood, combat lethargy without reducing focus and attention, and even dull hunger pangs". The research measured perfor...

"Work related, I presume?" Canada takes mental health claims in good faith

Published on Jan 16, 2017

Canadian province Saskatchewan has removed the need for workers with psychological injuries to prove that their injury is work-related, going a step further than other Canadian provinces which assume work-relatedness only for PTSD. “We know the stigma attached to ...

More American workers say "Namaste"

Published on Jan 16, 2017

Yoga practice amongst US workers almost doubled between 2002 and 2012, with 11% now saying to "Namaste" according to a new study reported by Time Magazine, and initially published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. Meditation rates also increased, from ...

UK mental health initiative focuses on work, not hospitals

Published on Jan 16, 2017

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a new partnership between government and employers to improve mental health support in the workplace. Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, who is Chief Executive of mental health charity, Mind, will collaborate with the private an...

Viva la disconnect!

Published on Jan 16, 2017

French organisations employing more than 50 workers are now required to negotiate with employees regarding their rights to "switch off" from work. According to the Guardian newspaper, the "right to disconnect " law came about because of a government-c...

Health costs of paying women less

Published on Dec 19, 2016

The gender pay gap may contribute to problems with physical and mental health according to studies from Australia and the US. As reported on The Conversation, a "recent United States study investigated the role of the gender pay gap on depression and anxiety, match...

Is "occupational obesity" a work hazard?

Published on Dec 19, 2016

WorkSafe Victoria has reportedly confirmed what lawyers say is a growing problem in Australia: employers concerned about obesity among workers.  “It is incontrovertible that if people work and they are obese it creates a workplace hazard,” lawyer Andrew...

Parents bully teachers as stress claims surge in NSW schools

Published on Dec 19, 2016

In NSW schools, the cost of workers' compensation claims relating to psychological injuries jumped by 71.5 per cent, from $15.1 million in 2014-15 to $25.9 million in the past financial year. In the same period, the number of claims for psychological injuries increas...

Advice from the Fair Work Commission about requesting IMEs

Published on Dec 19, 2016

Do unexplained work absences give employers reason to direct an employee to see an Independent Medical Examiner (IME)? Well that depends, according to a 2016 ruling from the Fair Work Commission. Yes, if work absences are frequent or prolonged, and linked to any illness that ...

Prince William wants us to talk about workplace stress

Published on Dec 12, 2016

Prince William has urged employers to create an environment in which talking about "feeling a bit 'down'" is no harder than admitting to having a cold, during an address to business leaders on behalf of the charity Heads Together.  "Work, as ...

What is happening with mental health claims at Comcare?

Published on Dec 05, 2016

You may hit a paywall when you attempt to follow the link attached to this story, but we couldn't ignore the Australian's coverage of the crackdown on mental health claims at Comcare, which sources say has been initiated at the behest of the federal government. ...

Employers guide to the silly season

Published on Dec 05, 2016

Taking advice from lawyers before organising the work Christmas party? Bah humbug indeed! This alert from Lexology provides employers with hints and tips for an accident-free, claim-free festive season. Our favourite: designate a couple of senior staff members to stay sober, ...

Look out for these workplace mental health mistakes

Published on Dec 05, 2016

The Mental Health Commission of Canada wants employers to make the most of their investment in workplace mental health by avoiding common mistakes including: failing to offer ongoing and integrated initiatives; introducing initiatives without basing th...

Prosecuting sex offenders leads to workers comp claim

Published on Dec 05, 2016

A former prosecutor who worked for the Specialist Sexual Offences Unit of the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) between 2009 and 2011 is seeking damages for lost earnings and lost earning capacity. Zagi Kozarov says she suffers from severe chronic post-traum...

Calls for QLD to extend time limit for asbestos-related workers comp claims

Published on Nov 21, 2016

If you're diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease in Queensland you have just 6 months in which to lodge a workers' compensation claim, a restriction that critics say has left many victims without recourse to compensation.  “There needs to be bette...

Aussie truckers make 5000 serious injury claims per year

Published on Nov 21, 2016

There were 27,759 claims for serious injury from Australian truckers in the years 2010-11 to 2014-15, according to data from Safe Work Australia, averaging more than 5,000 claims per year. Manual handling injuries, falls and vehicular accidents accounted for 33.9%, 27.2% and ...

WA takes injury reporting online

Published on Nov 21, 2016

Workers and businesses in Western Australia can now report work-related injury and illness online, thanks to a new web-based hazard and incident reporting system introduced by WorkSafe WA. “Employers and employees are now able to report hazards, incidents, and inj...

"Reasonable management action" yoyo for former ABC producer

Published on Nov 18, 2016

A workers' compensation case that has bounced from the Adminstrative Appeals Tribunal, to the Federal Court, the High Court and back again is yet to establish whether a decision taken by the ABC constitutes reasonable management action undertaken in a reasonable manner. A...

New support for work rehabilitation and cancer

Published on Nov 14, 2016

Unlike some other OECD countries, Australia does not currently include work rehabilitation as part of the standard management of cancer patients - but it should, according to an oncologist and senior staff specialist at the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, Professor ...

One claim a week underestimates stress for SA Police

Published on Nov 07, 2016

More than 200 stress claims were lodged with South Australia Police over the last four years, but the President of the Police Association of South Australia believes the real figures could be much higher.  “Our member feedback shows reluctance to admit to a p...

Review into NSW workers' compensation underway

Published on Nov 07, 2016

A parliamentary review of NSW workers' compensation commenced last week, as did a series of union rallies aimed at protesting a system in which they say workers are hounded by insurers until they drop their claims. We'll keep you updated as the specifics emerge. ...

Facebook off-limits for claims investigations

Published on Nov 07, 2016

A Sydney personal injuries lawyer, John Cox, has accused insurer Employers Mutual Limited of breaking the law and engaging in significant breaches of privacy when investigating workers' compensation claims. The insurer - one of five agents operating in the NSW worke...

Architecture and big data: the future of workplace wellbeing?

Published on Nov 02, 2016

Architects can help organisations make the most of the link between staff wellbeing and productivity, according to a panel of designers at the recent  Architecture & Design’s Commercial Connect event held in Sydney. How? By using big data to analyse staff movem...

Staff mental health should be a KPI for CEOs: Jeff Kennett

Published on Oct 24, 2016

Former Premier of Victoria and Chairman of Beyond Blue, Jeff Kennett, is lobbying the Business Council of Australia to endorse a plan that would make the mental health of employees one of the annual key performance indicators of ­private-sector executives and government d...

Surveillance of active fishing trip causes RSI claimant to lose benefits

Published on Oct 24, 2016

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has thrown out a Comcare workers' claim for compensation after surveillance footage showed the worker playing a poker machine in a club and going on a fishing trip with friends where he helped lift a kayak from a trailer, picked up a fu...

WorkSafe bonuses in firing line for injured ex-cop

Published on Oct 24, 2016

A former policeman who was shot in the line of duty is calling for WorkSafe to delay the payment of "termination bonuses" to insurers until workers have exhausted all their avenues for appeal. The ABC reports that last year, WorkSafe paid $53 million in termina...

Stolen workers' comp files sold to injury lawyers

Published on Oct 24, 2016

A contractor for the Ambulance Service of NSW sold paramedics' workers compensation files containing psychiatric reports, details of serious injuries and other sensitive informationto a group of injury lawyers. The privacy breaches occurred in 2013 and 2014 and were repor...

Headset tinnitus deserves compensation, says SA Employment Tribunal

Published on Oct 17, 2016

Daniel Eales, an IT consultant who suffered from tinnitus after using a telephone headset on his right ear while working for Hewlett Packard, has been awarded workers' compensation by the SA Employment Tribunal after his employer's insurer rejected the initial claim. ...

First above-ground miner diagnosed with black lung

Published on Oct 17, 2016

A Queensland miner who has never worked underground has been diagnosed with black lung disease, the 16th confirmed case since 2015. The affected man, Paul Head, has worked at BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s Goonyella Riverside open cut mine at Moranbah, west of Macka...

Fake death threats and invisible ink in alleged workers' comp scam

Published on Oct 17, 2016

According to prosecutors in a case currently before District Court, a couple previously employed by SA Health sent themselves 80 threatening letters and parcels over a two year period, including one containing fake blood-soaked children’s clothing, in an attempt to secu...

Participatory ergonomics reduces MSDs by 30% at Canadian utility

Published on Oct 17, 2016

Ten years ago, Kitchener Wilmot Hydro, a utility company in Canada that now employs about 180 people and serves 91,000 homes and businesses, took part in a research project targeting musculoskeletal injuries. The project focused on participatory ergonomics, a method for preve...

Tas anti-bullying campaign to tackle $10mil compensation bill

Published on Oct 10, 2016

Workplace bullying and harrassment has led to 462 workers' compensation claims in Tasmania in the last three years alone, inspiring WorkSafe Tasmania to launch a new anti-bullying campaign, the Mercury reports. On average, each claim has cost  $22,000 and resulted in...

WA cops deserve workers compensation

Published on Oct 10, 2016

Medically retired police in Western Australia are hoping that workers' compensation for police will become an issue in next year's state election campaign. Currently, cops in WA who suffer physical or psychological injury on the job are only entitled to apply for a re...

Give workers a break says Tas Mental Health Council

Published on Oct 03, 2016

Sedentary work practices are a physical and mental strain, according to Connie Digolis, chief executive officer of the Tasmanian Mental Health Council, and employers should allow workers small breaks throughout the day. “People need breathers and time-outs, sittin...

Unpredictable schedules bad for employee health

Published on Oct 03, 2016

Retail workers with more stable working schedules and longer lead-times before shifts have better physical and psychological health, a US study has found. Associate Professor Kristen Harknett used Facebook to recruit nearly 6,000 retail workers aged 18 to 50. After contr...

Globally mobile employees need wellness, too!

Published on Oct 03, 2016

"From apps to employee assistance programmes, forward-thinking employers are using a range of ways to support the wellbeing of their international assignees, expatriates and business travellers," writes Relocate Magazine. Helping globally mobile workers acclimatise ...

Massaged out of Comcare compo: short-term benefits not enough

Published on Oct 03, 2016

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has supported Comcare's decision to stop covering massage treatments more than 12 years (and 648 massages) after a workplace accident left former public servant Jeffery Drummey with an injured back.  Deputy Preside...

Work life balance: Employers pitch in for school holidays

Published on Sep 26, 2016

Taking a broad view of workplace wellness, a number of Victorian workplaces are offering school holiday care in the office, easing the way for parents to remain at work while their children enjoy term break.  Nathan Jones and his family are taking advantage of one ...

ASIC bullying claim headed for Federal Court

Published on Sep 26, 2016

Comcare is headed for the Federal Court  to challenge the Administrative Appeals Tribunal's decision to award workers' compensation to ASIC senior manager John Chambers. The tribunal upheld Mr Chambers' claims that he suffered from anxiety and depression afte...

WorkSafe is doing it for the kids

Published on Sep 26, 2016

WorkSafe Victoria is using social media to raise awareness of the risks young people face at work, after learning that young workers are particularly vulnerable to workplace injuries. WorkSafe found that: 49 young people aged 15-24 were injured every week in 2015/1...

Britain's Healthiest Workplaces now come in all sizes

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Each year VitalityHealth, the University of Cambridge, RAND Europe and Mercer survey UK employers and employees to determine Britain's Healthiest Workplaces. In 2016, the awards have recognised Nomura International Plc as the healthiest large workplace, adidas U...

Pizza Hut to tackle mental health stigma

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Pizza Hut will offer staff training tackling stigma in the workplace, after teaming up with Mental Health UK to survey hospitality industry workers about mental health. The survey revealed that 93% of employees in the sector felt uncomfortable talking to their boss about...

Should mining companies pay levy for victims of black lung?

Published on Sep 18, 2016

The CFMEU has offered support for the Black Lung Victim Group's call for an industry-funded compensation levy but Queensland Resources Council (QRC) does not support the scheme, reports Australian Mining. While the QRC believes that Queensland's current compensation s...

No compensation for networking injury

Published on Sep 18, 2016

The question of whether networking forms an essential part of the job description for a bank executive has been crucial to the rejection of a workers' compensation claim in South Australia, reports the Advertiser. A heavy fall during a schmoozy pre-match dinner at Adelaid...

Abbott government saw Comcare as "soft touch": what reforms will Turnbull flag?

Published on Sep 18, 2016

For Comcare workers wondering what constitutes a legitimate workplace injury, secondary weight gain and jogging are out but moving to Canberra is in, reports The Australian - at least for now. Despite a 25% decrease in the number of claims lodged over the last 5 year period, ...

Pilates compensation for "honest and reasonable" worker

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Return to Work SA has been ordered to pay an undisclosed amount of compensation to a woman who tore the medial meniscus of her left knee while doing pilates at home. The woman, Karen Baillie, was doing the exercises as part of the treatment for a heavy-lifting related back in...

QLD study links suicide to poor physical health

Published on Sep 11, 2016

Musculo-skeletal disorders and other physical health conditions can make people vulnerable to suicide, suggests a new study from Griffith University. According to the research, 48.7% of Queenslanders who took their own lives between 2011 and 2013 suffered from a physical heal...

We're still not managing mental health at work (and suffering the consequences)

Published on Sep 11, 2016

Almost three quarters of Australian workplaces have no formal policy or procedure for managing staff mental health issues, according to a survey of Australian workplaces conducted by the law firm Minter Ellison. The national mental health commissioner, Professor Ian...

ABC presenter runs into workers' compensation pain

Published on Sep 11, 2016

The Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal has upheld Comcare's argument that a 9.30am jog does not constitute an "ordinary recess" from work when rejecting a workers compensation claim from Catalyst presenter Maryanne Demasi, who broke her hip on a 7km coas...

Insurers ensuring bad outcomes in Victoria

Published on Sep 11, 2016

Worksafe-appointed insurers have been accused of seriously mishandling workers' compensation claims in Victoria. Allegations including stalling cases to maximise insurer bonuses and doctor shopping for Independent Medical Examiners (IMEs) who will go against the broad med...

Back injury and bullying in Westpac comp case

Published on Sep 04, 2016

Westpac faces action in the Federal Circuit Court from former metrics and performance insight manager, Angela Corlett, who says she was bullied at work. According to the Australian Financial Review, Ms Corlett "allegedly suffered from a back injury at work but Westp...

$50 billion and counting: Canada estimates cost of NOT treating mental illness

Published on Sep 04, 2016

According to the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Healthcare, unmet mental healthcare needs cost the Canadian economy billions of dollars in lost productivity - and employers have an important role to play in fixing the problem. “A large proportion of working Cana...

QLD: Injured workers guaranteed lifetime support

Published on Sep 04, 2016

Queenslanders who suffer serious injury in the workplace are now guaranteed support across their lifetime regardless of blame. Passed last week, the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation (National Injury Insurance Scheme) Amendment Bill 2016 provides statutory e...

Poor culture causes comp claims in youth detention?

Published on Sep 04, 2016

A leaked review into the Ashley Youth Detention Centre in Tasmania suggests that a poor workplace culture is at least partly to blame for increases in time lost to injury and workers' compensation claims in the troubled facility. The report, prepared by Metis Management C...

Happy music has workers dancing to the same beat

Published on Aug 28, 2016

A new study finds that listening to music in the workplace can promote co-worker cooperation and support - but not any song will do. The hard rockers amongst us may be disappointed to learn that, when it comes to team-work inducing tunes, heavy metal loses out to positive, up...

Anglicare must pay $450,000 for workplace PTSD

Published on Aug 28, 2016

A former Anglicare employee has been awarded more than $450,000 for psychological injuries sustained while caring for a 15-year old resident of an Anglicare facility in 2013. Rachel Greenway was subject to verbal abuse and physical threats from the teenager, and then required...

Self serve workers' comp insurance coming to NSW

Published on Aug 28, 2016

NSW businesses and insurance brokers, keep your eyes peeled for a new self-service portal for workers' compensation launching in early 2017, under the aegis of icare. The self-service portal will be part of a raft of changes, as icare adopts responsibility for all workers...

Medical assessments must relate to core job requirements

Published on Aug 28, 2016

Amie Frydenberg and Lyndon Albiston from Lander and Rogers Lawyers stress the importance of getting medical assessments right in an article outlining the ongoing dispute between the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) on behalf of Mr Michael Haylett (Hayle...

#ItsOKToTalk goes viral for men's mental health

Published on Aug 21, 2016

UK Comedian Ricky Gervaise is just one of thousands to support an Australian campaign to start conversations about suicide and men's mental health. The initiative asks men to post selfies on social media with the tag #ItsOKToTalk. Rugby player Luke Ambler developed the id...

New NSW guidelines for workers' comp claims

Published on Aug 21, 2016

WorkCover NSW has released new guidelines for claiming workers' compensation, combining and replacing the old guildelines for claims, work capacity, work capacity reviews and domestic assistance. For access to a prerecorded webinar explaining the changes, follow the link ...

Black lung: Is a parliamentary review enough?

Published on Aug 21, 2016

The Queensland government will set up a parliamentary review into a resurgance of black lung amongst the state's coal miners. Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls called instead for a royal commission into the issue, pointing to union criticism of the Labor government as eviden...

Canada wins workplace wellness gold with Office Olympics

Published on Aug 21, 2016

The Office Olympics were held in Canada last week, with employees at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans competing in events including chair rowing, cardboard 'boxing' and 'wasketball'. “In order for team morale to be high and to have ...

Soldiers: the hidden risk

Published on Aug 14, 2016

41 Australian military personnel and veterans have commited suicide this year, the same number of Australians who were killed in Afghanistan during the 13 years of war. Grieving families have united to call for adequate support from authorities to help address the issue. The ...

Rebates: to cut down ATV risk

Published on Aug 14, 2016

Rebates to improve the safety of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) are being made available in Victoria and NSW. The scheme will be administered by the Victorian Farmers Federation in Victoria. Grants of up to $1200 can to towards fitting rollover protection or buying an alternativ...

WorkSafe WA: targeting support work

Published on Aug 14, 2016

WorkSafe WA are examining the management of occupational health and safety in community based disability and aged care assistance services. They will focus on managing the risks, inclding people handling, trips and falls, and injuries associated with unpredictable client beha...

Maritime Union: to pay for vilification

Published on Aug 14, 2016

The Martime Union of Australia has been ordered to pay workers vilified as "scabs" at one of their worksites after losing an appeal. Four workers will receive $20,000 each after refusing to participate in the strike, and another worker will receive $40,000 after he ...

Trucking widow: gains compensation

Published on Aug 07, 2016

A Melbourne widow denied compensation over the death of her husband will now receive a compensation payment. Her husband died of a heart attack last June while he was working for trucking company Cleanaway. Without compensation, the widow was forced to sell her home and move ...

Black lung: push for national standards

Published on Aug 07, 2016

The chair of the Senate inquiry into black lung believes that there has been a flawed testing regime, and said that Australia should adopt national standards for the testing of black lung in coal workers. There have been 11 cases of pneumoconiosis (black lung) discovered sinc...

Victorian businesses: record number of fines

Published on Aug 07, 2016

A record number of businesses and individuals are being fined for failing to keep Victorian workplaces safe. 108 business and 21 individuals were fined or ordered to pay restitution in the last year, amounting to a total of $6.2 million. 21 individuals were also found to have...

Border Force officer: seeking weight loss drug

Published on Aug 07, 2016

An overweight Border Force officer has lost in his bid to have Comcare pay for a weight loss drug. The employee gained weight through the cessation of his exercise regime after sustaining an injury his foot while lifting luggage onto a conveyor belt at Brisbane Airport. The A...

Vic OHS: comment sought

Published on Jul 31, 2016

Victorians are being invited to submit their comments regarding proposed changes to Victorian Occupational Health and Safety regulations. The aim of the changes is to modernise and streamline the current regulations. Some changes are associated with high-risk work licences an...

Asbestos: risk to workers

Published on Jul 31, 2016

An Adelaide businessman imported 8000 cement sheets which were laced with asbestos. The company is urgently trying to track down former employees to warn them of the risks and to offer health assessments and counselling. The contamination was not discovered until 2015, but th...

Support worker: compensated for ordeal

Published on Jul 31, 2016

A Queensland-based female support worker has been awarded over $1.5million in compensation after being sexually assaulted by a female client. The court heard that the client had a long history of making their support workers feel unsafe due to sexualised violence, with severa...

Canberra: a cause for compo

Published on Jul 31, 2016

A public servant based in Brisbane and fearful of his job being moved to Canberra suffered mental illness as a result of his fear. It has been ruled that he is eligible to apply for a compensation payment.The onset of the illness occurred at a meeting in July 2013 when he was...

SA Compensation: ruling unfair and unfortunate

Published on Jul 24, 2016

The South Australian Emploment Tribunal has called the outcome of one of its own rulings 'unfair' and 'unfortunate' for an injured worker. The worker injured her back while working for a shipping company and has not been given compensation for almost a year. T...

Recycling Company: employee killed

Published on Jul 24, 2016

A company which recycles boxes has been fined $800,000 following an accident in which a homemade piece of machinery crushed a man to death. They were fined for failing to maintain safe machinery. The judge said that the company had shown no remorse over the incident. The comp...

Asbestos: Perth Children's Hospital

Published on Jul 24, 2016

Workers at Perth Children's Hospital were covered by a white substance after drilling into roof, however the area was not isolated for 24 hours. The material was later found to be asbestos. Opposition health spokesman said, "John Holland has had an infinite number of...

PTSD: for flight attendant

Published on Jul 24, 2016

A flight attendant was arrested and jailed for three days in the United States following accusations by a workmate that he sexually assaulted her. He spent a night in a police cell before being transferred to Orange County jail. The police did not proceed with any charges aga...

Workers Comp: who gets to claim?

Published on Jul 17, 2016

A young concreter was killed four years ago when struck by a 39 metre boom in Canberra. He did not have a will. His mother didn't think he was in a serious relationship, but he had been seeing a woman for eight months. The young woman lodged the claim for the death benefi...

Most dangerous jobs: identified

Published on Jul 17, 2016

The most recent set of data from Safe Work Australia shows that workers in the agriculture, forestry and fishery industries are at highest risk of injury and fatality. There were 686 deaths in these industries between 2003 and 2014, accounting for 23 percent of all workplace ...

Black lung: new strategy

Published on Jul 17, 2016

A new action plan has been developed after eleven Queensland mine workers were diagnosed with black lung disease. The aim is to deliver best-practice in prevention, monitoring and screening. Queensland’s Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr. Anthony Lynham said,...

Quad bike accident: $12m awarded

Published on Jul 17, 2016

A British backpacker was awarded $12 million after becoming a quadriplegic as a result of a quad bike accident on a King Island farm. She had only been working there for a few weeks and was not properly trained. She was also not wearing a helmet. The worker is only likely to ...

Mechanic death: S Kidman & Co in court

Published on Jul 10, 2016

A diesel mechanic was killed in 2012 when a 350 kilogram metal pole fell on his on his second day of work at S. Kidman & Co's Helen Spring Station. The coroner found that he was unfamiliar with the loader, that it was defective and that management were aware of the de...

Moving boxes: freak accident

Published on Jul 10, 2016

A worker at a glass company in Croydon was crushes when a tonne of glass fell and crushed him at the worksite. The worker survived, but two other workers were injured trying to free him. The worker remained conscious during the incident, which trapped him from the waist down....

Firefighter: claim rejected

Published on Jul 10, 2016

A Darwin firefighter suffering from cancer has had his compensation claim refused. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2013 and became the face of the successful campaign to amend firefighter compensation legislation in the state last year. The cancer may be linked to his...

Drug and alcohol testing: why is it important

Published on Jul 10, 2016

Impairment through drug and alcohol use greatly increases the risk of injury in the workplace. Around half of all workplace incident occur as a result of drug abuse according to research. Tackling the issue improves worker health, workplace stability and increases workplace p...

Traffic management: at construction sites

Published on Jul 03, 2016

WorkSafe and VicRoads are working together to develop a traffic management strategy for construction sites. Their aim is to educate the construction industry on the importance of ensuring that the traffic management arrangements meet the road and safety requirements. They pre...

RM Williams: facing fines

Published on Jul 03, 2016

South Australian bootmaker RM Williams is facing a fine of up to $1.5 million due to a factory shortcut which led to a worker suffering from serious burns. The worker's hands were trapped in a boot press in June last year. Her boss had shown her "a shortcut". Th...

John Holland: case fatally flawed?

Published on Jul 03, 2016

Counsel for construction giant John Holland stated in court that the company should not be prosecuted over the crash between a crane and platform as the charges are "fatally flawed". He accused Comcare of botching the method of filing the charges and therefore rende...

Police and paramedics: onus of proof for PTSD

Published on Jul 03, 2016

The unions for police and paramedics are seeking for the onus of proof regerding PTSD to go to the government's insurance company. They believe that people suffering from the condition are too often rejected for compensation. Their aim is for the state government to presu...

Builder: fined over plasterer fall

Published on Jun 27, 2016

A builder in Ocean Grove has been fined after a plasterer fell over two metres from a platform and suffered a spinal injury and a fractured skull. The builder pleaded guilty to breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act through failing to ensure that their workers were ...

ATV: another death at work

Published on Jun 27, 2016

A dairy farmer aged in his 60s has become the most recent fatality in Victoria caused by driving an all terrain vehicle. His ATV overturned in Western Victoria. This is the sixth death caused by the vehicles in Victoria in the past year. All of the drivers have been male. The...

Employers Mutual: rebranding

Published on Jun 27, 2016

Work injury insurers Employers Mutual are rebranding as EML. The compay was recently appointed to the WorkSafe Victoria agent panel and provides workers' compensation insurance in four states. The Australian owned mutual company's new branding will be rolled out over ...

Auctioneer fined: workplace death

Published on Jun 27, 2016

A Sydney car auctioneer has been fined over breaches to the Work Health and Safety Act which resulted in the death of an employee. The 36 year old forklift operator was unloading a truck at Milperra in 2013. A 19 year old labourer was not provided with instructions on how the...

Lindt siege: tactical operations loses members

Published on Jun 19, 2016

Low morale has been blamed on the exodus of a quarter of their staff. Those who have trasferred blamed poor command and a lack of specialist equipment. A TOU officers who was shot during the Lindt siege has filed a workers' compensation claim, claiming that there was a la...

Headspace: why don't youth ask for help?

Published on Jun 19, 2016

Research has revealed that 26 percent of people aged between 12 and 25 years of age would not tell anyone if they had a personal mental health issue. 52 percent of people in this age group who had experienced a mental health issue in the past year said that they would be emba...

Truck drivers: may not be covered

Published on Jun 19, 2016

It has emerged that thousands of truck drivers may not be covered for workers' compensation despite paying for their policies. CGU and WorkSafe Victoria recently denied a claim for compensation over a woman's husband's death. The driver worked for a trucking giant...

Truck Drivers: protesting work safety

Published on Jun 19, 2016

Hundreds of truck drivers and their families held protests and convoys around the country to demand an end to the pressure placed on drivers. This included a rally in Sydney after a convoy of 240 drivers across Sydney Harbour Bridge, tranport workers holding a 'go slow...

John Holland: fined over incident

Published on Jun 12, 2016

Engineering contractors John Holland has been convicted and fined over an incident endangering the lives of two drivers in Adelaide. The company was found guilty of failing in its work health and safety duty during the construction the South Road Superway. Workers were instal...

Quad bikes: NSW government funding

Published on Jun 12, 2016

The NSW government is providing $2 million for quad bike safety improvement rebates. The scheme is being developed in conjunction with SafeWork NSW. In 2015, there were 22 quad bike fatalities in Australia, 15 of which occured on farms. There were also hundred injured. While ...

Truck driver: guilty of fraud

Published on Jun 12, 2016

A man on workers' compensation in NSW has been found guilty of two counts of fraud after he was found to be working full time as a truck driver while continuing to claim benefits. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison which he appealed. On appeal, he was sentenced to a ...

CFA: cancer associated with firefighting

Published on Jun 12, 2016

The The United Firefighters Union's Victorian Secretary Peter Marshall is reported to have written to Queensland MP's last year advising that there wasn't enough evidence to support the automatic inclusion of volunteer firefighters in a compensation scheme. He wro...

Horse riding: code of practice

Published on Jun 05, 2016

A draft safety code has been introduced by the NSW government, aiming to regulate the horse riding industry. It aims to reduce the number of work-related injuries and fatalities involving horses, and will apply to all people working around horses. In NSW in the past five year...

SA: changes to compensation scheme

Published on Jun 05, 2016

2850 workers are expected to lose their compensation benefits after July 1 and have been advised to look to Medicare for further assistance. Medicare provides less generous benefits than workers' compensation. Seven formal complains about the scheme changes have been lodg...

Bullied police officer: awarded compensation

Published on Jun 05, 2016

A police detective was bullied at work and suffered "helplessness, resentment and bullying." He has been awarded compensation by the South Australian Employment Tribunal. The former detective outlined more than a dozen cases of ill-treatment from co-workers and poli...

NSW: injured workers receive little help

Published on Jun 05, 2016

A report from Macquarie University on the impact of the 2012 changes to the workers' compensation scheme has found that injured workers are receiving very little assistance to get back to work. Returning injured workers to the workplace was the aim of the scheme. The repo...

Queensland: lowest premiums

Published on May 29, 2016

Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has announced that Queensland retains its place as having the lowest workers' compensation premiums in the country. She added that this helps the state through benefiting businesses egaged in interstate trade. WorkCover...

App developed: to determine likelihood of claim recovery

Published on May 29, 2016

An app has been developed by Hall & Wilcox which helps to assess whether a claim is likely to be recovered. The platform is able to tap into an insurere's entire portfolio to help identify claims with recovery potential, and helps the insurer to meet the requirements ...

Precast concrete: a warning

Published on May 29, 2016

WorkSafe WA has warned that strict work procedures need to be in place for those involved in the transport and delivery of precast contrete wall panels. The warning comes in the wake of the deaths of two workers crushed by a concrete panel in November. They were unloading the...

Fighter Pilot: taking fight to human rights commission

Published on May 29, 2016

A former trainee fighter pilot suffering from vertigo had his claims for compensation rejected by Comcare, the Federal Court and the High Court and has taken his fight to the International Human Rights Commission. The man believes that the vertigo was the result of adverse re...

Comcare: changes to processes

Published on May 22, 2016

From September 1, all Comcare payments will be paid directly to employees and the service providers via electronic funds transfer. Email will be used for information about claims and payment advice. As a result of the change, funds will be received sooner, and it will speed u...

WorkSafe and TAC: $60m spent on surveillance in 4.5 years

Published on May 22, 2016

WorkSafe and the Transport Accident Commission have spent $60 million on surveillance of people injured at work or on the road. WorkSafe's budget for the activity has jumped 80 percent in three years, and the TAC's budget has doubled in the same time period. WorkSafe ...

Mental Illness: the importance of providing a mentally healthy workplace

Published on May 22, 2016

Mental illness is estimated to cost Australian businesses $10.9 billion each year. One in five Australians siffer from a mental health condition every year, and it's estimated that around 45 percent of people will have a mental health condition in their lifetime. Computer...

Dismissed: didn't participate in 'huddle'

Published on May 22, 2016

A worker on a 457 visa was dismissed by Brisbane company, East Coast Bullbars in January, one day after he claimed that he was too ill to participate in morning and afternoon 'huddles'. These huddles lasted between five and ten minutes and were conducted in the mornin...

ABC cancer cluster: 10 years since studio shut

Published on May 15, 2016

Between 1994 and 2006, twelve women working at the ABC's Toowong studio were diagnosed with breast cancer. In December 2006, the studio was evacuated. The 500 people who worked in the building were given boxes and asked to clear their desks. They would never go back into ...

Depression: claim approved

Published on May 15, 2016

A woman began working in the crisis-planning team at Airservice Australia as a coordinator, tasked with developing and instituting training and emergency plans around Australia. She lacked relevant experience to work effectively in the role and was not provided with training....

Peer program: focus on police with PTSD

Published on May 15, 2016

The Retired Police Peer Support Officer Program is helping former police officers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder as well as other mental health issues. The program relies on retired officers volunteering their time. As they have worked in the same role, they un...

NSW work deaths and injuries: 20 year low

Published on May 15, 2016

The NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority has found a significant reduction in death and injury rates within the state's workplaces. The rate has decreased by 18 percent since 2013/2014, and work related deaths are at their lowest levels since 1987/1988. Deputy Se...

Airport firefighting truck: crash penalty

Published on May 08, 2016

The Federal Court in Darwin has issued a fine of $160,000 against Airservices Australia for breaching work health and safety laws. The fine was due to a fatal crash involving and airport firefighting truck. The truck, with lights and sirens on, went through a red light in Dar...

Sand dune jump: guide sues

Published on May 08, 2016

A former tour guide jumped from a sand dune and was injured. He's suing the Fraser Island resort over his injuries, claiming that he was doing as requested by a tourist and a senior guide. The claimant suffered a spinal injury and claims he later suffered a psychological ...

SafeWork: impersonator uncovered

Published on May 08, 2016

A man who impersonated a SafeWork SA inspector has been fined $15,000 following an investigation. The man visited seven sites in Adelaide, claiming to be a work health and safety inspector. He had never been employed by the organisation. "SafeWork SA Inspectors are ...

NSW: second largest safety fine in state's history

Published on May 08, 2016

A NSW-based construction company has been ordered to pay the second highest workplace health and safety fine in the history of NSW. The fine related to the death of a worker on a construction site in Hurstville. The 55 year old bricklayer fell five metres through a penetratio...

Lilford Farms: fined almost half a million dollars

Published on May 01, 2016

A company which grows snow peas in near Shepparton in Victoria has been fined almost half a million dollars due to major safety violations which contributed to the death of a 15 year old. A labour hire firm had been engaged to find pickers and the firm's owner brought his...

Royal Hobart Hospital: worker health concerns

Published on May 01, 2016

Construction workers at the Royal Hobart Hospital are saying that mould at the site has been impacting their health. It has been discovered in several demountable modules which will house patients during the renovations. Some of the constructIon workers are said to have devel...

Comcare: safety awards open for nominations

Published on May 01, 2016

The Comcare Work Health and Safety Awards are now open for nomations. The awards this year will introduce new categories which reflect Comcare's emphasis on minimising harm as well as helping injured workers back to good health and a return to work. The conference theme f...

Mahjong club: ordered to pay $415,000

Published on May 01, 2016

A Sydney mahjong club had been ordered to pay a worker $415,000 in compensation after breaching state and national workplace laws. They reduced a full time worker to part time after he lodged a workers' compensation claim following an injury to his leg. He had previously ...

Restaurants: areas of concern

Published on Apr 25, 2016

WorkSafe inspectors in 2014 and 2015 found issues of serious concern in Western Australian cafes and restaurants. The sector was identified as having the highest rate of lost time injuries. In five years, WA employees in the sector suffered over one thousand injuries requirin...

Work for the Dole: not covered by WorkCover

Published on Apr 24, 2016

The Australian Unemployed Workers' Union president is seeking the abolishment of the Work for the Dole Scheme. The campaign follows the death of an 18 year old man who fell from a trailer being towed by a tractor in Toowoomba. Unemployed workers have no access to WorkCove...

Franchisees: employees missing out on compensation

Published on Apr 24, 2016

Law firm Maurice Blackburn is calling for the introduction of new laws to make franchisors responsible for the actions of franchisees when worklace laws are breached. Some franchisees employ people as independent contractors to avoid correct payment of wages and avoid paying ...

Black Lung: 'the tip of the iceberg'

Published on Apr 24, 2016

Union workers and their families gathered outside Queensland's parliament house to demand immediate action from the government to stop black lung disease. The disease is caused by prolonged exposure to coal dust, and is frequently associated with mining. The disease was e...

Burnout: are your workers at risk?

Published on Apr 17, 2016

Employers need to be aware of the legal risks associated with employee burnout. These might include compensation claims, healthy and safety issues, bullying claims and breach of duty of care. Common causes of workplace stress include deadlines, overtime and heavy workloads. T...

Comcare: AFP employee loses harassment case

Published on Apr 17, 2016

A worker at the Australian Federal Police has had her compensation win overturned after a successful appeal by Comcare. The worker alleged that she was sexually harassed, bullied and intimidated by her colleagues in Canberra. The claim focused on a meeting in 2013, but she al...

Compensation approval: black lung

Published on Apr 17, 2016

A Queensland miner suffering from black lung has had his workers' compensation approved. This is the first time compensation has been approved for someone with the condition in Australia. He is one of six people confirmed to have contracted the disease. The worker said th...

WorkSafe: accusations from injured police

Published on Apr 17, 2016

A police officer with 40 years on the force was wounded in a shootout in Beaumaris when he intercepted a gunman who had murdered a security guard earlier in the evening. The police car was hit by 27 bullets and the officer received 37 bullet fragments in his head. He suffered...

WorkSafe Victoria announces new agency panel

Published on Apr 11, 2016

WorkSafe Victoria's new panel brings together Allianz, CGU, Employers Mutual, Gallagher Bassett and Xchanging. These organisations will manage the claims for WorkSafe. Employer's Mutual replaces QBE on the panel, who were thanked for their contribution. Their claims a...

WA announced recommended premium rates

Published on Apr 11, 2016

WorkCover WA's CEO has announced a decrease of 0.3% in the premium rates for 2016/17. It is now at 1.478% of total wages, down from 1.483% last year. CEO Michelle Reynolds believes that this is due to the sound management of claim liabilities and the close monitoring of s...

Bricklaying company fined almost $750,000

Published on Apr 10, 2016

A bricklaying company and its director have been fined $90,000 after a worker was electrocuted on a worksite. The worker suffered serious injuries when he made contact with overhead powerlines  while installing metal bars into brickwork. He was initially pronounced dead ...

Landmark SA case sees worker reinstated

Published on Apr 10, 2016

Forklift and material handling company Crown has be ordered to reinstate a sacked injured worker. This is a landmark ruling under the new South Australian workplace laws. The worker began working with the company in 2010 as a technician and was sacked in 2015 after repeated i...

Beaconsfield survivors: still recovering

Published on Apr 03, 2016

The survivors of the Beaconsfield Mine disaster are still suffering the mental impacts of the event which occured ten years ago. The men spent two weeks trapped in the confined space awaiting rescue while Australia watched on through the media. Survivor Brant Webb now tells h...

Boatbuilder: lost part of his sight

Published on Apr 03, 2016

A boatbuilder has lodged a claim against his former employer, Telwater, over an injury which resulted in the loss of art of his sight. The worker alleges that the business was negligent in its operating procedures, resulting in eye injuries. A colleague left a battery and oth...

Firefighter: the stress of the job

Published on Apr 03, 2016

A Queensland firefighter left his job in 2008 after a 25 year career. He didn't tell his workmates, but he had been suffering from panic attacks for the past eleven years. These increased to a point where his psychiatrist diagnosed him with post traumatic stress disorder....

WA shire: ordered to pay Education Department

Published on Apr 03, 2016

The Shire of Northam has been ordered to pay the Education Department $220,000 due to an incident involving a self-assemble chair from Ikea. The chair at the Northam Recreation Centre collapsed and injured a visiting teacher, resulting in a serious knee injury. She won compen...

Testing and Tagging: issues revealed

Published on Mar 28, 2016

The testing and tagging of portable electrical items has been found to be lacking in Perth. The problem was uncovered by an inspection program targeting construction sites in the southern suburbs. While other areas in the inspection were found to be effective, 65 improvement ...

Victoria: workplace death troublespots

Published on Mar 28, 2016

Casey and the City of Dandenong have been named among the top ten worst locations for workplace injuries, but the highest rate was the Melbourne CBD. In Casey, the most dangerous workplaces were in healthcare and social assistance, manufacturing and construction. In Dandenong...

AFL vs Jake King: player fights for compensation

Published on Mar 28, 2016

AFL Tigers player Jake King and the AFL appear likely to move to the AFL Grievance tribunal after mediation talks regarding King's claim for compensation failed on the basis that he had a pre-existing injury. King argues that a toe injury suffered on the field in 2015 was...

ACT public servants: objecting to compensation changes

Published on Mar 28, 2016

Trades Unions in the ACT are objecting to changes in the workers' compensation system. These changes are expected to impact over 20,000 public servants in the ACT, including emergency services workers, teachers and numbers. The government is in discussions with the coalit...

Siesta: napping at work

Published on Mar 21, 2016

Taking a short nap at work has been shown to improve productivity, as well as minimise the risk of accidents and injury. The study was conducted by the Centre for Sleep Research at the University of Pennsylvania and they found that a siesta particularly helped workers involve...

Worksafe: releases highest injury claims figures

Published on Mar 21, 2016

Worksafe has released statistics showing that the highest number of injury claims are from healthcare and social assistance workers. Worksafe are planning to address this through their Health Practice team. The team is developing targeted projects with key stakeholders and ma...

Western Power: dumbest powerline accidents

Published on Mar 21, 2016

Accidents involving powerlines have doubled in a year in WA, so Western Power have released a series of photographs depecting the crazy logic of some people when working around power. Earthing a powerline to a tree is just one example. In all of the images, people were fortun...

Farm Safety: Safe Work recommendations

Published on Mar 21, 2016

During the eight years from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2011, 356 people died while working on farms. This was 17% of all workplace fatalities. Safe Work Australia is strongly encouraging farmers to consult with workers, identify hazards, assess risks, control risks and keep a rec...

Banking industry insurance: ANZ and NAB react

Published on Mar 14, 2016

The reports into CommInsure have prompted other large banks to review declined claims and out of date policy definitions. ASIC is looking closely at the industry, investigating claims handling, the product design of policies and consumer remediation. ASIC may impose penalties...

GPs: struggling to handle work-related mental health issues

Published on Mar 14, 2016

Concerns have been raised that GPs may be counselling patients against pursing workers' compensation claims, concerned it may be detrimental to the workers' mental health. Some GPs also find the compensation system so onerous that they are relucant to follow through w...

Female workers: fewer serious injuries

Published on Mar 14, 2016

Safe Work Australia has released statistics showing that the number of females being seriously injured in the workplace continues to decline. They have fallen by 21% in the past 12 years. There has also been a 30% drop in fatal injuries for female workers over the same time p...

Injured police officer: offered ex gratia payment

Published on Mar 14, 2016

A police officer who contracted Murray Valley Encephalitis when working in the Kimberley in 2011 has been offered $5.5 million dollars in an ex gratia payment from the WA government. The WA Attorney General described the payment as fair and reasonable. While it is the largest...

CommInsure: Opposition seeks Royal Commission

Published on Mar 07, 2016

A Four Corners / Fairfax investigation into the Commonwealth Bank's insurance arm, CommInsure, explored the stories of sick and dying people whose claims had been rejected by the insurer. These included a man diagnosed with leukaemia who was given only 12 months to live. ...

Vic paramedics: almost 1200 no-go areas

Published on Mar 06, 2016

The number of no-go zones for Victorian paramedics has tripled in some suburbs, reaching almost 1200 across the state. Paramedics will only enter these locations with a police escort. The increase in no-go areas is largely the result of ice usage, alcohol abuse or domestic vi...

Flying Doctors: calls for injury prevention plan

Published on Mar 06, 2016

The Royal Flying Doctor Service has called for a national injury and prevention plan, aimed at saving lives as well as billions of dollars. They hope to target people in rural and remote Australia, where people face double the risk of accident or death. The main causes of dea...

Vic work injury rates: record low

Published on Mar 06, 2016

Half-yearly result from WorkSafe Victoria show a record low number of workplace injuries, despite continued growth in employment. There is still a growth inthe number of common law lodgements however, and there have been increases in the number of applications in relation to ...

ACT: emergency workers' concerns over compensation changes

Published on Mar 06, 2016

Eight unions have raised concerns about changes to the ACT workers compensation system, however the government states that the changes are far from being finalised. The ACT is looking at removing its public service workers from the Comcare scheme, believing it can get better ...

Slater and Gordon: facing financial challenges

Published on Feb 29, 2016

Personal injury law firm Slater and Gordon has been given a month to restructure their organisation or it will be shut down by its banking syndicate. The syndicate includes Westpac and NAB. If the lenders are unhappy with the restructure, they can demand repayment of debts wi...

Call centre: $13,000 compensation for lack of adjustments

Published on Feb 29, 2016

A call centre worker suffered neck and shoulder injuries due to alleged telephone overuse and lodged a compensation claim. This claim was accepted. After working on modified duties for a time, her employment was terminated, as the employer decided that the applicant could not...

Quad bike injuries: seeking $40m compensation

Published on Feb 29, 2016

A British backpacker was left a quadriplegic following an injury sustained when a quad bike rolled over on a King Island farm. She is seeking $40million in compensation for her injuries. She now requires 24 hour a day care, and will continue to do so. Her claim states that th...

Police officer: suing for negligence

Published on Feb 29, 2016

When four year old Darcey Freeman was thrown from the West Gate Bridge by her father, the incident was attended by a police officer who now reports suffering from PTSD due to the experience. She is suing Victoria Police and VicRoads over the incident. She claims that the Vict...

Adelaide Hospital: gradual restart on work

Published on Feb 22, 2016

The construction of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital was shut down following the death of a supervisor at the site. He was crushed between the handrail and a doorway on Saturday. The same site was involved in the death of another worker in 2014, also involving a scissor lift. ...

WorkSafe: graphic ads return

Published on Feb 22, 2016

Graphic ads showing maimed and bloodied workers are returning in Victoria this week, with WorkSafe aiming to reinforce the consequences of negligence as well as the threat of criminal prosecution. In 2015, 26,074 Victorians received compensation for work-related injuries and ...

Negligence or Indifference: push for higher penalties

Published on Feb 22, 2016

The SA Greens are proposing penalties of up to $1million or 20 years in jail for employers who cause the death of a worker through negligence or indifference. It would create a new criminal offence of 'industrial manslaughter'. The proposal has union support. The bill...

Workers Comp: may be available to MPs

Published on Feb 22, 2016

The Turnbull government is looking to establish a parliamentary injury compensation system to cover MPs injured in the course of their duties. The bill was introduced to parliament last week, and will cover medical treatment, rehabilitation, inability to work, death and funer...

Emergency Services: mental health crisis

Published on Feb 15, 2016

Between 2000 and 2012, five Metropolitan Fire Brigade members committed suicide. In the past 14 months, four members of the MFB have committed suicide. This amounts to an annualised 800% increase, not including the CFA which does not record suicides. The annualised increase i...

Black Lung: back in Australia for first time since the 1970s

Published on Feb 15, 2016

A Senate inquiry into 'black lung' disease has been announced this week, in response to five confirmed cases in Queensland in recent months. The five miners have filed compensations claims against the owners of the mines in which the disease was contracted. A class ac...

Glyphosate: WHO warns that it "probably causes cancer"

Published on Feb 15, 2016

The World Health Organisation last year upgraded glyphosate from 'possibly' to 'probably causes cancer.'  Glyphosate is a weed killer, currently is use by many Australian councils, including in sensitive areas such as playgrounds. It was originally market...

Police Vic: a call for a 'Minister of ex-police officer affairs'

Published on Feb 15, 2016

Victorian Police Commissioner Graham Ashton has suggested that the role of government minister for 'ex-police officer affairs' be implemented by the state government. He believes that this will help to combat the mental health crisis in the force at the moment. Ashton...

Geelong Council: facing bullying allegations

Published on Feb 08, 2016

Eleven of the thirteen Geelong councillors are to be questioned over the workplace culture at the council, following multiple bullying allegations. The former mayor, as well as business and community leaders, are expected to detail instances of bullying and poor behaviour fro...

Wall collapse: signage company fined $250,000

Published on Feb 08, 2016

A signage company has been fined $250,000 for their part in the fatal wall collapse on Swanston Street, Melbourne, in 2013. Three people died in the incident. The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that people other than employees were not exposed to risks of their h...

Compensation access: for workers over 65

Published on Feb 08, 2016

Safe Work Australia's Director of Health and Safety and Compensation Policy Julie Hill has sought to dispel the myth that workers aged over 65 have no access to workers compensation. She stated that "Medical and rehabilitation costs and lump sum payments for permanen...

Psychological injuries: more cases likely?

Published on Feb 08, 2016

A police administrator won compensation this week over a minor workplace disagreement, and an employment lawyer has warned that this could open the way for more cases around psychological injury. The worker claimed harm relating to a flow chart presented in a meeting at the C...

Camp assault: covered under compensation

Published on Feb 01, 2016

The Industrial Court of Queensland has dismissed an appeal by MAC Moranbah Village operator Civeo and found that a worker attacked in his bed can claim workers compensation. The worker sustained soft tissue injuries as a result of the 2010 attack, and sought compensation as t...

Carlton wall collapse: who was most at fault?

Published on Feb 01, 2016

The signage company charged over a fatal wall collapse in Carlton is claiming that it should be held less culpable that Grocon, the site's owner, over the failure to forsee the structural dangers. They did however plead guilty to failing to ensure people were not exposed ...

Essendon football club: fined $200,000

Published on Feb 01, 2016

The Essendon Football Club has been fined $200,000 for failing to keep a safe workplace over its supplements scandal. The club pleaded guilty to two criminal charges for breaching the OHS Act: risking the health of its players and failing to provide safe working conditions. T...

Fiskville: inquiry continues

Published on Feb 01, 2016

The parliamentary inquiry into the exposure of firefighters to toxic chemical at Fiskville has heard the former officer in charge admit that a chemical spill had been "brushed under the carpet." The incident occurred  around Christmas 2001. A tractor which expo...

Peter Jackson: resigns over WHS changes

Published on Jan 26, 2016

Film director Peter Jackson has reportedly resigned from his role as a director of New Zealand's Weta Workshop due to changes in the NZ Health and Work Safety Act 2015. Under the legislation whch comes into force on April 4, company directors become personally liable for ...

Qantas: boosting safety procedures

Published on Jan 26, 2016

Qantas is planning to spend $680,000 on workplace safety procedures. The spend was triggered by a workplace accident in which a cleaner slipped and hurt his back at Canberra Airport. He fell backwards out of a service door as he was cleaning an aircraft parked in the hanger. ...

SA Police: reconsideration of workers comp?

Published on Jan 26, 2016

The new South Australian Police Minister is "prepared to reconsider" the police union's push to increase the amount of compensation available to police officers who have been injured in the line of duty. The union claims that seriously injured officers are at ri...

Ice in hospitals: call to increase security

Published on Jan 26, 2016

The safety of staff, medics and patients in hospitals is being badly impacted by people high on the drug ice, and there have been calls to increase security as a result. At Tweed Hospital alone, there have been hundreds of assults in the past year according to the state nurse...

Smart phones: do workplaces need a policy?

Published on Jan 18, 2016

89% of Australians now own a smart phone, with many workers using their device to send emails, make personal calls, send text messages and check their social media accounts. This can be a major distraction in the workplace. Some Australian businesses have made the move to ban...

Medical records: the importance of protecting data

Published on Jan 18, 2016

90% of all industries suffer from data breaches which result in stolen medical records according to a report from Verizon Enterprise Solutions. They found that over 392 million medical records were disclosed in 1931 data breaches across 20 years, worldwide. The breaches were ...

Crown Casino: comp case appears likely

Published on Jan 18, 2016

A security guard at Crown Casino in Melbourne was involved in a scuffle with James Packer after he failed to recognise the owner. The guard reportedly collapsed on the way home after the event, and told News Corp that he was taken to hospital suffering from back pain and shoc...

Workers Comp Fraud: in SA

Published on Jan 18, 2016

A 45 year old man was prosecuted for work injury fraud in the Magistrates Court. He was the eighth person charged in South Australia this year, and provides a timely reminder that fraudulent cases will be found out. He was convicted and sentenced to nine months imprisonment, ...

Safe Work: amendments regarding inorganic lead

Published on Dec 21, 2015

Safe Work Australia are seeking feedback regarding proposed changes to the health and safety requirements around inorganic lead. The chances are in response to scientific reports stating that current exposure standards are not sufficient for proecting the health of workers. T...

NSW Ambulance: facing possible class action

Published on Dec 21, 2015

The NSW Ambulance Service may be facing a class action from current and former paramedics and call centre workers. They are currently in discussions with three law firms, alleging bullying, harassment and intimidation by some in the management side of the organisation. Concer...

Essendon: failure in duty of care

Published on Dec 21, 2015

WorkSafe's representative Barrister Ross Ray QC has told the Melbourne Magistrate's Court that the club's conduct was a substantial departure from its duty of care. He added that when players complained about the program, they were told to keep quiet in order to m...

Sexual harassment: worker awarded over $1 million in compensation

Published on Dec 21, 2015

A woman who suffered from years of sexual harassment in the workplace has been awarded $1.36 million from her employer, Winslow Constructions. When she complained about her treatment to the person who she believed responsible for human resources, he invited her out for a drin...

Vic Police: harassment widespread

Published on Dec 14, 2015

A Victorian Equal Opportunities Commission report has found that female police officers were more likely to experience sexual harassment than the general populace, however the force recognises that there is a need for change. Recommendations include a strengthening of complai...

Employee engagement: levels falling

Published on Dec 14, 2015

A report from management organisation CEB has found that engagement levels are currently as their lowest since January for Australian employess. CEB stated that, "Employees feeling the pressure to perform have become less engaged at work. With work/life balance vital for...

Christmas Parties: a reminder about safety

Published on Dec 14, 2015

Remember that health and safety obligations apply even during end of year celebrations as they are work functions. WorkCover Queensland pointed out that, “Particularly if the event is organised and paid for by the employer, the duty of care to workers remains the s...

TIO: approves firefighter cancer claim

Published on Dec 14, 2015

A firefighter battling bladder cancer has twice had his workers' compensation claim refused, but within a day of the second refusal of his claim, the decision was made to approve the claim. This followed community and media outrage over the initial decisions from TIO. Med...

FIFO: compensation for worker assaulted at drinks

Published on Dec 07, 2015

Compensation has been awarded to FIFO worker who was assaulted during after-hours drinks.The court found that the worker was in a remote WA "company town". The assault took place outside the 'tavern' and the worker's shoulder was injured. He applied for ...

WorkSafe Vic: seeking to access telco data

Published on Dec 07, 2015

WorkSafe Victoria hopes to be listed as an authorised agency in Australia's data retention system after seeking telco data on 41 occasions during 2014-2015. This was up from 25 in the previous year. A spokesperson of the agency said, "On rare occasions, WorkSafe may ...

Extreme heat: a reminder to provide protection

Published on Dec 07, 2015

Summer is on the way, so employers are being urged to protect all workers from the heat. As well as people working outdoors, people working indoors or in confined spaces are also at risk from indirect heat or fatigue during heatwaves. WorkSafe Victoria recommends that workers...

NSW: Boost to workers compensation

Published on Dec 07, 2015

Workers' compensation benefits will be boosted following an announcements from the NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation. The benefits include weekly payments while a work capacity decision is under review, increased entitlement periods for medical expenses, p...

Hotdesking: good or bad?

Published on Nov 30, 2015

Although hotdesking is being used by many employers, it can shift attention away from ergonomic design and result in more strain injuries. Hotdesking results in employees having less focus on whether their chairs and desk are at the correct height. Profession Leon Straker, se...

Essendon FC: pleads guilty to charges

Published on Nov 30, 2015

Essendon Football Club has pleaded guilty to breaches of the OH&S Act over its handling of their supplements program. In the charges brought by WorkSafe, the club was accused of failing to provide a working environment and system of work which was safe and without risks t...

College of Surgeons: seeking to overhaul reputation

Published on Nov 30, 2015

The Royal Australian College of Surgeons is seeking to change the perception that it's an "Anglo-Saxon boys club" through promoting more women and addressing bullying by surgeons in the workplace. A report earlier this year found that bullying, discrimination an...

Karate chopped out of compensation

Published on Nov 30, 2015

A worker in Queensland was seeking almost a million dollars in compensation has had the amount reduced to $191,061 after viewo surfaced of him sparring in a karate class. The worker was injured in 2012 after burning his heel and ankle in a caustic solution and reported the pa...

Defence Force: creative recovery program

Published on Nov 23, 2015

The Australian Defence Force have introduced a creative arts program to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce. Brigadier Wayne Goodman noted that many studies have demonstrated the relationship between the arts and enhanced health outcomes for individuals...

PTSD: could a protein injection help?

Published on Nov 23, 2015

The University of NSW is planning to start clinical trials within a year following a breakthrough discovery linking a lack of a particular protein to PTSD. If proven successful, it would take at least five years to become an accepted treatment. As part of the experiment, rats...

Chronic Pain: the economic and social cost

Published on Nov 23, 2015

The cost of chronic pain to the Australian economy was more than $55 billion in 2012, with back pain and osteoarthritis the most common conditions. These two condition represent more than 100 million years of productive life lost due to disability in 2010. The statistics coul...

Lawyers: lowest health and wellbeing

Published on Nov 23, 2015

According to a study conducted by PsychSafe, lawyers working in law firms have the lowest health and wellbeing of all white collar workers. They are also the highest users and abusers of alcohol and nicotine. While many employers are using resilience and mindfulness strategie...

SA Attorney-General: responds to compensation claims

Published on Nov 15, 2015

South Australia's Attorney-General John Rau has defended changes to the SA Return to Work scheme, saying that their focus is on improving health outcomes. Using the example of injured Senior Constable Brett Gibbons, Rau said that he would be entitled to the same amount of...

Stress: are our jobs killing us?

Published on Nov 14, 2015

Insecure workplaces can be a major cause of both psychological and physical ill health according to a recent study. The research shows that people facing economic insecurity are more likely to smoke, drink and exercise less. It is estimated that deaths associated with poor co...

SA Police: work bans over compensation changes

Published on Nov 14, 2015

The police union will demand funding for more tasers and body armour if the SA government refuses to support their moves to protect officers from changes to the compensation system. The union is also seeking an increase in security at stations, increased CCTV coverage, and fo...

Vic Ombudsman: looking at workers comp

Published on Nov 14, 2015

The Victorian Ombudsman is set to focus on WorkSafe's oversight of claims agents and their practices. They are focusing on the major insurers. Ombudsman Deborah Glass said that the investigation was the result of 370 complaints against WorkSafe agents. They included failu...

Comcare: to work with private companies

Published on Nov 09, 2015

Comcare is set to conduct two trials with private companies in order to see how it can work better and reduce premiums. A spokesperson was quick to point out that "we have had no indication from government of any move towards privatisation or outsourcing." Their aim...

Second-hand stress: how to cope

Published on Nov 09, 2015

If your boss is in a state of constant stress, they may be causing you harm as you can 'catch' their negative energy. This phenomena is becoming increasingly prevalent in the workplace. We tend to mirror the mental state of those around us, and researchers has found t...

SA unions: fighting workers' comp changes

Published on Nov 09, 2015

SA Unions have argued that the Police Union's proposed changes to the Return to Work Act in South Australia should apply to all workers, not just those in the police force. Under the scheme which will come into force on July 1, payments to injured workers will cease after...

Logistics: injury rate remains static

Published on Nov 09, 2015

The high level of risk around driving and operating machinery continues with little change. The rate of illness or injury in this group remained at 88 per 1000 employees according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This was followed by manufacturing at 82 per 1000, and t...

Bullying culture?: paramedics in WA

Published on Nov 05, 2015

Following a spate of suicides in the WA St John Ambulance service, three separate reviews have been conducted. While the focus has been on PTSD, relatives are saying that bullying is also a factor. ABC's 7.30 program investigated and found reports of a toxic workplace, bu...

Sunscreen: half of all workers missing out on sun protection

Published on Nov 01, 2015

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....

Chronic disease: do one in two people suffer from it?

Published on Nov 01, 2015

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% o...

Public service: increase in psychological injury claims

Published on Nov 01, 2015

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...

NSW: PTSD guide to be launched

Published on Nov 01, 2015

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 s...

La Ionica: criminal conviction

Published on Oct 25, 2015

Chicken processor La Ionica has been fined $64,000 after a worker's arm was maimed in an unsafe machine. The worker suffered injuries which will be lifelong, as well as severe depression. The National Union of Workers estimates that one in three workers in the poultry ind...

Bullying: a focus on the needles

Published on Oct 25, 2015

Bullying is often focused on oafish or physically violent behaviour, but what about the small, repetitive, needling acts which go unnoticed and unreported? They can quickly create a toxic workplace. A US survey has found in their preliminary results that 80% of people who fee...

Queensland: Safe Work and RTW Award winners announced

Published on Oct 25, 2015

The winners of Queensland's Safe Work and RTW Awards were announced by Curtis Pitt, Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations. He reitterated his determination to see an improvement in health and safety in Queensland, having had a personal connection to workplace tr...

Large fine: for short notice termination

Published on Oct 25, 2015

An employee terminated while on workers' compensation payments missed out on $181.66 as the calculations were two days short of the required five weeks notice. The fines for the employer were much larger. ACI Operations was fined $20,400 and the HR manager was fined more ...

Stroke victim: eligible for compensation

Published on Oct 19, 2015

A Federal public servant has won a five year battle for compensation following a stroke suffered while leaving the shower in a hotel room. It was previously found that it was not suffered in the course of his employment, however this decision was overturned by the Administrat...

SA Police: "lacking proper protection"

Published on Oct 19, 2015

Attendees at the annual Police Association Conference were told of amendments being tabled by Family First MP Robert Brokenshire. Under the July 1 changes, payments to injured workers will cease after two years unless deemed catastrophic. The MP is seeking to reverse this. Th...

Forklift safety: the numbers show the need

Published on Oct 19, 2015

The NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation has issued a strong warning about the importance of safety around forklifts. Between July 2012 and July 2014, 1,360 workers were injured in forklift accidents. Five of these accidents were fatal. Safework NSW wants busines...

Older workers: seeking better compensation

Published on Oct 19, 2015

Advocates for older Tasmanian workers are aiming to make compensation easier to access if ageing workers are injured at work. At present, workers over 64 don't qualify for income replacement without appearing before a tribunal, however without appearing they may be able t...

Breast reduction surgery: for Canberra public servant

Published on Oct 12, 2015

A public servant has won a legal battle for the Commonwealth Government for pay for her breast reduction surgery. The claim was initially denied, however the Federal Court overturned the decision. The worker said that long hours hunched over computers had led to neck and shou...

Taxi driver: defrauded Comcare of $60,000

Published on Oct 12, 2015

An injured worker failed to tell Comcare that he was working as a taxi driver while claiming more than $70,000 in compensation payments. He has been found guilty of obtaining financial advantage by deception. The former ambulance officer had injured his back while at work, an...

Vic Police: reviewing suicides after death of officer

Published on Oct 12, 2015

Victoria Police are planning a review of police suicides in Australia following the death of an officer who used her own gun to take her life at work. It's believed that four officers took their lives last year, and the review aims to develop a preventative strategy. Arou...

MLC and AXA: in court battle against injured worker

Published on Oct 12, 2015

A Sydney man is claiming that his employment insurance policy was cancelled after he became permanently incapacitated in a workplace accident. He further claims that the MLC is delaying the lawsuit in the hope that he will give up the fight. The legal fight over the insurance...

Migrant workers: facing greater health risks

Published on Oct 05, 2015

Studies show that financial insecurity has a strong impact on migrant worker health, and that through poor working conditions, chronic health issues may arise. This can back traced back into Australia's past, with the Wittenoom asbestos mine in the 1960's cited as an ...

Australian Story: Garry McDonald

Published on Oct 05, 2015

Garry McDonald, comic actor and former beyondblue board member, discussed his experiences with depression and anxiety on Australian Story last night. Since his well-documented breakdown in the 1990's, he has become a strong advocate for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)...

National Safe Work Month: launched

Published on Oct 04, 2015

October is Safe Work Month, and to mark the occasion, Safe Work Australia are launching a Virtual Seminar Series. The Chair of Safe Work Australia encourages workers to reflect on their reasons for being safe and healthy at work. She said that, "For me, the major cost of...

Mental health: getting a federal shake-up

Published on Oct 04, 2015

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley has announced that the current system around mental health will soon be overhauled. The aim is to "catch people before they fall." A report in April 2015 found that "The effect of our poorly planned mental health system is a m...

Four Corners: unnecessary medical treatments

Published on Sep 28, 2015

A Four Corners report last night looked at the unnecessary testing and treatments choking the Australian healthcare system. We're talked about this issue many times here at RTW Matters, as it can be a major problems in the management of work injuries. MRI scans provide an...

Mental health: can organisations do more?

Published on Sep 27, 2015

The chief executiveof the Mental Health Recovery Institute believes that businesses are still trying to catch up with mental health training. He believes that it's currently about 20 years behind. He cited research stating that "people who have had a mental illness a...

WorkSafe WA: focusing on commercial cleaners

Published on Sep 27, 2015

WorkSafe WA has turned its attention towards commercial cleaners, planning an inspection program for the remainder of the financial year. The focus was prompted by the high level of injuries sustained in the industry, with an average of 140 lost-time injuries each year over t...

Bullied workers: more likely to contemplate suicide

Published on Sep 27, 2015

A Norwegian study has round that people who are being bullied at work are more likely to contemplate suicide than people who have never been bullied. The study found that less than 5% of participants in the study had contemplated suicide, but they were twice as likely to have...

Surgery: the power of music

Published on Sep 21, 2015

Patients who listen to music, even under general anaesthetic while surgery is conducted, tend to have lower levels of anxiety and require lower levels of pain medication, a new study has found. The study covered various types of music, timing and music delivery methods as wel...

ACT fit note: referred to Human Rights Commission

Published on Sep 21, 2015

The sick note system is being replaced with the fit note system in the ACT. The new system which allows doctors to nominate workers for phased RTW, alternative hours, get-well programs or changes in the workplace, is set to be rolled out across 400 general practitioners aroun...

Linfox: liable in petrol station bashing

Published on Sep 21, 2015

The Federal Court has overturned a decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and made Linfox liable in the bashing of a petrol tanker worker. The worker was bashed during a stop in Melbourne but Linfox argued that it was not sustained in a period of work. The tanker dr...

Qld firefighters: compensation law passes

Published on Sep 21, 2015

Volunteer firefighters in Queensland will now be able to access compensation if they contract a work-related cancer. The Government previously sought to restrict access to volunteers who had attended at least 150 fire events. Under the changes, volunteer firefighters will be ...

Sitting: the new smoking?

Published on Sep 14, 2015

70% of Australians are sedentary or insufficiently active, and their health is suffering. 63% of Australians are now considered to be obese, and poor posture and work injuries are common. Aty the Workplace Wellness Conference, delegates discussed the impact of immobility on h...

List of workers comp incentives by Aussie jurisdiction

Published on Jul 17, 2017

     We can't vouch for the comprehensiveness of this list, but the people at PR Wire have compiled a list of all the incentives (i.e. premium reductions) available in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. Scroll down to find the detail...

High risk claimants research focus for WorkCover QLD and Monash

Published on Jul 07, 2017

WorkCover Queensland and Monash University have announced a new research partnership, which will focus on identifying and supporting injured workers who are at risk of poor return to work outcomes and/or pursuing common law against their employers. “There are...

Mental illness big problem for small business

Published on Jul 03, 2017

Small business owners face pressures that may undermine their own mental health, according to Anthony Hasphall, training team manager for St John Ambulance Victoria. And they can find it difficult to cope when employees struggle too: "For small business owners...

Ergonomics on the line

Published on Jul 03, 2017

Follow the link for a fantastic overview of the science and art of ergonomics, which focuses on shaping the environment to suit people (and not the other way around. According to Ted Dohrmann, managing director at Dohrmann Consulting based in Melbourne: "Wherever y...

In defence of the mental health day

Published on Jul 03, 2017

Finding it hard to concentrate at work? Irritable with your colleagues? You might be due a mental health day! Health and wellbeing psychologist Marny Lishman says, "In a perfect world, confessing to taking a mental health day would be great as, if everyone was...

Young workers fear risky business

Published on Jun 05, 2017

According to RUOK, Australian businesses need to create more interpersonal trust. Research recently launched by RUOK and NSW icare found that more than 1/3 (36%) of Australian workers aged 25-34 are concerned they'll be blamed for mistakes at work, compared with arou...

Black dog travels with 22% of truckies

Published on Jun 02, 2017

More than one fifth of truckies experience mental illness and most aren't receiving treatment, according to research cited by the Transport Workers Union. They've partnered with beyondblue to draw attention to the issue. According to Beyondblue’s Head...

A Doctor on the pleasure (and risk) of getting sick

Published on May 22, 2017

Karen Hitchcock is a doctor and writer who has a regular column in the Monthly. Recently she had this to say about the sick day: "Getting sick has its advantages: time off work, the presence of doting loved ones, fiscal compensation, identity solidification, sympathy, at...

Legal advice: working from home and workers compensation

Published on May 22, 2017

If you're lucky enough to work for an organisation that allows its employees flexibility about where and when they do their work, here's some free advice from a lawyer: you need to have clear policies and procedures about working from home, and understand the impact t...

Employer foots bill for non-work related PTSD

Published on May 19, 2017

In 2011 a truck driver on his way home from an induction session was involved in a head-on collision with a motorcyclist, who died at the scene. The driver subsequently developed PTSD, and his employer (Bernie Howe Pty Ltd) covered the workers' compensation payments. Fast...

Considering surgery? Read this first.

Published on May 15, 2017

Surgeons often overestimate the benefits of their work and underestimate the harm of it, according to leading orthopaedic surgeon, Ian Harris. As reported in the Canberra Times, Professor Harris recently told a gathering of surgeons that around half of orthopaedic surgic...

Work satisfaction on the radio

Published on Apr 24, 2017

Best Practice airs on Radio National. In this episode, Rhonda Brighton-Hall asks questions about work satisfaction: "What makes a difference when it comes to how you feel about work and who are the happiest workers in Australia?" ...

Julia Gillard talks Beyond Blue

Published on Apr 10, 2017

The ABC has published the transcript of a speech Julia Gillard gave at Adelaide University, hot on the heels of the news that she has replaced Jeff Kennett as the chair of Beyond Blue. Gillard announced that Beyond Blue has now set its sights on suicide prevention, and ...

Australia has fewer serious claims, but they cost more

Published on Apr 10, 2017

There was a 33% drop in serious workers compensation claims between 2000-01 and 2013-14, according to the 2014-15 Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics report recently released by Safe Work Australia. However, median compensation paid for a serious claim rose...

Immersion therapy brings freedom to injured worker

Published on Mar 13, 2017

Lynn Morgan's work injury left her with incomplete paraplegia: in workers' compensation terminology, 92% total body disability. Now as a result of total immersion therapy she is free to move again. According to the Adelaide Advertiser, therapy creator Pete...

Australia Post goes postal...again

Published on Feb 22, 2017

Australia Post is again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, with managers accused of manipulating injury rates and using corporate credit cards to pay for workers' medical treatments in order to secure bonuses for KPIs (key performance indicators) relating to LTI ...

Managing mental health in the workplace: Fantastic guide from ABC

Published on Jan 30, 2017

Do you feel as though you need to be a counsellor or psychiatrist to manage mental health issues in the workplace? The experts have spoken: just as you don't need to be an orthapedic surgeon to help someone cope with a broken leg, you don't have to be an expert in men...

Return to Work Survey reports now online

Published on Jan 16, 2017

Two new reports from Safe Work Australia detailing the results of the 2016 Return to Work Survey are now online. The biannual survey compares the return to work experiences and outcomes of injured workers against a number of variables, including returning to work, workplace r...

Advice from the Fair Work Commission about requesting IMEs

Published on Dec 19, 2016

Do unexplained work absences give employers reason to direct an employee to see an Independent Medical Examiner (IME)? Well that depends, according to a 2016 ruling from the Fair Work Commission. Yes, if work absences are frequent or prolonged, and linked to any illness that ...

What is happening with mental health claims at Comcare?

Published on Dec 05, 2016

You may hit a paywall when you attempt to follow the link attached to this story, but we couldn't ignore the Australian's coverage of the crackdown on mental health claims at Comcare, which sources say has been initiated at the behest of the federal government. ...

Employers guide to the silly season

Published on Dec 05, 2016

Taking advice from lawyers before organising the work Christmas party? Bah humbug indeed! This alert from Lexology provides employers with hints and tips for an accident-free, claim-free festive season. Our favourite: designate a couple of senior staff members to stay sober, ...

Prosecuting sex offenders leads to workers comp claim

Published on Dec 05, 2016

A former prosecutor who worked for the Specialist Sexual Offences Unit of the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) between 2009 and 2011 is seeking damages for lost earnings and lost earning capacity. Zagi Kozarov says she suffers from severe chronic post-traum...

Aussie truckers make 5000 serious injury claims per year

Published on Nov 21, 2016

There were 27,759 claims for serious injury from Australian truckers in the years 2010-11 to 2014-15, according to data from Safe Work Australia, averaging more than 5,000 claims per year. Manual handling injuries, falls and vehicular accidents accounted for 33.9%, 27.2% and ...

"Reasonable management action" yoyo for former ABC producer

Published on Nov 18, 2016

A workers' compensation case that has bounced from the Adminstrative Appeals Tribunal, to the Federal Court, the High Court and back again is yet to establish whether a decision taken by the ABC constitutes reasonable management action undertaken in a reasonable manner. A...

New support for work rehabilitation and cancer

Published on Nov 14, 2016

Unlike some other OECD countries, Australia does not currently include work rehabilitation as part of the standard management of cancer patients - but it should, according to an oncologist and senior staff specialist at the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, Professor ...

Architecture and big data: the future of workplace wellbeing?

Published on Nov 02, 2016

Architects can help organisations make the most of the link between staff wellbeing and productivity, according to a panel of designers at the recent  Architecture & Design’s Commercial Connect event held in Sydney. How? By using big data to analyse staff movem...

Staff mental health should be a KPI for CEOs: Jeff Kennett

Published on Oct 24, 2016

Former Premier of Victoria and Chairman of Beyond Blue, Jeff Kennett, is lobbying the Business Council of Australia to endorse a plan that would make the mental health of employees one of the annual key performance indicators of ­private-sector executives and government d...

Surveillance of active fishing trip causes RSI claimant to lose benefits

Published on Oct 24, 2016

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has thrown out a Comcare workers' claim for compensation after surveillance footage showed the worker playing a poker machine in a club and going on a fishing trip with friends where he helped lift a kayak from a trailer, picked up a fu...

Massaged out of Comcare compo: short-term benefits not enough

Published on Oct 03, 2016

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has supported Comcare's decision to stop covering massage treatments more than 12 years (and 648 massages) after a workplace accident left former public servant Jeffery Drummey with an injured back.  Deputy Preside...

ASIC bullying claim headed for Federal Court

Published on Sep 26, 2016

Comcare is headed for the Federal Court  to challenge the Administrative Appeals Tribunal's decision to award workers' compensation to ASIC senior manager John Chambers. The tribunal upheld Mr Chambers' claims that he suffered from anxiety and depression afte...

Abbott government saw Comcare as "soft touch": what reforms will Turnbull flag?

Published on Sep 18, 2016

For Comcare workers wondering what constitutes a legitimate workplace injury, secondary weight gain and jogging are out but moving to Canberra is in, reports The Australian - at least for now. Despite a 25% decrease in the number of claims lodged over the last 5 year period, ...

We're still not managing mental health at work (and suffering the consequences)

Published on Sep 11, 2016

Almost three quarters of Australian workplaces have no formal policy or procedure for managing staff mental health issues, according to a survey of Australian workplaces conducted by the law firm Minter Ellison. The national mental health commissioner, Professor Ian...

ABC presenter runs into workers' compensation pain

Published on Sep 11, 2016

The Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal has upheld Comcare's argument that a 9.30am jog does not constitute an "ordinary recess" from work when rejecting a workers compensation claim from Catalyst presenter Maryanne Demasi, who broke her hip on a 7km coas...

Back injury and bullying in Westpac comp case

Published on Sep 04, 2016

Westpac faces action in the Federal Circuit Court from former metrics and performance insight manager, Angela Corlett, who says she was bullied at work. According to the Australian Financial Review, Ms Corlett "allegedly suffered from a back injury at work but Westp...

Anglicare must pay $450,000 for workplace PTSD

Published on Aug 28, 2016

A former Anglicare employee has been awarded more than $450,000 for psychological injuries sustained while caring for a 15-year old resident of an Anglicare facility in 2013. Rachel Greenway was subject to verbal abuse and physical threats from the teenager, and then required...

Medical assessments must relate to core job requirements

Published on Aug 28, 2016

Amie Frydenberg and Lyndon Albiston from Lander and Rogers Lawyers stress the importance of getting medical assessments right in an article outlining the ongoing dispute between the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) on behalf of Mr Michael Haylett (Hayle...

#ItsOKToTalk goes viral for men's mental health

Published on Aug 21, 2016

UK Comedian Ricky Gervaise is just one of thousands to support an Australian campaign to start conversations about suicide and men's mental health. The initiative asks men to post selfies on social media with the tag #ItsOKToTalk. Rugby player Luke Ambler developed the id...

Soldiers: the hidden risk

Published on Aug 14, 2016

41 Australian military personnel and veterans have commited suicide this year, the same number of Australians who were killed in Afghanistan during the 13 years of war. Grieving families have united to call for adequate support from authorities to help address the issue. The ...

Rebates: to cut down ATV risk

Published on Aug 14, 2016

Rebates to improve the safety of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) are being made available in Victoria and NSW. The scheme will be administered by the Victorian Farmers Federation in Victoria. Grants of up to $1200 can to towards fitting rollover protection or buying an alternativ...

Black lung: push for national standards

Published on Aug 07, 2016

The chair of the Senate inquiry into black lung believes that there has been a flawed testing regime, and said that Australia should adopt national standards for the testing of black lung in coal workers. There have been 11 cases of pneumoconiosis (black lung) discovered sinc...

Asbestos: risk to workers

Published on Jul 31, 2016

An Adelaide businessman imported 8000 cement sheets which were laced with asbestos. The company is urgently trying to track down former employees to warn them of the risks and to offer health assessments and counselling. The contamination was not discovered until 2015, but th...

Asbestos: Perth Children's Hospital

Published on Jul 24, 2016

Workers at Perth Children's Hospital were covered by a white substance after drilling into roof, however the area was not isolated for 24 hours. The material was later found to be asbestos. Opposition health spokesman said, "John Holland has had an infinite number of...

PTSD: for flight attendant

Published on Jul 24, 2016

A flight attendant was arrested and jailed for three days in the United States following accusations by a workmate that he sexually assaulted her. He spent a night in a police cell before being transferred to Orange County jail. The police did not proceed with any charges aga...

Most dangerous jobs: identified

Published on Jul 17, 2016

The most recent set of data from Safe Work Australia shows that workers in the agriculture, forestry and fishery industries are at highest risk of injury and fatality. There were 686 deaths in these industries between 2003 and 2014, accounting for 23 percent of all workplace ...

Drug and alcohol testing: why is it important

Published on Jul 10, 2016

Impairment through drug and alcohol use greatly increases the risk of injury in the workplace. Around half of all workplace incident occur as a result of drug abuse according to research. Tackling the issue improves worker health, workplace stability and increases workplace p...

Headspace: why don't youth ask for help?

Published on Jun 19, 2016

Research has revealed that 26 percent of people aged between 12 and 25 years of age would not tell anyone if they had a personal mental health issue. 52 percent of people in this age group who had experienced a mental health issue in the past year said that they would be emba...

Truck drivers: may not be covered

Published on Jun 19, 2016

It has emerged that thousands of truck drivers may not be covered for workers' compensation despite paying for their policies. CGU and WorkSafe Victoria recently denied a claim for compensation over a woman's husband's death. The driver worked for a trucking giant...

Truck Drivers: protesting work safety

Published on Jun 19, 2016

Hundreds of truck drivers and their families held protests and convoys around the country to demand an end to the pressure placed on drivers. This included a rally in Sydney after a convoy of 240 drivers across Sydney Harbour Bridge, tranport workers holding a 'go slow...

CFA: cancer associated with firefighting

Published on Jun 12, 2016

The The United Firefighters Union's Victorian Secretary Peter Marshall is reported to have written to Queensland MP's last year advising that there wasn't enough evidence to support the automatic inclusion of volunteer firefighters in a compensation scheme. He wro...

App developed: to determine likelihood of claim recovery

Published on May 29, 2016

An app has been developed by Hall & Wilcox which helps to assess whether a claim is likely to be recovered. The platform is able to tap into an insurere's entire portfolio to help identify claims with recovery potential, and helps the insurer to meet the requirements ...

Fighter Pilot: taking fight to human rights commission

Published on May 29, 2016

A former trainee fighter pilot suffering from vertigo had his claims for compensation rejected by Comcare, the Federal Court and the High Court and has taken his fight to the International Human Rights Commission. The man believes that the vertigo was the result of adverse re...

Comcare: changes to processes

Published on May 22, 2016

From September 1, all Comcare payments will be paid directly to employees and the service providers via electronic funds transfer. Email will be used for information about claims and payment advice. As a result of the change, funds will be received sooner, and it will speed u...

Mental Illness: the importance of providing a mentally healthy workplace

Published on May 22, 2016

Mental illness is estimated to cost Australian businesses $10.9 billion each year. One in five Australians siffer from a mental health condition every year, and it's estimated that around 45 percent of people will have a mental health condition in their lifetime. Computer...

Comcare: safety awards open for nominations

Published on May 01, 2016

The Comcare Work Health and Safety Awards are now open for nomations. The awards this year will introduce new categories which reflect Comcare's emphasis on minimising harm as well as helping injured workers back to good health and a return to work. The conference theme f...

Work for the Dole: not covered by WorkCover

Published on Apr 24, 2016

The Australian Unemployed Workers' Union president is seeking the abolishment of the Work for the Dole Scheme. The campaign follows the death of an 18 year old man who fell from a trailer being towed by a tractor in Toowoomba. Unemployed workers have no access to WorkCove...

Franchisees: employees missing out on compensation

Published on Apr 24, 2016

Law firm Maurice Blackburn is calling for the introduction of new laws to make franchisors responsible for the actions of franchisees when worklace laws are breached. Some franchisees employ people as independent contractors to avoid correct payment of wages and avoid paying ...

Black Lung: 'the tip of the iceberg'

Published on Apr 24, 2016

Union workers and their families gathered outside Queensland's parliament house to demand immediate action from the government to stop black lung disease. The disease is caused by prolonged exposure to coal dust, and is frequently associated with mining. The disease was e...

Burnout: are your workers at risk?

Published on Apr 17, 2016

Employers need to be aware of the legal risks associated with employee burnout. These might include compensation claims, healthy and safety issues, bullying claims and breach of duty of care. Common causes of workplace stress include deadlines, overtime and heavy workloads. T...

Siesta: napping at work

Published on Mar 21, 2016

Taking a short nap at work has been shown to improve productivity, as well as minimise the risk of accidents and injury. The study was conducted by the Centre for Sleep Research at the University of Pennsylvania and they found that a siesta particularly helped workers involve...

Worksafe: releases highest injury claims figures

Published on Mar 21, 2016

Worksafe has released statistics showing that the highest number of injury claims are from healthcare and social assistance workers. Worksafe are planning to address this through their Health Practice team. The team is developing targeted projects with key stakeholders and ma...

Farm Safety: Safe Work recommendations

Published on Mar 21, 2016

During the eight years from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2011, 356 people died while working on farms. This was 17% of all workplace fatalities. Safe Work Australia is strongly encouraging farmers to consult with workers, identify hazards, assess risks, control risks and keep a rec...

Banking industry insurance: ANZ and NAB react

Published on Mar 14, 2016

The reports into CommInsure have prompted other large banks to review declined claims and out of date policy definitions. ASIC is looking closely at the industry, investigating claims handling, the product design of policies and consumer remediation. ASIC may impose penalties...

GPs: struggling to handle work-related mental health issues

Published on Mar 14, 2016

Concerns have been raised that GPs may be counselling patients against pursing workers' compensation claims, concerned it may be detrimental to the workers' mental health. Some GPs also find the compensation system so onerous that they are relucant to follow through w...

Female workers: fewer serious injuries

Published on Mar 14, 2016

Safe Work Australia has released statistics showing that the number of females being seriously injured in the workplace continues to decline. They have fallen by 21% in the past 12 years. There has also been a 30% drop in fatal injuries for female workers over the same time p...

CommInsure: Opposition seeks Royal Commission

Published on Mar 07, 2016

A Four Corners / Fairfax investigation into the Commonwealth Bank's insurance arm, CommInsure, explored the stories of sick and dying people whose claims had been rejected by the insurer. These included a man diagnosed with leukaemia who was given only 12 months to live. ...

Flying Doctors: calls for injury prevention plan

Published on Mar 06, 2016

The Royal Flying Doctor Service has called for a national injury and prevention plan, aimed at saving lives as well as billions of dollars. They hope to target people in rural and remote Australia, where people face double the risk of accident or death. The main causes of dea...

Slater and Gordon: facing financial challenges

Published on Feb 29, 2016

Personal injury law firm Slater and Gordon has been given a month to restructure their organisation or it will be shut down by its banking syndicate. The syndicate includes Westpac and NAB. If the lenders are unhappy with the restructure, they can demand repayment of debts wi...

Call centre: $13,000 compensation for lack of adjustments

Published on Feb 29, 2016

A call centre worker suffered neck and shoulder injuries due to alleged telephone overuse and lodged a compensation claim. This claim was accepted. After working on modified duties for a time, her employment was terminated, as the employer decided that the applicant could not...

Negligence or Indifference: push for higher penalties

Published on Feb 22, 2016

The SA Greens are proposing penalties of up to $1million or 20 years in jail for employers who cause the death of a worker through negligence or indifference. It would create a new criminal offence of 'industrial manslaughter'. The proposal has union support. The bill...

Workers Comp: may be available to MPs

Published on Feb 22, 2016

The Turnbull government is looking to establish a parliamentary injury compensation system to cover MPs injured in the course of their duties. The bill was introduced to parliament last week, and will cover medical treatment, rehabilitation, inability to work, death and funer...

Black Lung: back in Australia for first time since the 1970s

Published on Feb 15, 2016

A Senate inquiry into 'black lung' disease has been announced this week, in response to five confirmed cases in Queensland in recent months. The five miners have filed compensations claims against the owners of the mines in which the disease was contracted. A class ac...

Glyphosate: WHO warns that it "probably causes cancer"

Published on Feb 15, 2016

The World Health Organisation last year upgraded glyphosate from 'possibly' to 'probably causes cancer.'  Glyphosate is a weed killer, currently is use by many Australian councils, including in sensitive areas such as playgrounds. It was originally market...

Wall collapse: signage company fined $250,000

Published on Feb 08, 2016

A signage company has been fined $250,000 for their part in the fatal wall collapse on Swanston Street, Melbourne, in 2013. Three people died in the incident. The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that people other than employees were not exposed to risks of their h...

Compensation access: for workers over 65

Published on Feb 08, 2016

Safe Work Australia's Director of Health and Safety and Compensation Policy Julie Hill has sought to dispel the myth that workers aged over 65 have no access to workers compensation. She stated that "Medical and rehabilitation costs and lump sum payments for permanen...

Psychological injuries: more cases likely?

Published on Feb 08, 2016

A police administrator won compensation this week over a minor workplace disagreement, and an employment lawyer has warned that this could open the way for more cases around psychological injury. The worker claimed harm relating to a flow chart presented in a meeting at the C...

Camp assault: covered under compensation

Published on Feb 01, 2016

The Industrial Court of Queensland has dismissed an appeal by MAC Moranbah Village operator Civeo and found that a worker attacked in his bed can claim workers compensation. The worker sustained soft tissue injuries as a result of the 2010 attack, and sought compensation as t...

Fiskville: inquiry continues

Published on Feb 01, 2016

The parliamentary inquiry into the exposure of firefighters to toxic chemical at Fiskville has heard the former officer in charge admit that a chemical spill had been "brushed under the carpet." The incident occurred  around Christmas 2001. A tractor which expo...

Qantas: boosting safety procedures

Published on Jan 26, 2016

Qantas is planning to spend $680,000 on workplace safety procedures. The spend was triggered by a workplace accident in which a cleaner slipped and hurt his back at Canberra Airport. He fell backwards out of a service door as he was cleaning an aircraft parked in the hanger. ...

SA Police: reconsideration of workers comp?

Published on Jan 26, 2016

The new South Australian Police Minister is "prepared to reconsider" the police union's push to increase the amount of compensation available to police officers who have been injured in the line of duty. The union claims that seriously injured officers are at ri...

Ice in hospitals: call to increase security

Published on Jan 26, 2016

The safety of staff, medics and patients in hospitals is being badly impacted by people high on the drug ice, and there have been calls to increase security as a result. At Tweed Hospital alone, there have been hundreds of assults in the past year according to the state nurse...

Smart phones: do workplaces need a policy?

Published on Jan 18, 2016

89% of Australians now own a smart phone, with many workers using their device to send emails, make personal calls, send text messages and check their social media accounts. This can be a major distraction in the workplace. Some Australian businesses have made the move to ban...

Medical records: the importance of protecting data

Published on Jan 18, 2016

90% of all industries suffer from data breaches which result in stolen medical records according to a report from Verizon Enterprise Solutions. They found that over 392 million medical records were disclosed in 1931 data breaches across 20 years, worldwide. The breaches were ...

Crown Casino: comp case appears likely

Published on Jan 18, 2016

A security guard at Crown Casino in Melbourne was involved in a scuffle with James Packer after he failed to recognise the owner. The guard reportedly collapsed on the way home after the event, and told News Corp that he was taken to hospital suffering from back pain and shoc...

Safe Work: amendments regarding inorganic lead

Published on Dec 21, 2015

Safe Work Australia are seeking feedback regarding proposed changes to the health and safety requirements around inorganic lead. The chances are in response to scientific reports stating that current exposure standards are not sufficient for proecting the health of workers. T...

NSW Ambulance: facing possible class action

Published on Dec 21, 2015

The NSW Ambulance Service may be facing a class action from current and former paramedics and call centre workers. They are currently in discussions with three law firms, alleging bullying, harassment and intimidation by some in the management side of the organisation. Concer...

Essendon: failure in duty of care

Published on Dec 21, 2015

WorkSafe's representative Barrister Ross Ray QC has told the Melbourne Magistrate's Court that the club's conduct was a substantial departure from its duty of care. He added that when players complained about the program, they were told to keep quiet in order to m...

Sexual harassment: worker awarded over $1 million in compensation

Published on Dec 21, 2015

A woman who suffered from years of sexual harassment in the workplace has been awarded $1.36 million from her employer, Winslow Constructions. When she complained about her treatment to the person who she believed responsible for human resources, he invited her out for a drin...

Employee engagement: levels falling

Published on Dec 14, 2015

A report from management organisation CEB has found that engagement levels are currently as their lowest since January for Australian employess. CEB stated that, "Employees feeling the pressure to perform have become less engaged at work. With work/life balance vital for...

Christmas Parties: a reminder about safety

Published on Dec 14, 2015

Remember that health and safety obligations apply even during end of year celebrations as they are work functions. WorkCover Queensland pointed out that, “Particularly if the event is organised and paid for by the employer, the duty of care to workers remains the s...

FIFO: compensation for worker assaulted at drinks

Published on Dec 07, 2015

Compensation has been awarded to FIFO worker who was assaulted during after-hours drinks.The court found that the worker was in a remote WA "company town". The assault took place outside the 'tavern' and the worker's shoulder was injured. He applied for ...

Extreme heat: a reminder to provide protection

Published on Dec 07, 2015

Summer is on the way, so employers are being urged to protect all workers from the heat. As well as people working outdoors, people working indoors or in confined spaces are also at risk from indirect heat or fatigue during heatwaves. WorkSafe Victoria recommends that workers...

Hotdesking: good or bad?

Published on Nov 30, 2015

Although hotdesking is being used by many employers, it can shift attention away from ergonomic design and result in more strain injuries. Hotdesking results in employees having less focus on whether their chairs and desk are at the correct height. Profession Leon Straker, se...

Essendon FC: pleads guilty to charges

Published on Nov 30, 2015

Essendon Football Club has pleaded guilty to breaches of the OH&S Act over its handling of their supplements program. In the charges brought by WorkSafe, the club was accused of failing to provide a working environment and system of work which was safe and without risks t...

College of Surgeons: seeking to overhaul reputation

Published on Nov 30, 2015

The Royal Australian College of Surgeons is seeking to change the perception that it's an "Anglo-Saxon boys club" through promoting more women and addressing bullying by surgeons in the workplace. A report earlier this year found that bullying, discrimination an...

Karate chopped out of compensation

Published on Nov 30, 2015

A worker in Queensland was seeking almost a million dollars in compensation has had the amount reduced to $191,061 after viewo surfaced of him sparring in a karate class. The worker was injured in 2012 after burning his heel and ankle in a caustic solution and reported the pa...

Defence Force: creative recovery program

Published on Nov 23, 2015

The Australian Defence Force have introduced a creative arts program to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce. Brigadier Wayne Goodman noted that many studies have demonstrated the relationship between the arts and enhanced health outcomes for individuals...

PTSD: could a protein injection help?

Published on Nov 23, 2015

The University of NSW is planning to start clinical trials within a year following a breakthrough discovery linking a lack of a particular protein to PTSD. If proven successful, it would take at least five years to become an accepted treatment. As part of the experiment, rats...

Chronic Pain: the economic and social cost

Published on Nov 23, 2015

The cost of chronic pain to the Australian economy was more than $55 billion in 2012, with back pain and osteoarthritis the most common conditions. These two condition represent more than 100 million years of productive life lost due to disability in 2010. The statistics coul...

Lawyers: lowest health and wellbeing

Published on Nov 23, 2015

According to a study conducted by PsychSafe, lawyers working in law firms have the lowest health and wellbeing of all white collar workers. They are also the highest users and abusers of alcohol and nicotine. While many employers are using resilience and mindfulness strategie...

Stress: are our jobs killing us?

Published on Nov 14, 2015

Insecure workplaces can be a major cause of both psychological and physical ill health according to a recent study. The research shows that people facing economic insecurity are more likely to smoke, drink and exercise less. It is estimated that deaths associated with poor co...

Comcare: to work with private companies

Published on Nov 09, 2015

Comcare is set to conduct two trials with private companies in order to see how it can work better and reduce premiums. A spokesperson was quick to point out that "we have had no indication from government of any move towards privatisation or outsourcing." Their aim...

Second-hand stress: how to cope

Published on Nov 09, 2015

If your boss is in a state of constant stress, they may be causing you harm as you can 'catch' their negative energy. This phenomena is becoming increasingly prevalent in the workplace. We tend to mirror the mental state of those around us, and researchers has found t...

Logistics: injury rate remains static

Published on Nov 09, 2015

The high level of risk around driving and operating machinery continues with little change. The rate of illness or injury in this group remained at 88 per 1000 employees according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This was followed by manufacturing at 82 per 1000, and t...

Sunscreen: half of all workers missing out on sun protection

Published on Nov 01, 2015

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....

Chronic disease: do one in two people suffer from it?

Published on Nov 01, 2015

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% o...

Public service: increase in psychological injury claims

Published on Nov 01, 2015

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...

La Ionica: criminal conviction

Published on Oct 25, 2015

Chicken processor La Ionica has been fined $64,000 after a worker's arm was maimed in an unsafe machine. The worker suffered injuries which will be lifelong, as well as severe depression. The National Union of Workers estimates that one in three workers in the poultry ind...

Bullying: a focus on the needles

Published on Oct 25, 2015

Bullying is often focused on oafish or physically violent behaviour, but what about the small, repetitive, needling acts which go unnoticed and unreported? They can quickly create a toxic workplace. A US survey has found in their preliminary results that 80% of people who fee...

Large fine: for short notice termination

Published on Oct 25, 2015

An employee terminated while on workers' compensation payments missed out on $181.66 as the calculations were two days short of the required five weeks notice. The fines for the employer were much larger. ACI Operations was fined $20,400 and the HR manager was fined more ...

Stroke victim: eligible for compensation

Published on Oct 19, 2015

A Federal public servant has won a five year battle for compensation following a stroke suffered while leaving the shower in a hotel room. It was previously found that it was not suffered in the course of his employment, however this decision was overturned by the Administrat...

Forklift safety: the numbers show the need

Published on Oct 19, 2015

The NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation has issued a strong warning about the importance of safety around forklifts. Between July 2012 and July 2014, 1,360 workers were injured in forklift accidents. Five of these accidents were fatal. Safework NSW wants busines...

Breast reduction surgery: for Canberra public servant

Published on Oct 12, 2015

A public servant has won a legal battle for the Commonwealth Government for pay for her breast reduction surgery. The claim was initially denied, however the Federal Court overturned the decision. The worker said that long hours hunched over computers had led to neck and shou...

Taxi driver: defrauded Comcare of $60,000

Published on Oct 12, 2015

An injured worker failed to tell Comcare that he was working as a taxi driver while claiming more than $70,000 in compensation payments. He has been found guilty of obtaining financial advantage by deception. The former ambulance officer had injured his back while at work, an...

MLC and AXA: in court battle against injured worker

Published on Oct 12, 2015

A Sydney man is claiming that his employment insurance policy was cancelled after he became permanently incapacitated in a workplace accident. He further claims that the MLC is delaying the lawsuit in the hope that he will give up the fight. The legal fight over the insurance...

Migrant workers: facing greater health risks

Published on Oct 05, 2015

Studies show that financial insecurity has a strong impact on migrant worker health, and that through poor working conditions, chronic health issues may arise. This can back traced back into Australia's past, with the Wittenoom asbestos mine in the 1960's cited as an ...

Australian Story: Garry McDonald

Published on Oct 05, 2015

Garry McDonald, comic actor and former beyondblue board member, discussed his experiences with depression and anxiety on Australian Story last night. Since his well-documented breakdown in the 1990's, he has become a strong advocate for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)...

National Safe Work Month: launched

Published on Oct 04, 2015

October is Safe Work Month, and to mark the occasion, Safe Work Australia are launching a Virtual Seminar Series. The Chair of Safe Work Australia encourages workers to reflect on their reasons for being safe and healthy at work. She said that, "For me, the major cost of...

Mental health: getting a federal shake-up

Published on Oct 04, 2015

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley has announced that the current system around mental health will soon be overhauled. The aim is to "catch people before they fall." A report in April 2015 found that "The effect of our poorly planned mental health system is a m...

Four Corners: unnecessary medical treatments

Published on Sep 28, 2015

A Four Corners report last night looked at the unnecessary testing and treatments choking the Australian healthcare system. We're talked about this issue many times here at RTW Matters, as it can be a major problems in the management of work injuries. MRI scans provide an...

Mental health: can organisations do more?

Published on Sep 27, 2015

The chief executiveof the Mental Health Recovery Institute believes that businesses are still trying to catch up with mental health training. He believes that it's currently about 20 years behind. He cited research stating that "people who have had a mental illness a...

WorkSafe WA: focusing on commercial cleaners

Published on Sep 27, 2015

WorkSafe WA has turned its attention towards commercial cleaners, planning an inspection program for the remainder of the financial year. The focus was prompted by the high level of injuries sustained in the industry, with an average of 140 lost-time injuries each year over t...

Bullied workers: more likely to contemplate suicide

Published on Sep 27, 2015

A Norwegian study has round that people who are being bullied at work are more likely to contemplate suicide than people who have never been bullied. The study found that less than 5% of participants in the study had contemplated suicide, but they were twice as likely to have...

Surgery: the power of music

Published on Sep 21, 2015

Patients who listen to music, even under general anaesthetic while surgery is conducted, tend to have lower levels of anxiety and require lower levels of pain medication, a new study has found. The study covered various types of music, timing and music delivery methods as wel...

Sitting: the new smoking?

Published on Sep 14, 2015

70% of Australians are sedentary or insufficiently active, and their health is suffering. 63% of Australians are now considered to be obese, and poor posture and work injuries are common. Aty the Workplace Wellness Conference, delegates discussed the impact of immobility on h...

Quad bikes: farmers encouraged to attend training

Published on Sep 14, 2015

Quad bikes are the biggest killers on Australian farms. They are unlikely to be replaced in the near future, so farmers are encouraged to attend training courses, wear helmets and install roll-over protection. Farmers are also advised to keep children under 16 off adult-sized...

Safe Work Australia: awards cancelled

Published on Sep 14, 2015

The annual Safe Work Australia Awards have been discontinued, to be replaced with strategies which are more effective and efficient. The organisation described the awards as pretigious and well-respected, but had a limited reach in the media and required extensive planning an...

Monash Health: surgeon lodges unfair dismissal claim

Published on Sep 07, 2015

A neurosurgeon and former director of surgical training at Monash Helath has lodged an unfair dismissal claim with Fair Work Australia, alleging bullying and sexism. The neurosurgeon was dismissed about a fortnight after bullying accusations were levelled against her. She was...

Professional sports: end government funded injury treatment

Published on Sep 07, 2015

Health economists are arguing that professional sportspeople should have their medical expenses for on-field injuries paid for by their employer rather than through the government via Medicare. A Department of Human Services report last year found that Medicare claims had bee...

Bullying: a symptom of dysfunction

Published on Sep 07, 2015

Bullying can have a terrible impact on the lives of workers. It also impacts the majority of employees during their working lives, whether they are a victim, a witness or an alleged perpetrator. Michelle Tuckey from the School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy at t...

Workplace-related diseases: argument for expanded list

Published on Sep 07, 2015

84 diseases should be added to the national list of compensable diseases according to a WorkSafe Australia report. These include HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and anthrax. It was argued that workers at risk of needlestick injuries, such as health care workers, be covered against con...

VicRoads: reverse braking tech to be implemented

Published on Aug 31, 2015

Between 2003 and 2012, SafeWork Australia found that 18 workers were killed by reversing trucks. In an effort to counter these statistics, VicRoads is updating its fleet with radar-based reverse braking technology. The new brakes sense when there is an object behind the vehic...

Longer work hours: higher risk of stroke

Published on Aug 24, 2015

Research conducted by a professor of Epidemiology at University College London has found that people who work more than 55 hours per week can increase their stroke risk by 33%. People working between 41 and 48 hours per week increased their risk of stroke by 10%. It was noted...

Mine Fire: lung disease claim

Published on Aug 24, 2015

A worker who was operating excavators at the Hazelwood mine site during the fire is claiming that his lung disease is the direct result the smoke. His role during the fire was to dig out the burning coal and to stockpile it so that the fire wouldn't spread as easily. He w...

Coal Miners: exempt from compensation increases

Published on Aug 17, 2015

Coal miners in NSW will receive no increase to the compensation scheme put in place for the families of workers who are killed at work. Although the amendment will increase the amount paid to the families of deceased workers, from $524,000 to $750,000, coal miners will miss o...

Psychological injuries: creating healthy workplaces

Published on Aug 17, 2015

Dr Chris Stevens from Communicorp recently spoke about creating psychologically healthy workplaces, while agreeing that in modern workplaces, workers are subject to an over-diagnosis of of mental health issues. Dr Peter Cotton estimated that around 30% of workers' compens...

Asbestos claim against Rio Tinto: upheld

Published on Aug 17, 2015

A worker who cleaned asbestos from pipes was diagnosed with mesothelioma early last year, and the Supreme Court ruled that it was the result of his exposure to asbestos dust and due to the negligence of the mine operators. Alcan Gove has since been bought by Rio Tinto. Rio Ti...

Compensation claimants: blacklisted

Published on Aug 17, 2015

During the Queensland Finance and Administration Committee public hearing, some workers claimed that they had been discriminated against by employers due to their past workers' compensation claims. There were 26,000 requests from employers to see workers' compensation...

Hangovers: causing 11.5m sick days per year

Published on Aug 10, 2015

A Flinders University study has found that sick days caused by handovers are costing the Australian economy around $3b per year, up from $1.2b in 2001. It has also been suggested that people who mix alcohol and amphetamines on the weekend are experiencing 'weepy Wednesday...

Fair Work Commission: bullying case

Published on Aug 10, 2015

The Fair Work Commission has ruled in favour of two employees of a real estate firm. The employees alleged that they were abused and threatened with violence at work by a female property manager. It was alleged that she undermined their work and belittled them, as well as swe...

KFC: serious burns

Published on Aug 10, 2015

A 16 year old suffered third degree burns to his face and body while emptying a cooker in North Geelong's KFC. He is in a critical but stable condition. He had worked at the store for about a year. The restaurant was closed following the injury and WorkSafe Victoria are i...

Police: facing violence from methamphetamine users

Published on Aug 03, 2015

Almost three in four police have been attacked on duty in the last three years, with ice being blamed for the significant increase. Capsicum spray is often ineffective against users. A survey found that 90 percent of Victorian police believe that violence against them has inc...

Public Service: the bill for bullying and violence

Published on Aug 03, 2015

The annual cost of bullying, harassment and violence in the public service is approaching $80m, according to Comcare. Trauma caused by bullying or violence makes up the largest number of mental stress claims, with these costing an average of $342,000. Mental health claimants ...

WorkCover Independent Review Office: complaints of 'toxic culture'

Published on Jul 27, 2015

A leaked internal survey from the NSW WorkCover Independent Review Office has uncovered complaints from workers about a 'toxic' culture, with complaints including sexual harrassment, bullying and low morale. Review Officer Kim Garling is currently caught in a 'job...

Running to answer work call: claim accepted

Published on Jul 27, 2015

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission has agreed that a worker who injured his back running to answer a call from work on his mobile should be eligible for compensation. The worker was required to work at least 55 hours per week and was on-call from time to time. He ...

Quad Bikes: 200 people killed in 15 years

Published on Jul 27, 2015

ABC's Landline looked at Australia's most dangerous job this week - farming, and more specifically the dangers of quad bikes. While driver error may be to blame, there are also arguments for improved bike designs. An average of 14 to 15 people die every year on quad b...

Working to 70: the challenges

Published on Jul 27, 2015

The New Daily explores some of the challenges facing workers over 65. The article argues that one of the main challenges is that there is little or no protection in the state based workers' compensation schemes for workers over 65. In NSW, workers over the retirement age ...

Bullying and social media: Aged Care Homes

Published on Jul 19, 2015

The head of Hynes Legal's aged care and retirement living team told the Nurses in Aged Care Conference that they are seeing two to three providers each with seeking advice regarding social media, often regarding the bullying of other staff members or revealing details of ...

Burned apprentice: wins civil claim

Published on Jul 12, 2015

A second year apprentice attending his boss's birthday party suffered serious burns and has won compensation for his injuries. The employer bought 11 kegs of beer and his employees were drinking from 11am into the early evening. During the party, a group of apprentices st...

Managing Stress and Building Resilience

Published on Jul 12, 2015

The emotional wellbeing of employees is vital for a productive workplace. Manager shouldn't ignore it. Comcare estimates that the total cost of mental health claims is more than $14b per year in Australia - much more than is paid out in compensation. The agency also says ...

Parking Rangers: under pressure

Published on Jul 06, 2015

A parking ranger was reprimanded for not handing out enough fines in an email cc'd to eight of his colleagues. The ranger emailed Lord Mayor Clover Moore and other City of Sydney Executives complaining of alleged corruption, mental health, low morale, high sick leave and ...

Lodge Housekeeper: wins compensation

Published on Jul 06, 2015

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has found that a former housekeeper at the Prime Minister's official residence in Canberra exaggerated her condition, but will continue to receive workers' compensation. She injured her back in 2010 while making a bed, the reinjured...

Workers' Comp Fraud: how many fraudulent claims are there?

Published on Jul 06, 2015

Stories abound of people who are 'gaming the system', but is there any truth to the matter? A report in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine suggests that workers' compensation fraud is a myth perpetrated by insurance companies and employers. In Australia&#...

Teachers: health fears

Published on Jul 06, 2015

A report from Monash University has found that  Vic TAFE teachers have the highest levels of burn out, and early childhood teachers have the highest levels of workload concerns. Around half of all teachers surveyed reported having suffered a health and safety incident in...

Work Safety: Heights

Published on Jun 29, 2015

In 2012, falls from heights accounted for 7,400 workers' compensation claims, and injuries for falling objects accounted for 4,200 claims. These two types of incident combined accounted for around 20% of injuries. There are various methods available to mitigate the risks,...

FIFO Workers: needing protection

Published on Jun 28, 2015

A WA Parliamentary Inquiry has made several recommendations on protecting the mental health of Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) workers, however the inquiry is facing criticism for focusing on "a misleading aspect of mental health." This aspect is that 20-45 year old males are...

Office Chair: becomes a physiotherapist

Published on Jun 21, 2015

The humble office chair is set to become a smart chair. Monash Health, Austin Health and Monash University are working to create a chair which can read the sitter's posture in real time - and correct it. The system has 78 pressure sensors to measure weight distribution an...

Cabin fumes: former flight attendant lodges claim

Published on Jun 21, 2015

A flight attendant working for Ansett during the 1990's is taking BAE Systems to court claiming damages for "aerotoxic syndrome". Suffers claim that during flights, cabins are contaminated with microscopic airborne engine oils and chemicals. Symptoms include fat...

Working from Home: the benefits

Published on Jun 21, 2015

A 2011 Stanford University study found that there was a 13% increase in productivity among the 255 Chinese travel workers randomly chosen to work from home for eight months. In addition to the reduction in office distractions and a reduction in traffic, it also helps to creat...

Obese worker: loses compensation claim

Published on Jun 21, 2015

The worker was dismissed by BHP in 2014, claiming that the worker was unable to fulfil his duties, with his weight creating a danger both to himself and his fellow employees. At the time, he had been absent from the workplace for two years, with BHP paying his medical bills. ...

Job Quality: impacting on RTW

Published on Jun 15, 2015

The new book, Job Quality, expores the upcoming challenges in the Australian workplace. With regard to RTW, it notes that "Giving workers greater control over their work, moderating demands on them and ensuring a greater degree of employment security and regulatory prote...

Insurance Council: opposition to the proposal

Published on Jun 14, 2015

The Australian Lawyers Alliance has labelled the proposal by the Insurance Council of Australia as a disaster, claiming that it would lead to more deaths. The ALA director Rod Hodgson called the cap on payments for high paid workers "...a brutal cash grab against people ...

Back Pain: postulating postural changes

Published on Jun 14, 2015

A Californian acupuncturist and biochemist spent ten tears researching remote communities around the world. She found that some reported no back pain at all, despite hours spent sitting on the floor. She found that the spines of the people tended to have a 'J' shape r...

Insurance Council: pushing for changes to workers' comp

Published on Jun 14, 2015

The Insurance Council of Australia would like to see state-run monopoly schemes opened up to general insurance companies, driving efficiency. They are also keen to see the nine workers' compendation schemes in Australia 'harmonised' and overseen by one independent...

Aus workers: Stressed, lazy and drink too much

Published on Jun 14, 2015

The Health Profile of Australian Employees has found that Australian workers are more physically inactive, have higher BMI's and higher levels of physical distress. It also found that young working women were most at risk of poor mental health. High blood pressure, obesit...

Stress: which gender copes better?

Published on Jun 08, 2015

A University of Ohio study has found that women cope better with stress. The experiment involved people playing a gambling game, and being told at the start of the game that they would in 20 minutes be giving a public presentation speaking about their body. This made both men...

CFMEU: responsible for work-related stressors

Published on Jun 08, 2015

The Queensland Industrical Relations Commission found in favour of a worker who held roles as a mines inspector, legal officer and district executive vice-president of the CFMEU. It found that he had been exposed to three work-related stressors, leading to the workers' me...

Farming: maintenance supports work safety

Published on Jun 08, 2015

Maintaining machinery and equipment on farms can help support on-farm safety, as well as avoiding downtime and lower productivity. Cutting corners makes farmers vulnerable to accidents in the workplace. While newer models of machinery tend to have a focus on safety, older mod...

Legal fees: superannuation funds

Published on May 31, 2015

the CEO of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia stated that lawyers "are taking up to 35 percent of disability payments made to super fund members." She said that historically 95% of claims to super funds have been paid out, and that it was difficult...

Chevron: cleared by WorkSafe over lack of evacutations

Published on May 31, 2015

WorkSafe has a rejected a claim by the CFMEU, the Electrical Trades Union and Australian Manufacturing Workers union that workers based on Barrow Island off Western Australia should have been evacuated as it became clear that category 3 Cyclone Olwyn was bearing down on the l...

Darwin accident: Comcare has obligation to prosecute

Published on May 31, 2015

As an aviation fire truck responded to a call, it sped through a red light in Darwin killing three people. Although the sister of one of the victims complained that there was no consultation with the families and no support, Comcare released a statement stating that they were...

Back injuries: men aged 42+ are least likely to return to work

Published on May 31, 2015

The research group Cortex Solutions analysed 113,000 workplace injuries which occurred over a six year period and found that men aged 30 to 39 have the highest incidence of back injuries, and are the most likely to report them. Men aged 42 and over are the least likely to ret...

Work Cancer: few applying for compensation

Published on May 24, 2015

The Cancer Council of Western Australia believes that only about 10% of people suffering from cancer caused by the workplace make workers' compensation claims. Last year, about 395 claims were made, resulting in payouts of around $30m. It is believed that work exposure to...

MPs: opt out of Comcare

Published on May 17, 2015

A new $1.4m insurance scheme is being set up specifically for MPs and Senators. Although administered by Comcare, the politicians won't be joining the Commonwealth workers' compensation scheme. The new scheme "will provide a senator or member with an entitlement ...

Seacare: bill passes Senate

Published on May 17, 2015

The Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 has been passed without amendments in the Senate. The bill clarifies that the scheme isn't intended to apply to employees engaged on ships on intrastate voyages as they are covered by ...

Panic Attacks: claim rejected

Published on May 17, 2015

An employee of the Department of Human Services claimed that ongoing exposure to management representatives acting unprofessionally caused him to suffer panic attacks. The claim was rejected by Comcare, and after to legal appeals, he remains unsuccessful in his bid for compen...

Back Pain: in the under 30's

Published on May 13, 2015

Almost half of all under-30's in the UK report suffering from constant back pain, in a 28% yearly rise. Across all age groups, 86% reported that they had problems with their back - up from 77% last year. Children as young as 12 are seeking treatment. Chiropractors are bla...

Are you now feeling verrry sleeepy?

Published on May 11, 2015

A lack of sleep can create irritability, accidents and chronic health conditions, and Australia is in the grip of this creeping epidemic. Long working hours, long communting hours, family demands and socialising tend to be the causes, and researchers are now calling for sleep...

Michelle Baxter: making manufacturing safer

Published on May 11, 2015

Michelle Baxter, Safe Work Australia Chief Executive Officer, is set to discuss ways of reducing the number of injuries in the manufacturing sector. The sector currently has the second highest rate of injuries among Australian industries. Although there has been a significant...

Aus Industry Group: backs psych compensation changes

Published on May 11, 2015

The Australian Industry Group has voiced their support for the proposed changes to psychological injury claims through Comcare. Claims would no longer be accepted for corporate restructures or other workplace changes related to management actions unless deemed unreasonable. T...

WorkCover: helping or hindering?

Published on May 11, 2015

UnitingCare's Creative Ministries Network commissioned a survey on how the workers' compensation system could be improved. They found that some workplace injury victims felt as though it was a 'guilty until proven innocent' situation, with pressures placed on ...

Mental Health in the Workplace: it's more common than you think

Published on May 03, 2015

About half of Australian workers who have taken time off work for mental illness did not disclose the reasons to anyone in their workplace, according to a senior counsellor at AccessEAP. When the information is disclosed, some employers are supportive and their return to work...

Returned soldiers: Department of Veteran Affairs understaffed?

Published on May 03, 2015

A veterans' support group believes that the understaffing of the Department of Veterans' Affairs is leading returned soldiers to become increasingly desperate and suicidal. The support service has been told that each delegate has at least 150 to 200 compensation case ...

ACTU: fines for deaths in the workplace

Published on May 03, 2015

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is arguing for negligent company directors to be held personally liable for deaths in the workplace, as well as facing heavy penalties which may include up to 20 years of jail time. They want stronger health and safety laws to "send...

The Office: the dangers to be aware of

Published on May 03, 2015

It is well known that sitting for a long time can be bad for your health, but did you know that most people are sitting in a way which makes their health even worse? Back pain is one of the most common health complaints for office workers, and it is most frequently caused by ...

Mental Health: telling employers risks career

Published on Apr 27, 2015

While BeyondBlue CEO Georgie Harman said that openness about mental health issues could help managers create the best environment for recovery, she warned that workers should only speak openly when they were confident that they would be supported. The organisation is aware of...

Australia Post: claims employee injured back while sneezing

Published on Apr 27, 2015

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has rejected Australia Post's claim that an employee was injured as the result of a sneezing fit. It was instead ruled that the employee's work at Australia Post aggravated a pre-existing spinal condition and that Australia Post is ...

Comcare: adds two new execs

Published on Apr 27, 2015

Comcare CEO Jennifer Taylor has announced to new Comcare executive appointments. Tony Middlebrook will be the new General Manager of Insurance, and Gary Jeffery the new General Manager of Claims.  Ms Taylor stated that, "Their work will focus on delivering rob...

Sickness: Are Australians martyrs?

Published on Apr 20, 2015

A One Shift survey has found that two thirds of employees feel pressured to go to work when they are ill. On the other hand, 57% of employees feel annoyed when someone comes into the workplace with an illness. This suggests that workers are more concerned about unwanted illne...

Comcare: challenges in a hostile Senate

Published on Apr 20, 2015

Both Labor and the Greens are 'suspicious' towards the proposed Comcare reforms.  Without these two groups, Senator Abetz must gain the support of independents and minor parties to see the legislation through. Prominent compensation lawyers and the CPSU have also...

Paracetamol: more harm than good for lower back pain?

Published on Apr 20, 2015

Manuela Ferreira, Associate Professor in Medicine at the University of Sydney, noted that nine out of ten people visiting the doctor due to lower back pain have no serious problems with their spine. Instead, the pain is likely the result of stress or strain. Often, the treatm...

Lower Back Pain: report it early

Published on Apr 20, 2015

The Konekt Market Report analysed 113,000 compensable and non-compensable back pain cases in Australia over a six year perior and found that employees often delay reporting their injury or ignore the injury until it becomes debilitating. With around 3 million Australians suff...

10 Tips: for working with an ageing workforce

Published on Apr 13, 2015

While there are many benefits to working with an older workforce, employers should ensure that a safe working environment is provided, along with a focus on health, wellbeing and injury management. "To avoid more severe work-related injuries, longer rehabilitation and gr...

Psychological injuries: claims up by 50% at Comcare

Published on Apr 13, 2015

Comcare claims for psychological injuries have increased by almost 50% in the past four years, with efforts being made to tarhet treatment and support prior to claims being made. Amendments to the Bill are currently before the Senate and include early access to $5000 in medic...

Super Slide Shenanigans: it's all fun and games til...

Published on Apr 06, 2015

Five contractors working at the Sydney Royal Easter Show decided to break into the slippery slide and take a ride in the rain. The slide is never operated in the rain. There is also no safety matting at the base when it's not in operation. The workers found this out the h...

Workplace cover: what happens to older workers?

Published on Apr 06, 2015

As the number of people aged over 65 in the workplace continues to increase, concerns have been raised about cuts to workers' compensation schemes. The Australian Lawyers Alliance president Andrew Stone believes that cuts in benefits to injured workers could have long ter...

Agriculture Industries: injuries costs over $300m in four years

Published on Apr 06, 2015

Research conducted by Tony Lower at the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety has found that 193,632 working weeks were lost across primary industries in just four years. The research focused on the cotton, grain, mixed farming, sugar, marine and aquaculture in...

Linfox and Wesfarmers: $1.3m payout

Published on Apr 06, 2015

A worker helping to unload a Linfox truck aggravated a pre-existing workplace injury when she prevented a loaded roll cage from hitting her supervisor. The incident occurred as the truck driver didn't know how to operate the electric pallet jack. The liability of Liquorla...

Comcare: new legislation to be introduced

Published on Mar 30, 2015

The Federal Government’s Comcare scheme is set to ‘modernise’ under new legislation to be introduced before Parliament. Federal Employment Minister senator Eric Abetz said that, “"The scheme's original focus was compensating injured employees ...

Sole Traders and Contractors: advised to get own insurance

Published on Mar 30, 2015

Michael Klanja died at work last year when a wall fell during a strong gust of wind. Following his death, his wife has been refused WorkSafe financial assistance as he was a subcontractor rather than an employee. She is now suing the building company, and hopes that through t...

Sick Note: suggestion it be replaced with a Fit Note

Published on Mar 30, 2015

Professor Dame Carol Black, advisor to the UK government on Health and Work, believes that the traditional ‘sick note’ (medical certificate) should be replaced with a ‘fit note.’ She believes that the current system is causing more harm than good, and ...

Abbott's safety and compo bill: to disadvantage workers?

Published on Mar 23, 2015

Dr Joanna Howe, author of a McKell Institute report into the proposed Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation amendment bill has found that it will disadvantage workers, as well as increasing premiums for the majority of Australian businesses. Only multi-state bus...

Mining FIFO: suicide prevention program launched

Published on Mar 23, 2015

Mining Family Matters and Wesley LifeForce Suicide Prevention Networks have joined forces in a program designed to prevent suicide in the mining and oil and gas industries. There have been at least nine deaths of workers in the Pilbara alone, with FIFO workers being the most ...

Mindfulness and meditation: in the AU workplace

Published on Mar 23, 2015

Companies including NAB and IBM Australia and NZ have been introducing mindfulness and meditation techniques as a part of their range of wellness programs. The aim is to reduce workplace stress, with IBM also offering programs focused on positive leadership, wellbeing and res...

ReturntoWorkSA off to a good start

Published on Mar 16, 2015

ReturntoWorkSA, formerly WorkCover SA, reports that $1 billion has been cleared from its unfunded liability, Courier Mail reports. "The board has dropped the 2015/16 average premium rate to 1.95 per cent (plus Work Health Safety fee), the lowest in the scheme’s his...

Public Service struggling to pay compensation bills

Published on Mar 16, 2015

Australian Public Service agencies report struggling to afford their workers' compensation costs, amidst a near doubling of premiums since 2011 and budget cuts imposed by the Abbott Government, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The ACT Government has responded by establishin...

Federal Gov't pushes for workers' comp to cover over 65s

Published on Mar 16, 2015

Joe Hockey wants to build a "grey army" of older workers in the workforce by changing prohibitive workers' compensation rules, Courier Mail reports. "If various WorkCover schemes or various laws are impeding increased participation by older Australians...in...

Will Comcare expansion leave workers behind?

Published on Feb 23, 2015

A bill currently with the Australian Senate could see Comcare "opened up" to businesses through the removal of the national competition test, which may see injured workers being sidelines, writes Kevin Jones for Safety at Work Blog. Australian Lawyers Alliance ...

Mobile app with evidence-based decision support diagnoses more obesity, smoking, and depression

Published on Feb 23, 2015

Smartphones and tablets may hold the key to getting more nurses to diagnose patients with chronic health issues like obesity, smoking, and depression - three of the leading causes of preventable death and disability. Mobile devices loaded with a custom app that prompts clinic...

Health InterACTion: Health Benefits of Work Programme

Published on Feb 16, 2015

There is compelling evidence that, in general, work is good for health and wellbeing. Long-term work absence, work disability and unemployment on the other hand have a negative impact on health and wellbeing. ACT Medicare Local has signed a collaborative agreement with Comcar...

Most patients "overestimate" treatment benefits

Published on Feb 09, 2015

"Most people overestimate the benefits and underestimate the harms of medical tests and treatments," reports ABC News. New research finds that patients generally overestimate how beneficial their medical treatment will be, as well as underestimating potential harms ...

Diet and nutrition essential for mental health

Published on Feb 02, 2015

Evidence is rapidly growing showing vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health, a new international collaboration led by the University of Melbourne and Deakin University has revealed.Published in The Lancet Psychiat...

Anxiety in Australia at record high

Published on Feb 02, 2015

Anxiety levels for Australians is at a new high, according to the NAB Australian Wellbeing Index, as people worry about the cost of living, health care and employment, Business Insider reports. "Women aged over 50 now have the highest wellbeing across all demographi...

Doctors' fees scrutinised amidst "over-diagnosis"

Published on Jan 26, 2015

"Over detection, over diagnosis and over treatment of people who would be better off left alone," is driving an unnecessary increase in doctors' fees, reports Sydney Morning Herald. "Over the past decade, the use of pathology and diagnostic imaging services...

Three OHS lessons from legal cases

Published on Jan 12, 2015

Mondaq reports on three recent cases that offer health and safety lessons for employers. “It is important for employers to be aware of their obligations under Federal and state WHS laws & regulations, in addition to the many codes, guidelines and safety standards th...

Workplace psych injuries "firmly on the radar": HR expert

Published on Dec 29, 2014

Growing workplace psychological injury claims is prompting HR teams to devise counter strategies, HC Online reports. Henry Davis York partner and workplace health and safety law expert, Scarlet Reid said a rise in claims is causing companies to consider the workplace saf...

Assaulted public service worker denied comp

Published on Dec 29, 2014

A public servant assaulted while out farewelling a colleague has lost his bid for workers' compensation, Canberra Times reports. "The decision will remind federal bureaucrats they may not be covered for injuries at work-related farewell parties, particularly if ...

Any job isn't necessarily better for health

Published on Dec 15, 2014

The Conversation reports that poor quality work can be worse for you than no work at all. "Being in poor-quality work which, perhaps, is boring, routine or represents underemployment or a poor match for the employee’s skills is widely regarded as a good way fo...

Sleep deprivation will ruin your career

Published on Dec 08, 2014

Working late into the night is a ruining your health and productivity, SBS News reports. According to research, any short-term gains in productivity associated with skipping sleep are quickly reversed for days to come thanks to the effects of sleep deprivation. "The...

WorkCover Victoria denies stress claim crisis

Published on Nov 17, 2014

WorkCover Victoria Director of Claims Simon Bailey denies there is a “crisis” in the rise of stress-related compensation claims, Smart Company reports. Instead, Bailey says employers are failing in claim prevention and return to work. “If [workers]...

ATO injury premiums skyrocketing

Published on Nov 17, 2014

Insurance premiums for the Australian Taxation Office's 20,000 workers are jumping $4 million per year on average, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. The ATO's workers compensation premium has risen 66 per cent over the past five years. "In 2013-14, 2930 mus...

Psychologists warn against "medicalising" workplace stress

Published on Nov 17, 2014

Workplace psychologists warn that at least one-third of Australian workplace stress claims are due to low morale, but are being misinterpreted as clinical disorders, The Age reports. An Australian Psychological Society conference heard that 30 per cent of compensation claims ...

PS comp claims hit $1 billion

Published on Nov 03, 2014

While Comcare has reported a $54.6 million operating surplus for 2013-14, compensation claim payouts have reached almost $1 billion over the past four years, Sydney Morning Herald reports. "The yearly cost of injured bureaucrats has steadily grown from $214.2 million in ...

4th Australasian Compensation Health Research Forum

Published on Oct 20, 2014

One Month to go! The focus of the 2014 Forum is "The Influence of mental health and psychosocial factors on recovery outcomes” If you are thinking of attending the 4th Australasian Compensation Health Research Forum (ACHRF) – the time to register is running o...

Mental health initiatives a priority for FIFO employers, AMMA tells government inquiry

Published on Oct 20, 2014

MANAGING the mental health of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) employees is a key priority of the wider workplace safety and wellbeing efforts of Australian resource employers, The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) has told a West Australian parliamentary inquiry. "Re...

Official apology from WorkCover to bullied manager

Published on Oct 20, 2014

WorkCover NSW has officially apologised to senior manager Wayne Butler, a full 18 months after a court found he was persecuted and bullied by the organisation, Government News reports. In June 2013, The NSW Industrial Relations Commission found that WorkCover’s con...

Employers sceptical of work from home

Published on Oct 13, 2014

While the ABS reports the number of people working from home has doubled between 2001-2008, The Age reports that employers are still reluctant to utilise the practice. "Employers are always worried about whether or not it's going to be practical," said Garr...

Welfare reform must include employment help for mentally ill

Published on Oct 13, 2014

"Mental health is intimately connected with being connected, including to the labour market," reports The Australian. Despite this, ABS statistics show that 62 per cent of people with mental health conditions were employed in 2011-12, compared with 80 per cent of th...

Govt. to focus on public service "compo culture"

Published on Sep 29, 2014

The Abbott government has begun working on reforms to Commonwealth workers' compensation schemes, reports Canberra Times. "Employment Department officials are working on changes that will attack the most controversial aspects of the Commonwealth's schemes –...

Perfectionism a risk factor for suicide

Published on Sep 29, 2014

Perfectionism is a bigger risk factor in suicide than we may think, says York University Psychology Professor Gordon Flett, calling for closer attention to its potential destructiveness, adding that clinical guidelines should include perfectionism as a separate factor for sui...

Radio report: Stress and claiming compensation

Published on Sep 22, 2014

ABC Radio National's Law Report investigates the revelation by a recent study that 53 per cent or workers' or transport accident compensation claimants find the process stressful, and have worse health outcomes than claimants who are less concerned about the comp...

Mental illness and suicide claims impacting on insurers

Published on Sep 15, 2014

New industry-backed research urges superannuation funds and life insurers to focus on early intervention for mental illness, hoping to curb the growing cost of claims, Brisbane Times reports. "13 super funds covering more than a third of Australia's workforce in...

Comcare announces WHS Awards

Published on Sep 15, 2014

Organisations and individuals involved with the Comcare and Seacare schemes have been recognised for their achievements in workplace health and safety, rehabilitation and return to work. "This year's entries were of extremely high quality, with the finalists demonstr...

Another win for Federal Government in physio crackdown

Published on Sep 08, 2014

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has supported the Federal government insurer's decision to stop paying for "physio for life" in one case of a public service worker, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. A former Defence Department worker had received 300 sessio...

Healthy Australian workplaces lead by example

Published on Sep 01, 2014

Perth Now reports on several workplaces leading the charge in taking proactive steps to make work a happier, healthier place. "For more than eight million Australians, one-third of their life is spent at work. With obesity rates climbing faster in this country than ...

The battle over opioids

Published on Sep 01, 2014

The Drum reports on the battle between prescription of addictive opioids, and controlling pain. "Prescriptions of oxycodone - the active ingredient in Oxycontin - have trebled in the past decade, according to Medicare records," reports The Drum. It is not known...

Be sceptical of back pain "quick fix" steroid injections

Published on Aug 24, 2014

Last year, 40,000 Australians had spinal cortisone injections in the hope of curbing pain in the lower back, arms, neck or legs. The Australian Financial Review reports that there is no reliable evidence to show these injections are effective. “These injections are...

A day in the life of a private claim investigator

Published on Aug 18, 2014

Just how far can private investigators go when surveilling workers' compensation claimants? The Australian follows the private worlds of two private investigators whose job it is to track claimants suspected of malingering. “We act as independent investigators ...

ABC Focus on stress and adversity at work

Published on Aug 11, 2014

ABC Radio National's Saturday Extra examines how we view stress and setbacks at work. In the podcast, which you can access from this headline link, Geraldine Doogue asks whether our identity is really more at stake when things go wrong in modern times, as compar...

National workers' comp within reach?

Published on Aug 03, 2014

Insurance & Risk Professional reports on a bill presently before Federal Parliament that could allow multi-state companies to join Comcare, as self-insurers. The move could save businesses up to $30m per year. “We regard this bill as a game-changer in terms of reduc...

The importance of work in health recovery

Published on Jul 27, 2014

Australia's largest life insurer TAL has become a signatory to the Australasian Consensus Statement on the Health Benefits of Work, released by the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). &quo...

The secret video weapon against back pain

Published on Jul 21, 2014

A YouTube video is helping medical professionals treat back pain, NPR reports. John Henning Schumann uses an 11-minute educational YouTube video, created by internet celebrity Dr Mike Evans, to help patients understand best-practice treatment. Watch the video here. ...

National Pain Week

Published on Jul 20, 2014

Today marks the start of National Pain Week, which aims to de-stigmatise the experience of chronic pain. For the 6.1 million Australians living with a musculoskeletal condition (MSK) chronic pain is a part of their everyday lives. Follow this link for details on National Pain...

Work siestas improving productivity

Published on Jul 20, 2014

"Naptivists" are advocating for the introduction of workplace mini-siestas, citing improvements in productivity, The Age reports. “There's almost no sick days or injuries, and virtually zero staff turnover. The workers understand that everyone puts in and ...

Business needs to play its part in disability employment

Published on Jul 20, 2014

The private sector remains hesitant to give people with disability a chance, despite government initiatives, writes Anne Bryce, CEO of Achieve Australia, for Pro Bono Australia. "Every day, through our Disability Employment Services we see the incredible impact of having...

Adults with mental illness twice as likely to use tobacco

Published on Jul 14, 2014

Adults with mental illness are twice as likely to use tobacco as adults without mental illness, according to a new report. "The smoking rate among adults with mental illness remains high...As a result, people with mental illness are at an increased risk of negative healt...

Hot-desking evolving into "informal" workspaces

Published on Jul 13, 2014

Lounge facilities and living spaces are making an increasing appearance into modern workplace designs, The Canberra Times reports. David Gianotten, architect, says the trend towards activity-based work or ''hot desking'' will evolve into such "inform...

New pain research could lead to targeted pain medication

Published on Jul 05, 2014

Scientists from the Research School of Biology have opened the door to a new world of pain treatments with their discovery of the exact way that pain relief drugs work on the body. Dr Ben Corry and Lewis Martin developed a detailed computer model that revealed for the fi...

A four day working week?

Published on Jul 05, 2014

The Greens are taking a proposal for a four-day work week to the NSW state election, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The purported health benefits of the four-day working week are argued to lead to reduced absenteeism and improved productivity. Interestingly, the NSW Busi...

List of state and territory anti-bullying resources

Published on Jun 30, 2014

Brisbane Times has released a helpful list of state and territory resources for dealing with workplace bullying and harassment. Follow this link to the article. ...

Two hours a day behind the wheel could be making you sick

Published on Jun 16, 2014

As little as two hours a day behind the wheel is a potential risk factor for a range of poor health behaviours and outcomes, a University of Sydney study has shown. Published in PLOS One journal, the study of nearly 40,000 Australians aged 47-75 years found that people who dr...

Whiplash treatment study

Published on Jun 01, 2014

ABC Radio National reports on new research by the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney and the University of Queensland investigating the effectiveness of treatment for whiplash. The researchers found that a 30 minute advice session with a physiotherapist works just a...

Research points to need to improve relationships in the workplace

Published on May 26, 2014

New research released today by global workplace provider Regus revealed that in Australia, nearly half (49%) of employees in large firms (250+ employees) say that they dislike co-workers, compared to only 16% of small firms (less than 49 employees). Regus’ tips for impr...

Thousand on workers' comp could be disadvantaged by "earn or learn" measures

Published on May 25, 2014

A rehabilitation specialist has warned that the Federal Government's budget could create a new underclass in Australia, ABC's AM reports. While Dr Caroline Howe, a lecturer in rehabilitation counselling at Sydney University, agrees that there are too many pension...

Living with Pain surveys 2014

Published on May 18, 2014

This year, in the lead up to National Pain Week, Chronic Pain Australia is conducting two 'Living with Pain' surveys - one for people who live with chronic pain and one for those who care for someone with pain. The surveys will be an annual 'snapshot' of the e...

Government needs to properly manage cutbacks or face human costs

Published on May 12, 2014

With the Government earmarking cuts and service delivery mergers to the public service, Amanda O'Loughlin warns of the need for careful management, The Drum reports. O'Loughlin cites recent further Fairfax cuts as an example of an example not to follow. Organisat...

Merely observing stressful situations can trigger a physical stress response

Published on May 04, 2014

Stress is contagious. Observing another person in a stressful situation can be enough to make our own bodies release the stress hormone cortisol. This is the conclusion reached by scientists involved in a large-scale cooperation project. Empathic stress arose primarily when t...

Chronic Pain Australia "Living with pain" survey - call for participants

Published on Apr 27, 2014

In the lead up to National Pain Week this year, Chronic Pain Australia is conducting two 'Living with Pain' surveys - one for people who live with chronic pain and one for those who care for someone with pain. The surveys will present a 'snapshot' of the exper...

Beyondblue survey finds disturbing attitudes towards depression

Published on Mar 31, 2014

Recent beyondblue research has found that while attitudes towards people with mental health problems are improving, many Australians consider people with depression as being "dangerous" and "weak willed", The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Beyondblue's...

Workers' comp needs 'big picture' reform, not 'politcking'

Published on Mar 31, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's move towards cutting red tape will allow companies to opt-out of state workers' compensation schemes and instead move to the Commonwealth scheme, Comcare. "This change is likely to be counterproductive in an already messy system ...

People more willing to disclose experience of mental health problems, survey finds

Published on Mar 10, 2014

A new survey has found that people are more willing to disclose their experience of having a mental health problem and receiving treatment. "We know that people are better at recognising the symptoms of depression than they used to be. It is also possible that there is l...

Pharmacists can help address health system concerns

Published on Feb 23, 2014

Concerns over rising hospital and health costs can be addressed in part by better utilising the skills of pharmacists in the provision of a range of professional services, said National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi. Mr Kardachi was resp...

Minority of workers say their boss does a good job

Published on Feb 23, 2014

A recent study has found that only one in four workers believes their managers do a good job, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Further, three-quarters of workers believed they could do a better job than their managers. The findings are fresh from the recently-opened Ce...

How some painkillers actually intensify pain

Published on Jan 20, 2014

While searching for novel painkillers, a team of KU Leuven researchers came to the surprising conclusion that some candidate drugs actually increase pain. In a study published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, the researchers show that a molecular switch in nerves respo...

Shift work sleep patterns can disrupt genes: study

Published on Jan 20, 2014

A new study from the University of Surrey, published today in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), found that the daily rhythms of our genes are disrupted when sleep times shift. Researchers placed twenty-two participants on a 28-hour day in a c...

Government defends plan to change Disability Support Pensions

Published on Jan 13, 2014

The Government has announced plans that would make it harder for some people to receive the Disability Support Pension permanently, ABC News reports. "More than 800,000 Australians receive up to $813 a fortnight on the pension, for people who are permanently blind or hav...

How to help our $54 billion stress problem

Published on Jan 13, 2014

According to Gallup, the 16% of Australian employees who are actively disengaged cost the country around $54.8 billion (AU). Part of this cost is attributed to differences in emotional health between engaged and disengaged workers. "Gallup's 2011-2012 employee engage...

Bullying claims expected to rise

Published on Jan 13, 2014

Bullying cases may dominate the Fair Work Commission due to a lack of adequate methods to avoid dubious claims, The Age reports. As of January 1 this year, any employee who believes he or she is the victim of ongoing ''repeated unreasonable behaviour'' by a co...

Meaningful work makes people happy, not money

Published on Dec 16, 2013

Decades of research suggests that our happiness is comprised of three factors: genes, events and values, reports Business Insider. Around 50 per cent of our happiness is dictated by genetics, researchers suggest, while up to 40 per cent of happiness can temporarily be achieve...

World's first standing classroom in Melbourne

Published on Dec 16, 2013

A Melbourne school is taking a stand against childhood obesity and idleness offering the world's first standing classroom, which may also improve learning. A grade six class at Mont Albert Primary School has been fitted with height-adjustable desks to allow the pupils to ...

Exercise counters the physiological effects of Christmas excess

Published on Dec 15, 2013

Daily exercise lessens many of the harmful physiological effects of short-term overeating and inactivity, shows a new study. Earlier studies have found that even a few days of energy surplus – where you consume more calories than you burn – brings detrimental heal...

Rise in stress claims causes budget blowout for Comcare

Published on Dec 08, 2013

The national workplace injury compensation scheme Comcare has reported a $309 million budget blowout due to an increase in mental stress claims, News.com.au reports. "Psychological injury costs continue to rise and the length of time ill and injured people are away from ...

Rise in claims see growing life insurance premiums

Published on Dec 02, 2013

A rise in claims against death, disability and income protection policies are causing insurers to increase premiums sold through superannuation funds, Business Spectator reports. The increase in life insurance premiums is set to take place over the coming six years, acco...

Tertiary qualifications increasing requirement for claims managers

Published on Nov 25, 2013

Personal injury claims management has become so complex that the process increasingly requires tertiary-trained claims managers, Insurance Business Online reports. The demands placed on personal injury claims managers around Australia are substantial,” said Mr Paul Smea...

The lowdown on obtaining pre-existing injury details from employees

Published on Nov 25, 2013

Mondaq explores whether obtaining pre-existing injury details from prospective employees is a "hindrance or help." While recent changes to the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 allow employers to both request that a prospective worker disclose pr...

Increase in claims hits life insurer TAL

Published on Nov 18, 2013

Life-insurer TAL has posted a reduction in half-year profit due to a higher than expected number of claims, The Age reports. ''The trends are quite remarkable,'' said Managing director Jim Minto. Mental health claims have grown over the past number of years. &...

Chronic pain and emotional distress often treated With risky medications

Published on Nov 17, 2013

People suffering from chronic non-cancer pain and severe emotional distress, such as depression, anxiety and substance use, are likely to receive long-term opioid therapy despite a lack of evidence that this treatment helps, reports a new review in General Hospital Psychiatry...

Depression in Australian workplaces more 'hidden' than in Europe

Published on Nov 17, 2013

Almost 50% of Australian workers who had taken time off work because of depression kept the reason hidden from their employer according to a large scale national study released today by SANE Australia involving more than 1000 workers. The Impact of Depression at Work: Austral...

Chronic diseases taking up more of GPs' time

Published on Nov 17, 2013

GPs in Australia are working three hours less per week in direct clinical care, however they are dealing with more health problems per visit, research led by the University of Sydney shows. In 2012-2013, Australians claimed 126.8 million GP services through Medicare. People w...

Moral in the morning, dishonest in the afternoon

Published on Nov 03, 2013

Our ability to exhibit self-control to avoid cheating or lying is significantly reduced over the course of a day, making us more likely to be dishonest in the afternoon than in the morning, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association...

AMP shares diving due to income protection products

Published on Oct 28, 2013

AMP has warned it could lose up to $65m in its fourth-quarter as a result of difficulties with its income protection arm, Business Day reports. AMP's wealth protection arm, incorporating disability and income protection insurance, has seen a continued worsening in the num...

Cognitive behaviour therapy successful in treating health anxiety

Published on Oct 20, 2013

Health anxiety has been treated by therapists expert in cognitive behaviour therapy with some specific benefit in some patients referred to psychological services. Following a pilot trial suggesting efficacy we carried out a randomised study in hospital medical clinics. At 1 ...

Fear feeds the pain

Published on Oct 20, 2013

People suffering from lumbago do not move as healthy people do. The pain and the fear of it change their way of moving. This partially explains how acute lumbago can in some cases become chronic. A researcher supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation has shown that p...

This week is Mental Health Week

Published on Oct 06, 2013

Mental Health Week aims to activate, educate and engage Victorians about mental health through a week of interactive events across the state including an official launch, community festivals, art exhibitions, music, theatre and seminars. From its beginnings in 1985, the week ...

Public service managers given bullying warning

Published on Sep 28, 2013

Comcare has warned a group of PS managers in Canberra on Thursday that many leaders are not aware of their legal responsibilities, and that PS employees could face fines of up to $300,000 for serious cases of bullying, The Age reports. The warnings come amidst current cuts to...

Warning on psychological impact of public service cuts

Published on Sep 23, 2013

Comcare has contacted departments and agencies warning of the risk of psychological injuries associated with public service job cuts following the Coalition's election win, Canberra Times reports. The Abbott government has pledged to cut 12,000 public service jobs and imp...

Many people with depression suffer in silence

Published on Sep 16, 2013

A new study conducted by Australian researchers suggests that four in five people who suffer from depression opt to suffer in silence rather than inform about their problems to their work colleagues. "One of the things is having a manager or people around them who seem t...

Bullying a task for whole workplace to solve

Published on Sep 09, 2013

Bill Eddy, CEO of the the High Conflict Institute, says we need to rethink the way we look at bullying. "To be honest, the problem is really a cultural one. The workplace culture must reject bullying, as there is little the individual worker can do. Successful programs a...

Study shows mindfulness training can help reduce stress and burnout

Published on Sep 01, 2013

Teachers who practice "mindfulness" are better able to reduce their own levels of stress and prevent burnout, according to a new study conducted by the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center. Mindfulness, ...

Report finds no bullying at CSIRO after 130 allegations

Published on Aug 18, 2013

An independent investigation says "it is definitely not possible to describe the work culture at CSIRO as 'toxic'," despite 130 complaints of bullying or harassment, ABC news reports. Despite one submission suggesting CSIRO's bullying investigation proce...

New guide promotes mental wellbeing at work

Published on Aug 05, 2013

A new guide promoting mental health and wellbeing at work has been launched, Pro Bono Australia reports. Working together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work, is a joint initiative between the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and Government workplace bod...

Listen to ABC Radio National podcast on back pain guidelines

Published on Aug 05, 2013

Listen to a podcast by Dr Norman Swan, of ABC Radio National's Health Report, exploring the guidelines for back pain treatment. "In 2004 the NHMRC published guidelines for the best management of acute musculoskeletal pain. Researchers in Melbourne looked particularly...

Why are we failing to return more injured people to work?

Published on Aug 04, 2013

A report recently released by Safe Work Australia finds that there has been no improvement in our national return to work rates over the past 15 years, The Conversation reports. "Australia is no better at this in 2013 than we were 15 years ago," writes Alex Collie, ...

Stress early in life leads to adulthood anxiety and preference for "comfort foods"

Published on Aug 04, 2013

Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behaviour, suggests that exposure to stress in the first few days of life increases stress respo...

Interview highlights bottom-line damage caused by bullying, stress

Published on Jul 28, 2013

Corporate Health CEO Dr Doron Samuell spoke with ABC's Business Today about how bullying and stress are undermining Australia's bottom line. "Some people have estimated that [bullying] costs the country up to $30 billion, due to productivity losses, absenteeism a...

New mental health guide for agencies

Published on Jul 28, 2013

A new guide has been launched by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and Comcare to help government agencies create mentally healthy workplaces. The guide, Working together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work, also aims to help the APS build workplace c...

Public service stress claims soaring

Published on Jul 28, 2013

Bullying within the federal bureaucracy is being fuelled by federal budget cuts, The Age reports. The Community and Public Sector Union says that some recent court cases portrayed as dealing with "bizarre medical claims" are contributing to the "myth of the blu...

New SANE Australia report calls for action to reduce stigma against mental illness

Published on Jul 28, 2013

A new study from mental health charity, SANE Australia, reports that stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness is widespread, harmful to recovery, and is a major barrier to participation in society for those affected. "Stigma is a major issue for peopl...

National Pain Week 22-28 July, 2013

Published on Jul 21, 2013

This year National Pain Week will reach out to even more people than last year. People in pain often seek help through the Internet and this can be sometimes the only lifeline that they use when isolated at home due to pain. National Pain Week will be running a Virtual Festiv...

ACTU: Workplace bullying rife, employers need to take responsibility

Published on Jul 21, 2013

The ACTU has called for proposed Codes of Practice on workplace bullying to be strengthened and combined with regulation which makes it a responsibility of employers to provide a bullying-free workplace. ACTU president Ged Kearney said that workplace bullying caused long-term...

Initiative to create mentally healthy workplaces announced

Published on Jul 07, 2013

Workplaces have been urged to share their strategies on creating a ‘mentally healthy’ workplace culture as part of a national initiative launched to improve mental health in the workplace. The program is a collaboration with the Black Dog Institute, the National M...

Is the move towards 'mental health days' bad for privacy?

Published on Jul 18, 2017

Lately we've come across several articles praising the concept of a "mental health day". Here's an Australian example. The link in the heading represents a contrasting point of view, from a Canadian magazine that argues that the explanation "I don't...

Cautionary tales from a spine surgeon

Published on Jul 07, 2017

Pain is more unbearable when people are experiencing stress and this can be enough to persuade people to have unecessary spine operations, according to US surgeon David Hanscom. He shares a "road to Damascus" moment, describing how he revolutionised his own practice...

Liberty Mutual research centre closes

Published on Jun 16, 2017

Recently the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety closed. We've brought you a lot of information from this fantastic resource, especially its Centre for Disability Research, and we'll continue to search the back catalogue for relevant RTW gems. In the meantime...

"Improbable beliefs" about chronic pain linked to US opiate deaths

Published on May 05, 2017

In 2015, 33,091 Americans died by overdosing on opioids, the most fatalities from all categories of drugs. Although many of these deaths were heroin-related, experts estimate that 80% of heroin users start their habit with prescription opioids - and "improbable beli...

Interaction needed to do wellbeing training well

Published on Apr 10, 2017

Online training packs more wellbeing punch when it is combined with interactive elements, according to research recently released by a UK team based at the Universities of East Anglia, Sheffield, Reading and Essex. The researchers will now examine the cost-effectiveness ...

Work has to be good to counteract ill-effects of unemployment

Published on Mar 27, 2017

A systematic review of research from the UK, Germany, Australia and the United States shows that the ill-effects of unemployment can be counteracted by work - but that work has to be good. According to Professor Sara Connolly, one of the study authors: “Unemployment is ...

Workplace wellness assessed by health experts and employers

Published on Mar 27, 2017

US employers believe that workplace wellness programs improve employee health, performance and productivity. But according to Ron Z. Goetzel, director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health an...

Psychologists recognise excellence in workplace wellbeing

Published on Mar 22, 2017

The American Psychological Association has named Prudential Financial as the recipient of its Organizational Excellence Award, designed to recognize organisations for their efforts to foster employee well-being while enhancing organisational performance. According to PR ...

American footballers launch class action around work, pain and prescription painkillers

Published on Mar 22, 2017

Earlier this month, the Washington Post gained access to a sealed court filing of a class action lawsuit representing 1800 ex-players in America's National Football League. According to Louisa Thomas in the New Yorker, the action alleges that "teams violated sta...

Mental health concerns for PR professionals

Published on Mar 13, 2017

You could argue that it's a recipe for stress and ill-health. "In communications and public relations there’s no longer a clear distinction between work and play, day and night, " writes academic and PR professional, Stephen Waddington. "M...

Do office workers design the happiest, most productive workplaces?

Published on Feb 22, 2017

We loved the insights in this article, which challenges the contemporary fashion for carefully top-down designed office spaces, asking "What if the ideal office isn’t the coolest or the most aesthetically visionary? What if the ideal office is the one, dog pictures...

Workplace psychologist explains mental health safety at work

Published on Feb 08, 2017

Jennifer Newman, a Canadian workplace psychologist, believes that organisations fail to protect workers from mental health problems because bosses tend to see mental illnesses like depression and anxiety as purely personal problems. "If we focus mainly on anxiety a...

Skate ramps for workplace wellness!

Published on Feb 08, 2017

Some UK SMEs have a creative take on workplace wellness, according to this piece from the Guardian: a meeting room that doubles as a skate ramp, a "calming" office dog, a communal worm farm and more.  ...

How many times does an injured worker return to work?

Published on Jan 30, 2017

According to a recent presentation by Dr. Christopher McLeod at the Institute for Work and Health, RTW is not a one-off event but rather a trajectory that may be short or long, simple or complex.  He presents key demographic, clinical and work characteristics that ...

Job redesign and sick leave go hand in hand

Published on Jan 30, 2017

Two thirds of Canadian workers have experienced organisational change at their current workplace and 40% say that it had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing, according to new research from HR consultancy Morneau Shepell. "We have found that among the ty...

An enlightening take on wellness at work

Published on Jan 30, 2017

Winter seems far, far away at the moment but, as loyal Game of Thrones fans know, it is definitely coming. When it arrives, workers who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or even just the garden-variety afternoon slump could benefit from light therapy. Accord...

Short, regular walks improve worker wellbeing

Published on Jan 16, 2017

The Age reports on new research that shows that "standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during the workday could lift your mood, combat lethargy without reducing focus and attention, and even dull hunger pangs". The research measured perfor...

"Work related, I presume?" Canada takes mental health claims in good faith

Published on Jan 16, 2017

Canadian province Saskatchewan has removed the need for workers with psychological injuries to prove that their injury is work-related, going a step further than other Canadian provinces which assume work-relatedness only for PTSD. “We know the stigma attached to ...

More American workers say "Namaste"

Published on Jan 16, 2017

Yoga practice amongst US workers almost doubled between 2002 and 2012, with 11% now saying to "Namaste" according to a new study reported by Time Magazine, and initially published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. Meditation rates also increased, from ...

UK mental health initiative focuses on work, not hospitals

Published on Jan 16, 2017

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a new partnership between government and employers to improve mental health support in the workplace. Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, who is Chief Executive of mental health charity, Mind, will collaborate with the private an...

Viva la disconnect!

Published on Jan 16, 2017

French organisations employing more than 50 workers are now required to negotiate with employees regarding their rights to "switch off" from work. According to the Guardian newspaper, the "right to disconnect " law came about because of a government-c...

Health costs of paying women less

Published on Dec 19, 2016

The gender pay gap may contribute to problems with physical and mental health according to studies from Australia and the US. As reported on The Conversation, a "recent United States study investigated the role of the gender pay gap on depression and anxiety, match...

Prince William wants us to talk about workplace stress

Published on Dec 12, 2016

Prince William has urged employers to create an environment in which talking about "feeling a bit 'down'" is no harder than admitting to having a cold, during an address to business leaders on behalf of the charity Heads Together.  "Work, as ...

Look out for these workplace mental health mistakes

Published on Dec 05, 2016

The Mental Health Commission of Canada wants employers to make the most of their investment in workplace mental health by avoiding common mistakes including: failing to offer ongoing and integrated initiatives; introducing initiatives without basing th...

Participatory ergonomics reduces MSDs by 30% at Canadian utility

Published on Oct 17, 2016

Ten years ago, Kitchener Wilmot Hydro, a utility company in Canada that now employs about 180 people and serves 91,000 homes and businesses, took part in a research project targeting musculoskeletal injuries. The project focused on participatory ergonomics, a method for preve...

Unpredictable schedules bad for employee health

Published on Oct 03, 2016

Retail workers with more stable working schedules and longer lead-times before shifts have better physical and psychological health, a US study has found. Associate Professor Kristen Harknett used Facebook to recruit nearly 6,000 retail workers aged 18 to 50. After contr...

Globally mobile employees need wellness, too!

Published on Oct 03, 2016

"From apps to employee assistance programmes, forward-thinking employers are using a range of ways to support the wellbeing of their international assignees, expatriates and business travellers," writes Relocate Magazine. Helping globally mobile workers acclimatise ...

Britain's Healthiest Workplaces now come in all sizes

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Each year VitalityHealth, the University of Cambridge, RAND Europe and Mercer survey UK employers and employees to determine Britain's Healthiest Workplaces. In 2016, the awards have recognised Nomura International Plc as the healthiest large workplace, adidas U...

Pizza Hut to tackle mental health stigma

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Pizza Hut will offer staff training tackling stigma in the workplace, after teaming up with Mental Health UK to survey hospitality industry workers about mental health. The survey revealed that 93% of employees in the sector felt uncomfortable talking to their boss about...

$50 billion and counting: Canada estimates cost of NOT treating mental illness

Published on Sep 04, 2016

According to the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Healthcare, unmet mental healthcare needs cost the Canadian economy billions of dollars in lost productivity - and employers have an important role to play in fixing the problem. “A large proportion of working Cana...

Happy music has workers dancing to the same beat

Published on Aug 28, 2016

A new study finds that listening to music in the workplace can promote co-worker cooperation and support - but not any song will do. The hard rockers amongst us may be disappointed to learn that, when it comes to team-work inducing tunes, heavy metal loses out to positive, up...

Canada wins workplace wellness gold with Office Olympics

Published on Aug 21, 2016

The Office Olympics were held in Canada last week, with employees at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans competing in events including chair rowing, cardboard 'boxing' and 'wasketball'. “In order for team morale to be high and to have ...

Rock Stars: a dangerous biz

Published on Jun 29, 2015

A researcher at the University of Sydney has found that between 1940 and 2014, the lifespans for musicians were up to 25 years shorter than the comparable US population. They were also found to be at greater risk of suicide, homicide and accidents. She questioned which other ...

Tutor: injured while teaching chainsaw course

Published on Jun 28, 2015

A New Zealand college has been ordered to pay $40,000 to a tutor after an incident occurred on his first day at work. He was teaching chainsaw operations as part of a forest operations course. Tree felling was not a part of the course. The tutor was severely injured when crus...

Posties & home insurance: When a dog bites...

Published on May 24, 2015

In the US, bites and other injuries caused by dogs account for more than one third of all home insurance claims according to a report from the Insurance Information Institute. Although claims numbers are falling, the cost of claims continues to increase. California appears to...

Depression puts low-income population at even greater risk for obesity and poor nutrition

Published on Mar 16, 2015

In a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers from the RAND Corporation report that for people receiving food assistance there are significant links between depression, poor dietary quality, and high body mass index (BMI). Depressi...

"Perfect storm" of stress, depression may raise risk of death, heart attack for heart patients

Published on Mar 16, 2015

The combination of stress and heavy depression can significantly increase heart patient’s risk of death or heart attack, according to new research. The study examined the effect of high stress levels and high depressive symptoms among nearly 5,000 heart patients. Resear...

New work schedule could cure your "social jetlag"

Published on Mar 16, 2015

Many of us are walking around all the time in a fog caused by "social jetlag." That's what happens when we lose sleep because our daily schedules don't match our bodies' natural rhythms. The condition can be a particular problem for shift workers, who wo...

Heart valve repair lowers anxiety, depression

Published on Mar 09, 2015

 Patients with severe mitral regurgitation (MR) often suffer from psycho-emotional symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, but after undergoing mitral valve repair surgery patients experience a marked improvement in emotional and physical wellbeing, according to an art...

Mindfulness-based stress reduction improving quality of life for overweight patients

Published on Mar 09, 2015

A treatment known as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) may decrease fasting glucose and improve quality of life in overweight and obese women, new research suggests. MBSR is a secular mindfulness meditation program that was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD at the...

40 per cent of UK employers see sickness absence rates improve

Published on Mar 09, 2015

Two in five (40%) UK employers have seen sickness absence rates improve over the past 12 months, according to research. Just under two-thirds (62%) of respondents said that the reduction in absence rates was down to good morale in the workplace. The research found that return...

Pain a significant challenge when it comes to sleep

Published on Mar 09, 2015

A new poll by the National Sleep Foundation finds that pain is a key factor in the gap between the amount of sleep Americans say they need and the amount they’re getting – an average 42 minute sleep debt for those with chronic pain and 14 minutes for those who&rsq...

Workplace Lifestyle Intervention Program improves health, reduces diabetes and heart disease

Published on Mar 09, 2015

 A healthy lifestyle intervention program administered at the workplace and developed by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health significantly reduces risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, according to a study reported in the March issue of t...

Twin study lends new insights into link between back pain and depression

Published on Mar 02, 2015

Genetic factors help to explain the commonly found association between low back pain and depression, suggests a large study of twins in the March issue of PAIN. Questionnaire responses from over 2,100 twins were analysed to determine whether participants with symptoms of depr...

Workplace negativity can hurt productivity

Published on Mar 02, 2015

Employees who point out problems in the office may help the company improve, but could be hurting themselves in the process. Such negative-minded workers are more likely to become mentally fatigued and defensive and experience a drop-off in production, according to a new stud...

Meditation can reduce chronic neck pain

Published on Mar 02, 2015

Meditation might be an effective treatment for reducing chronic neck pain, according to research reported in The Journal of Pain. Chronic neck pain can lead to serious comorbidities like depression. Patients with chronic neck pain frequently experience distress. Meditation ha...

UK 'Fit note' linked to fewer people taking long term sick leave

Published on Mar 02, 2015

There is some evidence that the UK ‘fit note,’ which replaced the ‘sick note’ in 2010 in the UK, is linked to fewer people taking long term sick leave of 12 or more weeks, reveals research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine. ...

Patients with mental illness less likely to receive diet, exercise advice

Published on Mar 02, 2015

More than half of patients with symptoms of mental illness - and nearly one-third of those who also had diabetes - said their health care providers had never told them to exercise or reduce their intake of dietary fat, according to a new study. People with mental illness have...

How stress can lead to inequality

Published on Feb 23, 2015

Stress is a staple of our lives today, and we know intuitively that it can influence our confidence in competing with others. But how exactly does stress do that? Scientists have found that stress can even be a cause of social inequality rather than just a consequence of it. ...

Treadmill desks offer limited benefits, pose challenges in the workplace

Published on Feb 23, 2015

Treadmill desks can help overweight or obese office workers get out of their chairs and get moving, but a 12-week study by an Oregon State University researcher found that the increase in physical activity was small and did not help workers meet public health guidelines for d...

Workplace bullying a vicious circle

Published on Feb 23, 2015

A study published today reveals a ‘spiral’ of abuse in which the victims of bullying become anxious, leaving them less able to stand up for themselves and more vulnerable to further harassment. The research suggests that employers should not only crack down on wor...

Stress linked to worse recovery in women after heart attack

Published on Feb 23, 2015

Young and middle-aged women experience more stress than their male counterparts, which could contribute to worse recovery from acute myocardial infarction, according to a new study. “Women tend to report greater stress and more stressful life events than men, potentiall...

Higher mortality risk in individuals with mental health disorders

Published on Feb 16, 2015

Individuals with mental health disorders have a risk of mortality that is two times higher than the general population or than individuals without such disorders, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry. The link between mental health disorders and mortality ...

How mindfulness training affects health

Published on Feb 16, 2015

Over the past decade, there have been many encouraging findings suggesting that mindfulness training can improve a broad range of mental and physical health problems. Yet, exactly how mindfulness positively impacts health is not clear. Carnegie Mellon University’s J. Da...

Depression: a barrier to communication in couples?

Published on Feb 16, 2015

A massive 6.7% of the US population are affected by depressive disorders. As well as pessimism, irritability, pain and exhaustion, depression is also proven to affect communication and ability to maintain relationships. Depressed individuals are known to withdraw from negativ...

Higher opioid doses associated with depression increase

Published on Feb 16, 2015

Patients who increased doses of opioid medicines to manage chronic pain were more likely to experience an increase in depression, according to Saint Louis University findings in Pain. Previous research had found depression to be linked with patients' opioid use, but this ...

Widening health inequalities among adolescents internationally

Published on Feb 09, 2015

Over the past decade, rising national wealth across high-income countries has contributed to some improvements in health and well-being among adolescents. But the gap in health between rich and poor has widened, an international study of nearly half a million adolescents from...

Acute psychological stress reduces ability to withstand physical pain

Published on Feb 09, 2015

New research finds that although pain thresholds and pain tolerance seemed unaffected by stress, there was a significant increase in pain intensification and a decrease in pain inhibition capabilities. "Stress can have positive repercussions in a challenging work environ...

Employees may avoid talking about work-related asthma

Published on Feb 09, 2015

Only 15 percent of employed adults with asthma discussed with their doctor how work might affect their condition. However, of the employed adults with asthma, 46 percent had asthma that was possibly work-related. “Work-related asthma is under-diagnosed and under-recogni...

The Wellness Syndrome: Is our obsession hurting people?

Published on Feb 02, 2015

"Wellness is more than just an obsession today," reveal authors Carl Cederstrom and Andre Spicer to the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's a moral demand...when health becomes an ideology, the failure to conform becomes a stigma." In an article published in ...

Feelings of loneliness and depression linked to binge-watching television

Published on Feb 02, 2015

It seems harmless: getting settled in for a night of marathon session for a favourite TV show, like House of Cards. But why do we binge-watch TV, and can it really be harmless? A recent study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that the more lonely and d...

Parental time pressure and mental health problems among children

Published on Feb 02, 2015

New research has found that children whose parents experience time pressure are more likely to have mental health problems. "Parents’ experienced time pressure appears to be associated with the mental health of both girls and boys," said Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdot...

Study finds texting may be more suitable than apps in treatment of mental illness

Published on Feb 02, 2015

Texting may be a more suitable treatment aid for those with mental illness than mobile applications. “Cell phone technology is in the hands of millions of Americans and early research indicates that this technology can be useful to help Americans who are suffering from ...

Tips for resilience in the workplace

Published on Jan 26, 2015

ABC Health & Wellbeing have some post-holiday tips for building resilience at work. Building resilience is one way we can all reduce our stress at work and contribute to a more mentally healthy workplace, says Dr Sam Harvey, a psychiatrist with Black Dog Institute. T...

Work is good for you

Published on Jan 26, 2015

Work is traditionally associated with negative connotations, writes Sydney Morning Herald, however the reality is that work is vital for good health. "This negative view of work neglects the experiences of those who are laid off or unemployed who want to work...Unem...

Would you tell your manager you had a mental health problem?

Published on Jan 26, 2015

Although nearly four in 10 workers wouldn’t tell their manager if they had a mental health problem, half said that if they knew about a coworker’s illness, they would desire to help, a new survey by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows. “S...

Reducing work-family conflicts in the workplace helps people to sleep better

Published on Jan 26, 2015

A multi-institution team of sleep researchers recently found that workers who participated in an intervention aimed at reducing conflict between work and familial responsibilities slept an hour more each week and reported greater sleep sufficiency than those who did not parti...

Poor psychosocial work environments may contribute to heart problems

Published on Jan 26, 2015

A psychosocially poor work environment means that employees experience highly demanding requirements but have little ability to control their work or not feel sufficiently appreciated for the contributions they make. A dissertation at The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Go...

Worksite health promotion programmes: why don’t people participate?

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Worksite health promotion (WHP) programmes are designed to help identify and address health and lifestyle issues, and are offered by 40–75 per cent of employers in Europe and the US. But research suggests that a high proportion (50–75 per cent) of workers do not p...

Insomnia can predict back pain

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Having trouble sleeping? Then you are nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to eventually suffer from back pain, according to a new study. "After controlling for a range of variables, including socioeconomic status and lifestyle issues, we came to the conclusion that i...

Mental health workers don't recognise their own burnout

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Some mental health workers find it difficult to recognise their own burnout. Even when they do, they struggle to admit it to others, says a new study. “Burnout has long been a problem in mental health workplaces and remains so despite much research and considerable know...

Long working hours are linked to risky alcohol consumption

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Researchers report finding that exposure to long working hours was associated with higher odds of alcohol use. "Compared with working 35-40 hours a week, those working 49-54 and ≥55 hours experienced higher incidence of new onset risky alcohol use (>14 drinks/week ...

Obesity-related work absences are "financial drain"

Published on Jan 19, 2015

"Obesity-attributable absenteeism among American workers costs the nation an estimated $8.65 billion per year," states a recent report. Researchers analysed nationally representative data to assess obesity-attributable workdays missed due to health, and the associat...

Fragrances and illness in the workplace

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Perfumes and fragrances can be an unrecognised cause of illness in the workplace, ABC Health and Wellbeing reports. "I see a lot of people who report problems from airborne exposure to perfumes," said Dr Colin Little. "For some of them, I think, it is just an i...

Why don’t people participate in worksite health promotion programmes?

Published on Jan 12, 2015

Worksite health promotion (WHP) programmes are designed to help identify and address health and lifestyle issues, and are offered by 40–75% of employers in Europe and the US. But research suggests that a high proportion (50–75%) of workers do not participate. Rese...

Insomnia can predict the appearance of back pain in adults

Published on Jan 12, 2015

People having trouble sleeping are nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to eventually suffer from back pain, according to a new study conducted by the University of Haifa. “After controlling for a range of variables, including socioeconomic status and lifestyle issue...

Strong connection between burnout and depression

Published on Jan 12, 2015

In a study of more than 5,500 school teachers to estimate the prevalence of depressive disorders in workers with burnout, 90% of the subjects identified as burned out met diagnostic criteria for depression. “The study suggests that the burnout-depression overlap has bee...

Hugs help protect against stress and infection

Published on Jan 12, 2015

Instead of an apple, could a hug-a-day keep the doctor away? "We know that people experiencing ongoing conflicts with others are less able to fight off cold viruses,” said researchers. “We also know that people who report having social support are partly prot...

Health coaching with gym membership works best for obese, mentally ill people

Published on Jan 12, 2015

A health promotion program, called In SHAPE, specifically designed for people with serious mental illness, produced more fit participants and significant weight loss than a control group where participants only received a gym membership. "Upwards of 80 percent of people ...

The protective power of social groups

Published on Dec 29, 2014

Having a strong identification with a social group, such as a choir or a sports club, can help protect you against mental illness. Researchers investigated the link between group identification - one’s sense of belonging to a group, coupled with one’s sense of com...

How to be mentally healthy in 2015

Published on Dec 29, 2014

Medical News Today brings us an evidence-based article outlining the ways in which we can be mentally and physically healthy in the new year. Areas to address include: healthy diet; regular exercise; sleeping more; managing stress; working, volunteering or having a hobby; and...

An exploration of the basis for patient complaints about the oldness of magazines in practice waiting rooms: cohort study

Published on Dec 15, 2014

Cutting-edge research has finally put to rest one of the most plaguing medical questions of our time: "Why are doctor's room magazines so old?" The research, conducted at a New Zealand GP waiting room, involved both "gossipy" and "non-gossipy"...

Do workplace wellness plans actually improve health?

Published on Dec 15, 2014

Wellness plans are an increasing feature of the workplace, yet there's little evidence to support their effectiveness in improving the health of workers, NPR Blogs reports. "One thing we do know is that wellness is particularly popular with employers right now, ...

Twitter posts may shine a fresh light on mental illness trends

Published on Dec 15, 2014

By reviewing tweets from users who publicly mentioned their diagnosis and by looking for language cues linked to certain disorders, researchers say, they’ve been able to quickly and inexpensively collect new data on post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar di...

Wealth, power or lack thereof at heart of many mental disorders

Published on Dec 15, 2014

Berkeley researchers have linked inflated or deflated feelings of self-worth to such afflictions as bipolar disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, anxiety and depression, providing yet more evidence that the widening gulf between rich and poor can be bad for your health...

For docs, more biology info means less empathy for mental health patients

Published on Dec 08, 2014

Give therapists and psychiatrists information about the biology of a mental disorder, and they have less - not more - empathy for the patient, a new Yale study shows. Conventional wisdom suggests that biological explanations for psychiatric symptoms should reduce the blame pa...

People in unhappy places are depressed more than a week a month

Published on Dec 08, 2014

People in the country's unhappiest communities spend about a quarter of the month so far down in the dumps that it can harm their productivity, according to economists. "This is a real concern not just in the United States, but across the world," said researcher...

Computer-based therapy for anxiety

Published on Dec 08, 2014

A team of researchers established a fully computerised treatment that does not require a therapist or other mental health specialist, only access to a computer. The new intervention, called the Cognitive Anxiety Sensitivity Treatment, or CAST, is a 45-minute treatment that co...

Social support for men who have cancer

Published on Dec 08, 2014

Researchers have found some key markers for vulnerability to psychological problems in men experiencing cancer. A group of 127 men aged 18 and over with a cancer diagnosis were recruited. The participants were assessed for demographic factors, social support, anxiet...

Commuting linked to lower life satisfaction

Published on Dec 08, 2014

The more time you spend getting to and from work, the less likely you are to be satisfied with life, says a new Waterloo study. The research reveals exactly why commuting is such a contentment killer - and surprisingly, traffic isn’t the only reason to blame.  &ldq...

How to navigate a boozy holiday period

Published on Dec 01, 2014

From holiday parties to happy hours, social events with co-workers and clients often revolve around alcohol, which can put non-drinkers in an awkward position: they don’t want to drink, but they do want to take part in events they feel are important to networking and ca...

"Trigger" for stress processes discovered in the brain

Published on Dec 01, 2014

An important factor for stress has been identified. This is the protein secretagogin that plays an important role in the release of the stress hormone CRH and which only then enables stress processes in the brain to be transmitted to the pituitary gland and then onwards to th...

Mindfulness treatment as effective as CBT for depression and anxiety

Published on Dec 01, 2014

Group mindfulness treatment is as effective as individual cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in patients with depression and anxiety, according to a new study from Swedish researchers. “The study’s results indicate that group mindfulness treatment, conducted by c...

Women with mental illness less likely to receive cancer screenings

Published on Dec 01, 2014

Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive three routine cancer screenings – Pap tests, mammograms and clinical breast exams – than women in the general population, despite being at elevated risk for medical comorbiditie...

Complex jobs may protect memory and thinking: Study

Published on Dec 01, 2014

People whose jobs require more complex work with other people, such as social workers and lawyers, or with data, like architects or graphic designers, may end up having longer-lasting memory and thinking abilities compared to people who do less complex work, according to new ...

Immune response caused by stress triggers mental disorders

Published on Nov 24, 2014

Activated through permanent stress, immune cells will have a damaging effect on and cause changes to the brain. This may result in mental disorders. A German research team focused mainly on a certain type of phagocytes, namely microglia. Under normal circumstances, they repai...

Job authority increases depression symptoms in women, decreases them in men

Published on Nov 24, 2014

A new study finds that having job authority increases symptoms of depression among women, but decreases them among men. “Women with job authority — the ability to hire, fire, and influence pay — have significantly more symptoms of depression than women witho...

Obesity-related work absences are 'financial drain'

Published on Nov 24, 2014

Obese workers miss more work days, and those absences carry high costs at the state and national level, according to a study in the November Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “Obesity-attributable absenteeism among American workers costs the nation an ...

New research centre to tackle musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace

Published on Nov 24, 2014

A major new UK research centre to tackle the impact of musculoskeletal disorders on people’s ability to work has been announced. “We’re planning a number of specific research projects that could have important impacts on policy and on the management of muscu...

Brain protein influences how the brain manages stress; suggests new model of depression

Published on Nov 17, 2014

Whether or not a given individual’s brain can deal effectively with stress, and thus their susceptibility to depression, depends on a single protein type in each person’s brain, according to a new study. “While most prior efforts in antidepressant drug disco...

Employees offered financial incentives were 33 times more likely to participate in wellness programs

Published on Nov 17, 2014

New research shows that when employers offered financial incentives, employees were 33 times more likely to participate in telephone health coaching, and did so sooner, than employees without incentives. Telephone health coaching – one-on-one phone calls with a personal...

Could depression actually be a form of infectious disease?

Published on Nov 17, 2014

Major depressive disorder (MDD) should be re-conceptualised as an infectious disease, according to Turhan Canli, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology and Radiology at Stony Brook University. MDD remains highly prevalent disease with some 15 to 20 percent of the population e...

Being a workaholic is bad for you and everyone around you

Published on Nov 10, 2014

"Workaholism is the rare mental health issue that can often have positive rewards in the short term -- namely, the praise of a happy boss," reports Huffington Post. Psychologist Bryan Robinson refers to workaholism “the best-dressed mental health problem.&rdqu...

Opioid OD cause for over 100,000 ED visits

Published on Nov 10, 2014

Researchers from Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals and the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that prescription opioids, including methadone, were involved in 67.8 percent of (or over 135,971 visits to) nationwide emergency department (ED) visits in 2010. &...

Research shows easy-to-walk communities can blunt cognitive decline

Published on Nov 10, 2014

New study results bolster the adage that “heart healthy is brain healthy.” The investigation shows neighbourhoods that motivate walking can stave off cognitive decline in older adults. "When the environment presents challenges that are reasonable and within a...

Sense of meaning and purpose in life linked to longer lifespan

Published on Nov 10, 2014

A UCL-led study of 9,050 English people with an average age of 65 found that the people with the greatest wellbeing were 30% less likely to die during the average eight and a half year follow-up period than those with the least wellbeing. “These analyses show that the m...

A strong welfare state mitigates the impact of the Great Recession

Published on Nov 03, 2014

There is a general correlation between unemployment and suicide among men. But the weaker the unemployment protection in the country, the stronger the connection. These findings are reported in a comparative study covering thirty countries, focusing the impact of the Great Re...

Changes in speech of people with depression could be used to help monitor mental health

Published on Nov 03, 2014

Imagine this scenario: You’ve been feeling persistently blue lately, so you pull out your phone. Instead of asking Siri to tell you a joke, though, you open an app that records you simply talking about your day. A few hours later, your therapist sends you a message aski...

Resilience training preventing burnout

Published on Nov 03, 2014

A multifaceted approach to teaching coping mechanisms may help critical care nurses better handle their stressful work environment, according to a study in the November issue of American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC). “Helping nurses develop stronger coping strategies...

Even mild depressive symptoms result in poorer lumbar spinal stenosis surgery outcome

Published on Nov 03, 2014

Even mild depressive symptoms can weaken the outcome of lumbar spinal stenosis surgery, according to a recent study completed at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital. Patients with depressive symptoms had a weaker functional capacity post-surgery e...

Walking workstations improve physical and mental health

Published on Nov 03, 2014

Walking workstations can improve not only physical, but also mental health during the workday, a new study released this week found. “We found that the walking workstations, regardless of a person’s exercise habits or body mass index (BMI), had significant benefit...

Study estimates persistent pain incidence at 19% of U.S. adults

Published on Oct 27, 2014

A new study published in The Journal of Pain reports that 39 million people in the United States or 19 percent have persistent pain, and the incidence varies according to age and gender. The authors noted that persistent pain correlated with other indices of health-related qu...

People with mental health disorders twice as likely to have heart disease or stroke

Published on Oct 27, 2014

People facing mental health challenges are significantly more likely to have heart disease or stroke, according to a new study. "This population is at high risk, and it's even greater for people with multiple mental health issues," says Dr. Katie Goldie. The stu...

Analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs may have an impact on depression

Published on Oct 27, 2014

Analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs used against muscle pain and arthritis may have a beneficial effect on depression symptoms. Ordinary over the counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs purchased from pharmacies may also be effective in the treatment of people suff...

Leisure time physical activity linked to lower depression risk

Published on Oct 20, 2014

Being physically active three times a week reduces the odds of being depressed by approximately 16%, according to new UCL research undertaken as part of the Public Health Research Consortium. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found a two-way relationship between depres...

Women more likely to develop anxiety and depression after heart attack

Published on Oct 20, 2014

Women are more likely to develop anxiety and depression after a heart attack (myocardial infarction; MI) than men, according to new research. “The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020 depression will be the second leading cause of disability and mortality in ...

5 tips for a mentally healthy workplace

Published on Oct 13, 2014

Payscale.com reports on five tips for making your workplace mentally healthier. The approaches include tips for fostering: Employee involvement; Employee growth and development; Employee recognition; Health and safety; and Work life balance. Click the heading link for more de...

Stress, engagement and productivity

Published on Oct 13, 2014

"Employees suffering from high stress levels have lower levels of engagement, are less productive and have higher absentee levels than those not operating under excessive pressure," reports Management Issues.com. New research found that 57 per cent of employees clai...

Patients with catastrophising disorder more likely to develop chronic pain after surgery

Published on Oct 13, 2014

Patients with a psychological cognitive disorder known as catastrophising are more likely to develop persistent, chronic pain after surgery, according to new research. Pain catastrophising occurs when a patient has an irrational and illogical focus on pain, perceiving that it...

Physical and emotional wellbeing directly connected to social hierarchy

Published on Oct 13, 2014

In western society, where keeping up with the Joneses - or, better yet, surpassing them - is expected and even encouraged, status matters. So important is it that for many people, physical and emotional wellbeing are directly connected to their place in the social hierarchy. ...

Why do we stigmatise and ignore depression?

Published on Oct 06, 2014

Medical News Today reports on an editorial from the Canadian Medical Association Journal that investigates continuing widespread stigma surrounding depression. "On a global scale, [the burden of depression] is greater than that of diabetes or tuberculosis," wri...

How to predict who will suffer the most from stress

Published on Oct 06, 2014

While chronic stress increases the risk of poor mental and physical health, not everyone is affected the same way. Some cope well, but for others - especially those most likely to sweat the small stuff - chronic stress can be harmful. New research from Concordia University ha...

Incidence of depression increasing

Published on Oct 06, 2014

A study by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge shows Americans are more depressed now than they have been in decades. Analysing data from 6.9 million adolescents and adults found that Americans now report more psychosomatic symptoms of depression, s...

Predicting the future course of psychotic illness

Published on Oct 06, 2014

University of Adelaide psychiatry researchers have developed a model that could help to predict a patient's likelihood of a good outcome from treatment - from their very first psychotic episode. The model is based on a range of factors, including clinical symptoms, cognit...

People in pain pay more attention to pain words

Published on Oct 06, 2014

 Ache, agony, distress and pain draw more attention than non-pain related words when it comes to people who suffer from chronic pain, a York University research using state-of-the-art eye-tracking technology has found. "We now know that people with and without chron...

5 ways stress interrupts good sleep, and how to fix it

Published on Sep 29, 2014

Stress can diminish the quality of sleep and increase your risk of insomnia, Huffington Post reports. "According to the American Psychological Association's Stress in America survey, 43 percent of adults say that stress causes them to lie awake at night, and mor...

Group nature walks linked to improved mental health

Published on Sep 29, 2014

They are common suggestions to remedy stress: You just need a breath of fresh air. Walk it off. Get out and see people. Turns out all those things combined may in fact make you feel better – a lot better – a new large-scale study suggests. Group nature walks are l...

Eating five a day may keep the blues away

Published on Sep 29, 2014

Fruit and vegetable consumption could be as good for your mental as your physical health, new research suggests. The research found that high and low mental wellbeing were consistently associated with an individual’s fruit and vegetable consumption. 33.5% of respondents...

How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

Published on Sep 29, 2014

Physical exercise has many beneficial effects on human health, including the protection from stress-induced depression. However, until now the mechanisms that mediate this protective effect have been unknown. In a new study in mice, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Swe...

Relief for plantar fasciitis

Published on Sep 22, 2014

New York Times reports on a new study of low-tech treatments for plantar fasciitis, suggesting relief can be found with a few simple exercises. "Until recently, first-line treatments involved stretching and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen or cortison...

Living in a disadvantaged neighborhood worsens musculoskeletal pain outcomes after trauma exposure

Published on Sep 22, 2014

Individuals living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods have worse musculoskeletal pain outcomes over time after stressful events such as motor vehicle collision than individuals from higher socioeconomic status neighbourhoods, even after accounting for individual characteristics ...

Burnout caused by more than just job stress

Published on Sep 22, 2014

Impossible deadlines, demanding bosses, abusive colleagues, unpaid overtime: all factors that can lead to a burnout. But when it comes to mental health in the workplace, the influence of home life must also be considered to get the full picture. A study shows that fewer menta...

Working during depression can offer health benefits to employees

Published on Sep 15, 2014

Attending work while suffering a depressive illness could help employees better manage their depression more than taking a sickness absence from work, a new study has found. "We found that continuing to work while experiencing a depressive illness may offer employees cer...

Walking or cycling to work improves wellbeing

Published on Sep 15, 2014

A report reveals that people who stopped driving and started walking or cycling to work benefited from improved wellbeing. In particular, active commuters felt better able to concentrate and were less under strain than if they travelled by car. These benefits come on top of t...

Online mindfulness intervention reduces fatigue and negative work-related worry

Published on Sep 15, 2014

Brief online mindfulness interventions requiring only two hours of training and practice per week are effective at reducing fatigue and negative work-related rumination and at improving sleep quality. Persistent work-related rumination, in particular where individuals experie...

Proactive office ergonomics can increase job satisfaction and employee retention

Published on Sep 15, 2014

As the amount of time employees spend at their desks increases, so does musculoskeletal discomfort and other health issues associated with the office environment. New research demonstrates that a comprehensive and proactive workplace ergonomics program can help to prevent dis...

People who embrace growing old found to have better mental health

Published on Sep 08, 2014

There is significantly less chance of older veterans experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety and thoughts of suicide when they resist negative age stereotypes, a new nationally representative study by the Yale School of Public Health has found. Researchers surveye...

Stigma as a barrier to mental health care

Published on Sep 08, 2014

Despite the availability of effective evidence-based treatment, about 40% of individuals with serious mental illness do not receive care and many who begin an intervention fail to complete it. While stigma is one of many factors that may influence care seeking, it is one that...

Research hints at why stress is more devastating for some

Published on Sep 08, 2014

Some people take stress in stride; others are done in by it. New research at Rockefeller University has identified the molecular mechanisms of this so-called stress gap in mice with very similar genetic backgrounds — a finding that could lead researchers to better under...

When offering someone a job hurts more than it helps

Published on Sep 08, 2014

Not surprisingly, unsolicited job leads tended to relieve depression symptoms in people who were not employed full time or were unhappy with their financial situation. But researchers were surprised to see that similar offers increased feelings of depression in people who had...

Addiction fears prevent cancer patients from seeking pain relief

Published on Sep 01, 2014

"Fears of opioid abuse and addiction might be keeping patients with advanced cancer from getting enough pain medicine," reports Reuters. According to a recent report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, pain undertreatment is estimated to affect half of all cancer p...

Many employees would forego pay rise for boss firing

Published on Sep 01, 2014

Thirty-five percent of polled American workers would be happy to forego a significant pay increase in exchange for having their boss let go, Robert E. Hall writes. "Disengagement is a defining mega-trend in today’s world," writes Hall. "Gallup report...

Three-quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive treatment for depression

Published on Sep 01, 2014

Three recently-published papers reveal that around three-quarters of cancer patients who have major depression are not currently receiving treatment for depression, and that a new integrated treatment programme is strikingly more effective at reducing depression and improving...

Why plants in the office make us more productive

Published on Sep 01, 2014

'Green' offices with plants make staff happier and more productive than 'lean' designs stripped of greenery, new research shows. In the first field study of its kind, published today, researchers found enriching a 'lean' office with plants could increa...

101 and still happy at work

Published on Aug 24, 2014

A New Jersey man celebrated his 101st birthday at work, as well as 73 years working for the same employer, Brisbane Times reports. Herman Goldman still works four days per week for a light fitting company. "Apart from a brief absence to serve in the US Army in World War ...

Feeling bad at work can be a good thing

Published on Aug 24, 2014

New research finds that, contrary to popular opinion, it can be good to feel bad at work. Feeling good in the workplace can also lead to negative outcomes. The commonly-held assumption that positivity in the workplace produces positive outcomes, while negative emotions lead t...

Cognitive-behavioural coping skills training has positive effects on rheumatoid arthritis

Published on Aug 24, 2014

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a complex autoimmune disease that affects 1 to 2 percent of adults, requires patients to not only cope with pain, disability and joint disfigurements, but also other stressors such as disrupted work, family life and marital functioning. While many p...

Mindfulness-based depression therapy reduces health care visits

Published on Aug 24, 2014

A mindfulness-based therapy for depression has the added benefit of reducing health-care visits among patients who often see their family doctors, according to a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences ...

Combined drugs and therapy most effective for severe nonchronic depression

Published on Aug 24, 2014

The odds that a person who suffers from severe, nonchronic depression will recover are improved by as much as 30 percent if they are treated with a combination of cognitive therapy and antidepressant medicine rather than by antidepressants alone. “Our results indicate t...

Shift workers: evidence for sleep inducing and alertness drugs is weak

Published on Aug 18, 2014

Shift workers are taking drugs to help them stay awake or get to sleep despite weak evidence for their benefit, according to a new Cochrane review. The authors of the review found only small numbers of trials testing over-the-counter and prescription drugs used by shift worke...

Mind and body: Scientists identify immune system link to mental illness

Published on Aug 18, 2014

Children with high everyday levels of a protein released into the blood in response to infection are at greater risk of developing depression and psychosis in adulthood, according to new research which suggests a role for the immune system in mental illness. “Our immune...

Less stress when work relationships are good

Published on Aug 18, 2014

Managers experience significantly less stress when they feel they have a good relationship to their employees, and the employees show a positive conduct and confidence in their managers, a new study shows. “The best thing a manager can do to prevent work stress, is to d...

Men viewed more favorably than women when seeking work-life balance

Published on Aug 18, 2014

While some suggest that flexible work arrangements have the potential to reduce workplace inequality, a new study finds these arrangements may exacerbate discrimination based on parental status and gender. "These results demonstrate how cultural notions of parenting...

One out of five adult orthopaedic trauma patients sought additional providers for narcotic prescriptions

Published on Aug 11, 2014

“Doctor shopping,” the growing practice of obtaining narcotic prescriptions from multiple providers, has led to measurable increases in drug use among postoperative trauma patients. “There has been an alarming rise in opioid use in our country, and the diver...

Work-related stress is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes

Published on Aug 11, 2014

Job strain can significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study. Workplace stress can have a range of adverse effects on health with an increased risk of cardio-vascular diseases in the first line. Roughly one in five people in employment is af...

Natural light in the office boosts health

Published on Aug 11, 2014

Office workers with more light exposure at the office had longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity and better quality of life compared to office workers with less light exposure in the workplace, reports a new study from Northwestern Medicine and th...

Mental health coaching improves outcomes for people with diabetes and epression

Published on Aug 11, 2014

Mental health coaching significantly eased depression and reduced blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, according to a pilot study. A significant number of people with diabetes suffer from depression, which can interfere with their ability to participate in self-care ac...

Web-surfing at work has its benefits

Published on Aug 04, 2014

A new e-memo for the boss: Online breaks at work can refresh workers and boost productivity. A study opens a rare avenue of research into coping with technology-induced distractions in our contemporary society. The researchers outlined three consequences of online work breaks...

Potential new predictor of stress-related illnesses

Published on Aug 04, 2014

Scientists studying depression in teens have discovered that subtle changes in a gene can predict how the brain reacts to stress, which can cause such health issues as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and obesity. "The findings of the current study and our ongo...

A new brain-based marker of stress susceptibility

Published on Aug 03, 2014

Some people can handle stressful situations better than others, and it’s not all in their genes: Even identical twins show differences in how they respond. Researchers have identified a specific electrical pattern in the brains of genetically identical mice that predict...

Acupuncture provides significant quality of life improvements among breast cancer patients: Study

Published on Aug 03, 2014

A new study finds that use of electroacupuncture (EA) – a form of acupuncture where a small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles – produces significant improvements in fatigue, anxiety and depression in as little as eight weeks for early...

Seven traits of the "mentally tough"

Published on Jul 28, 2014

Neurobiologist and psychologist Dr Angela Duckworth has studied thousands of people to understand how they've achieved success, The Age reports. "In all of these different contexts, one characteristic emerged as a predictor for success. It wasn't social intellige...

Paracetamol doesn't help back pain

Published on Jul 27, 2014

Paracetamol is no more effective than a placebo for relieving back pain, according to a new study - Sydney Morning Herald reports. Surprisingly, the Sydney University research is the first large-scale trial comparing paracetamol to placebo for treatment of back pain. &qu...

Extra exercise helps depressed smokers kick the habit faster

Published on Jul 27, 2014

People diagnosed with depression need to step out for a cigarette twice as often as smokers who are not dealing with a mood disorder. And those who have the hardest time shaking off the habit may have more mental health issues than they are actually aware of. Yet a bit more e...

Obesity linked to low endurance, increased fatigue in the workplace

Published on Jul 27, 2014

Workplaces may need to consider innovative methods to prevent fatigue from developing in employees who are obese. Based on results from a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH), workers who are obese may have significantly shorter ...

Obesity worsened by stress

Published on Jul 20, 2014

A new study shows that stress may play a role in the development of obesity. "It may seem counterintuitive, but our body needs fat tissue in order to function properly...stress or inflammation can disrupt the process of fat tissue development, which could have a negative...

Telecare intervention improves chronic pain

Published on Jul 20, 2014

A telephone-delivered intervention, which included automated symptom monitoring, produced clinically meaningful improvements in chronic musculoskeletal pain compared to usual care. “The intervention was effective, even though most trial participants reported pain that h...

The cost of pulling a "sickie"

Published on Jul 13, 2014

A third of British workers admit to having "pulled a sickie", and it's costing the UK around £9 billion per year, Personnel Today reports. New research by PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that the most common reasons cited for taking unauthorised tim...

BMW 3D prints augmented thumbs for workers

Published on Jul 13, 2014

BMW has given workers unique 3D printed thumb brackets in an effort to reduce strain, pain and injury, and to improve efficiency, The Guardian reports. Each thumb is essentially a custom orthotic, made to fit by 3D scanning a worker's finger, and replicated using 3D print...

Poor physical, financial health driven by same factors

Published on Jul 05, 2014

Poor physical health and financial health are driven by the same underlying psychological factors, finds a new study from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Researchers found that the decision to contribute to a retirement plan predicted whether ...

Only 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation alleviates stress

Published on Jul 05, 2014

Mindfulness meditation has become an increasingly popular way for people to improve their mental and physical health, yet most research supporting its benefits has focused on lengthy, weeks-long training programs. New research from Carnegie Mellon University is the first...

How you cope with stress may increase your risk for insomnia

Published on Jul 05, 2014

A new study is the first to identify specific coping behaviours through which stress exposure leads to the development of insomnia. Results show that coping with a stressful event through behavioural disengagement – giving up on dealing with the stress – or b...

One in 10 deaths among working-age adults due to excessive drinking

Published on Jun 30, 2014

Excessive alcohol use accounts for one in 10 deaths among working-age adults ages 20-64 years in the United States, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published today in Preventing Chronic Disease. Excessive alcohol use led to approximat...

Men and women use mental health services differently

Published on Jun 30, 2014

Women with chronic physical illnesses are more likely to use mental health services than men with similar illnesses; they also seek out mental health services six months earlier than those same men, according to new study from St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute fo...

Little progress made in reducing health disparities for people with disabilities

Published on Jun 30, 2014

Psychological distress in people with disabilities is associated with increased prevalence of other chronic conditions and reduced access to health care and preventive care services, finds a new study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. “We found...

Comprehensive review of treatments for depression in cancer patients

Published on Jun 30, 2014

Depression is common in cancer, up to half of all patients facing the disease experience depressive symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. When depression co-exists with cancer, patients may be at an increased risk of death from cancer and from suicide. Antidepressants a...

Doctors ignore guidelines for safe use of NSAIDs in older people

Published on Jun 30, 2014

Research by the University of Sydney has found that older Australians are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for too long and without sufficient precautions to minimise harmful side-effects. NSAIDs are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation associated...

Preventing the development of depression at work

Published on Jun 22, 2014

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of universal interventions for depression in the workplace has found that universally delivered workplace mental health interventions can reduce the level of depression symptoms among workers. Depression is a major public...

Job loss linked with higher incidence of depression in Americans compared with Europeans

Published on Jun 22, 2014

A new study published online in the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE) today shows that while job loss is associated with depressive symptoms in both the USA and Europe, the effects of job loss due to plant closure are much stronger in American workers as compared wi...

Study shows cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation counselling during hospitalisation

Published on Jun 22, 2014

In a recent study published in Tobacco Control, researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute have demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation (OMSC), an intervention that includes in-hospital counselling, pharmacotherapy and post-h...

Pain pilot explores hand shiatsu treatment as sleep aid

Published on Jun 22, 2014

Researchers at the University of Alberta are exploring the traditional Japanese massage practice called shiatsu as a potential treatment to help chronic pain sufferers find slumber - and stay asleep. A small pilot study followed nine people living with chronic pain as they se...

Depression in the elderly linked to Alzheimer's risk

Published on Jun 16, 2014

Many people develop depression in the latest stages of life, but until now doctors had no idea that it could point to a build up of a naturally occurring protein in the brain called beta-amyloid, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. In fact, late-life depression could becom...

Diabetes distress v. depression: misdiagnosis?

Published on Jun 16, 2014

Researchers have long understood there is a strong association between diabetes and depression. But new research shows that symptoms of depression in people with type 2 diabetes can be significantly reduced through interventions for “diabetes distress,” suggesting...

Opioid use prior to spine surgery linked to diminished patient-reported outcomes

Published on Jun 16, 2014

A new study appearing in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery links the use of opioid pain relievers (prescription medications, such as Percocet) to less improvement and higher levels of dissatisfaction following spine surgery. Between 1999 and 2010, a greater focus on ...

Task force proposes standards for research on chronic low back pain

Published on Jun 09, 2014

Standardised research methods are needed to make greater progress toward reducing the high burden and costs of chronic low back pain (cLBP), according to a Task Force report in the June 15 issue of Spine. The article introduces a set of proposed research standards to hel...

Poor sleep equal to binge drinking, drug use

Published on Jun 09, 2014

A new study shows that college students who are poor sleepers are much more likely to earn worse grades and withdraw from a course than healthy sleeping peers. Results show that sleep timing and maintenance problems in college students are a strong predictor of academic probl...

Small businesses less likely to offer health promotion programs

Published on Jun 08, 2014

Employees at small businesses are less likely to have access to worksite wellness programs, according to a research review in the May Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. But smaller companies that can overcome the barriers and implement wellness programs ...

Poor health, lifestyle factors linked to memory complaints, even among younger adults

Published on Jun 08, 2014

If you’re depressed, don’t get enough exercise or have high blood pressure, you may find yourself complaining more about memory problems, even if you’re a young adult, according to a new UCLA study. UCLA researchers and the Gallup organisation polled mo...

Quality, not quantity, counts most in exercise and diet

Published on Jun 02, 2014

If your goal is to lose weight and maintain optimal health and fitness, the quality of your exercise and diet regimen matters more than the quantity, says Skidmore College exercise scientist Paul Arciero. 

Arciero is very familiar with the exercise and diet recommendatio...

Why we hate work and how to fix it

Published on Jun 02, 2014

New York Times writes on employee engagement in Why You Hate Work. "Around the world, across 142 countries, the proportion of employees who feel engaged at work is just 13 percent. For most of us, in short, work is a depleting, dispiriting experience, and in some obvious...

Dialysis patients' anxiety, depression linked to physical impairments

Published on Jun 01, 2014

Researchers studying a group of adults undergoing hemodialysis found patients' higher rates of depression and anxiety could be associated with their impaired physical exercise capability and reduced daily physical activity. "Adults undergoing dialysis often have...

Dealing with stress: to cope or to quit?

Published on Jun 01, 2014

We all deal with stress differently. For many of us, stress is a great motivator, spurring a renewed sense of vigor to solve life’s problems. But for others, stress triggers depression. Researchers have identified the group of neurons in the brain that determines how a ...

Appeal of wellbeing apps often short-lived

Published on Jun 01, 2014

Online and mobile applications for stress management and healthy eating reach a large number of users but their appeal tends to be short-lived, according to a doctoral thesis by Research Scientist Kirsikka Kaipainen from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Applications ...

Implications of mandatory flu vaccinations for health-care workers

Published on May 26, 2014

Employers planning to implement mandatory influenza vaccination policies for health care workers need to understand the implications, according to an analysis published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Vaccination rates among health care workers in Canada are l...

Connection between bullying and health problems

Published on May 25, 2014

Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Psychology Jennifer Knack's research into bullying focuses on the relationship between social pain and physical pain. “My work seeks to understand why some people who are bullied get sick and others don’t,”...

Many mental illnesses reduce life expectancy more than heavy smoking

Published on May 25, 2014

Serious mental illnesses reduce life expectancy by 10 to 20 years, an analysis by Oxford University psychiatrists has shown – a loss of years that's equivalent to or worse than that for heavy smoking. Oxford researchers say their figures on life expectancy should ga...

Achieving patient-centered care across the spectrum

Published on May 19, 2014

Providing patient-centred care consistently in clinical practice requires practitioners who are able to recognise that different clinical situations require different approaches and are skilled enough to adapt. Across the range of health-care problems, patient-centred care ha...

Obese employees cost employers thousands in extra medical costs

Published on May 18, 2014

A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion finds that, on average, a morbidly obese employee costs an employer over $4,000 more per year in health care and related costs than an employee who is of normal weight. The study also revealed that obese individuals...

Cognitive behavioural or relaxation training helps women reduce distress during breast cancer treatment

Published on May 18, 2014

Can psychological intervention help women adapt to the stresses of breast cancer? It appears that a brief, five-week psychological intervention can have beneficial effects for women who are dealing with the stresses of breast cancer diagnosis and surgery. Intervening during t...

Obsessive-compulsive disorder questionnaire may give clues to other mental health problems

Published on May 18, 2014

A shortened version of a questionnaire used by psychologists to assess risk factors for obsessive-compulsive disorder also may help determine the risk of depression and anxiety, according to a Baylor University study. The revision may be a good fit for assessing the risk of m...

Social workers can help patients recover from mild traumatic brain injuries

Published on May 12, 2014

More than a million people are treated for mild traumatic brain injuries in U.S. hospitals and emergency rooms each year. Yet few receive appropriate psychological and social follow-up care that can make the difference in whether or not they fully recover. A University of Was...

Quick test can help spot depressed teenagers

Published on May 12, 2014

A few minutes spent filling out a widely accepted mental health assessment in a health care provider’s waiting room could make a big difference for some teenagers suffering from depression, according to new study from a UT Arlington nursing researcher. Sharolyn Dihigo, ...

Collaboration between psychologists and physicians important to improving primary health care

Published on May 12, 2014

Primary care teams that include both psychologists and physicians would help address known barriers to improved primary health care, including missed diagnoses, a lack of attention to behavioural factors and limited patient access to needed care, according to health care expe...

Just keep your promises: Going above and beyond does not pay off

Published on May 12, 2014

Whether we make them with a person or company, promises are social contracts, says Ayelet Gneezy of the University of California, San Diego. While researchers have explored the negative consequences of breaking promises, until now, they have not explored what happens when som...

Perceived age, weight discrimination worse for health than perceived racism, sexism

Published on May 12, 2014

Perceived age and weight discrimination, more than perceived race and sex discrimination, are linked to worse health in older adults, according to new research from the Florida State University College of Medicine. Older adults who perceived weight discrimination and older ad...

Out of shape? Your memory may suffer

Published on May 04, 2014

Here’s another reason to drop that doughnut and hit the treadmill: A new study suggests aerobic fitness affects long-term memory. Michigan State University researchers tested 75 college students during a two-day period and found those who were less fit had a harder time...

CWRU researchers profile women's employment, caregiving workloads, effort and health

Published on May 04, 2014

A study from the Case Western Reserve University nursing school provides a profile of women with the dual responsibilities of full-time paid work and unpaid care for an elderly family member. “We often hear caregivers talk about ‘how much time and effort it t...

Simple tests of physical capability in midlife linked with survival

Published on May 04, 2014

Low levels of physical capability (in particular weak grip strength, slow chair rise speed and poor standing balance performance) in midlife can indicate poorer chances of survival over the next 13 years, while greater time spent in light intensity physical activity each day ...

Light activity every day keeps disability at bay

Published on May 04, 2014

Pushing a shopping cart or a vacuum doesn’t take a lot of effort, but enough of this sort of light physical activity every day can help people with or at risk of knee arthritis avoid developing disabilities as they age, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.&nb...

Exercise more and eat less? There's a lot more to it

Published on May 04, 2014

“When someone says of an obese person, ‘They should just eat less and exercise more,’ I say if it were that simple, obesity wouldn’t be the worldwide epidemic that it is.” That’s according to Dr. Claude Bouchard, a faculty fellow of the Tex...

Taking a walk may lead to more creativity than sitting, study finds

Published on Apr 27, 2014

When the task at hand requires some imagination, taking a walk may lead to more creative thinking than sitting, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. “Many people anecdotally claim they do their best thinking when walking,” sai...

Physical signs of depression common among ICU survivors

Published on Apr 27, 2014

Depression affects more than one out of three survivors of critical illness, according to a Vanderbilt study released in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, and the majority of patients experience their symptoms physically rather than mentally. Weakness, appetite change and fati...

Too many chefs: Smaller groups exhibit more accurate decision-making

Published on Apr 27, 2014

The trope that the likelihood of an accurate group decision increases with the abundance of brains involved might not hold up when a collective faces a variety of factors - as often happens in life and nature. Instead, Princeton University researchers report that smaller grou...

Want to quit smoking? New study says try "self-expanding" activities

Published on Apr 21, 2014

If you are trying to quit smoking one method to incorporate is to do new, exciting “self-expanding” activities that can help with nicotine craving. “Our study reveals for the first time using brain imaging that engaging in exciting or what we call ‘sel...

New research shows people are thinking about their health early in the week

Published on Apr 21, 2014

A new study in the analysing weekly patterns in health-related Google searches reveals a recurring pattern that could be leveraged to improve public health strategies. Investigators analysed "healthy" Google searches (searches that included the term healthy and were...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Published on Apr 21, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organisational psychologist Kevin Eschleman and colleagues. Creative pursuits away from work ...

Low tolerance for pain may be genetic

Published on Apr 20, 2014

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study. “Our study is quite significant because it provides an objective way to understand pain and why different individuals have different p...

Why the open office doesn't work

Published on Apr 14, 2014

Business Insider reports on a number of studies suggesting that open offices make workers distracted, exhausted and insecure. "Psychological privacy...leads to higher performance and satisfaction." If workers don't have "architectural privacy", they wo...

Irrational health beliefs linked to skipping cardiac rehab sessions

Published on Apr 14, 2014

Heart patients with beliefs about health that aren’t based on medical evidence are more likely to skip sessions of cardiac rehabilitation, new research suggests. In the Ohio State University study, a higher number of these beliefs – referred to as “irrationa...

Reasons for pain after "successful" spinal surgery

Published on Apr 14, 2014

Understanding why pain persists despite structurally successful spinal surgery is a question that has long puzzled physicians. In a study that melds the interrelated domains of spinal surgery and pain medicine, researchers have discovered that in the transition from acute inf...

Impact of clinician-patient relationship on health outcomes

Published on Apr 14, 2014

A meta-analysis of studies that investigated measures designed to improve health professionals’ interactions with patients confirms that such efforts can produce health effects just as beneficial as taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart attack. While it has long been ...

Optimism associated with lower risk of heart failure

Published on Apr 14, 2014

Optimistic older adults who see the glass as half full appear to have a reduced risk of developing heart failure. Researchers from the University of Michigan and Harvard University found that optimism—an expectation that good things will happen—among people age 50...

Mortality risks of being overweight or obese are underestimated

Published on Apr 07, 2014

New research by Andrew Stokes, a doctoral student in demography and sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that many obesity studies substantially underestimate the mortality risks associated with excess weight in the United S...

Using a treadmill while working can boost employee productivity

Published on Apr 07, 2014

Walking while you work may not only improve an employee’s health, it may also boost productivity, according to new research from the University of Minnesota just published in PLOS ONE. Carlson School of Management professor of Work and Organizations Avner Ben-Ner and hi...

One in three intensive care survivors develop depression that typically manifests as physical symptoms

Published on Apr 07, 2014

A third of intensive care patients develop depression that typically manifests as physical, or somatic, symptoms such as weakness, appetite change, and fatigue, rather than psychological symptoms, according to one of the largest studies to investigate the mental health and fu...

Depression increases heart failure risk by 40 percent

Published on Apr 07, 2014

 Moderate to severe depression increases the risk of heart failure by 40%, a study of nearly 63 000 Norwegians has shown. Ms Lise Tuset Gustad, first author of the study and an intensive care nurse at Levanger Hospital in Norway, said: “We found a dose response rel...

Stigmas, once evolutionarily sound, are now bad health strategies

Published on Mar 31, 2014

Stigmatisation may have once served to protect early humans from infectious diseases, but that strategy may do more harm than good for modern humans, according to Penn State researchers. Stigmatising and ostracising members stricken with infectious diseases may have helped gr...

Mentally challenging jobs may keep your mind sharp long after retirement

Published on Mar 30, 2014

A mentally demanding job may stress you out today but can provide important benefits after you retire, according to a new study. "Based on data spanning 18 years, our study suggests that certain kinds of challenging jobs have the potential to enhance and protect wor...

Low back pain accounts for third of all disability linked to work

Published on Mar 30, 2014

Low back pain disability linked to workplace factors accounts for a third of all work related disability around the globe, indicates research published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Agricultural sector workers and those aged between 35 and 65 seem to be...

Lifestyle interventions can prevent mild depression in older adults

Published on Mar 24, 2014

Discussions with a dietary coach to learn about healthy eating were as effective as meeting with a counsellor for problem-solving or “talk” therapy in preventing major depression among older black and white adults with mild symptoms of the mood disorder, according...

We work better when we're happy

Published on Mar 24, 2014

Researchers from the from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick have tested the theory that happier workers are more productive, with interesting results, Futurity reports. Their findings, from studies involving over 700 participants, are to be published in...

Filling out those employment questionnaires might reveal more than you think

Published on Mar 17, 2014

Your answers on psychological questionnaires, including some of the ones that some employers give their employees, might have a distinct biological signature. New research indeed demonstrates overlap between what workers feel and what their bodies actually manifest. This is a...

Study links worker productivity to back surgery

Published on Mar 16, 2014

Back pain is a significant problem in America. In 2010, more than 10 million people experienced back pain. More than 200,000 of these patients are diagnosed with a herniated disc. Employees who experience back pain miss an average of 26 days of work and spend nearly 34 days i...

Patient requests for specific drugs have major impact on prescribing, reports study

Published on Mar 16, 2014

Patient requests for specific medications - including requests for brand-name drugs spurred by direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising - have a substantial impact on doctors’ prescribing decisions, suggests a study in the April issue of Medical Care. Half of the &ldqu...

Older adults: Build muscle and you'll live longer

Published on Mar 16, 2014

New UCLA research suggests that the more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely. The findings add to the growing evidence that overall body composition - and not the widely used body mass index, or BMI - is a better predictor of all-caus...

Boosting self-esteem prevents health problems for seniors

Published on Mar 16, 2014

The importance of boosting self-esteem is normally associated with the trials and tribulations of adolescence. But new research from Concordia University shows that it’s even more important for older adults to maintain and improve upon those confidence levels as they en...

Targeted treatment of back pain sees 50% drop in work absence

Published on Mar 16, 2014

Stratified or targeted care of back pain implemented by family doctors leads to ‘significant’ improvements for patients and a 50% reduction in work absence - without an increase in healthcare costs. A team at the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre at K...

Stress of filing injury claim linked with later poor health

Published on Mar 10, 2014

A survey of Australian accident victims has found that the stress of submitting an injury claim can increase the likelihood of poor health outcomes in the future, Reuters reports. Stress caused by process, delays and related medical assessments can all lead to higher levels o...

Study finds using a treadmill while working can boost employee productivity

Published on Mar 10, 2014

Walking while you work may not only improve an employee’s health, it may also boost productivity, according to new research from the University of Minnesota just published in PLOS ONE. Carlson School of Management professor of Work and Organizations Avner Ben-Ner and hi...

Self-acceptance could be the key to a happier life

Published on Mar 10, 2014

Happiness is more than just a feeling; it is something we can all practise on a daily basis. But people are better at some ‘happy habits’ than others. In fact, the one habit that corresponds most closely with us being satisfied with our lives overall – self-...

New research finds positive health technique for stressed nurses

Published on Mar 10, 2014

Within the health care industry and beyond, daily exposure to stress can lead to negative consequences for employees both on and off the job – from apathy and burnout to physical illness or mental impairments. New Open Access research published in Journal of Workplace B...

Panel recommends listing depression as a risk for heart disease

Published on Mar 02, 2014

An extensive review of scientific literature indicates that depression should be added to the list of risk factors associated with heart disease. A 12-person panel of experts made the recommendation to the American Heart Association (AHA). “Many studies have reported th...

Better workplaces mean less suicides

Published on Mar 02, 2014

The workplace plays a vital role in creating a suicide safe community, according to a new position statement released by Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA). The Statement calls on organisations of all sizes to implement workplace policies and programs that promote a mentally ...

Simple waiting room test can help diagnose depression and anxiety

Published on Mar 02, 2014

A new study in General Hospital Psychiatry finds patients visiting the hospital for a variety of ailments can be easily screened for depression and anxiety as they wait for care, information that can then be sent immediately to their doctor to address. The test included quest...

Stigma key deterrent in accessing mental health care

Published on Mar 02, 2014

Mental health stigma is a key factor preventing people from accessing the care they need, according to new research from King’s College London. The new study, published today in Psychological Medicine, brings together data from 144 studies, including over 90,000 partici...

Mental health problems mistaken for physical illness in children

Published on Mar 02, 2014

Many children are admitted to general acute wards with mental health problems mistaken for physical disease. Somatic symptoms, such as abdominal pain, headaches, limb pain and tiredness, often mask underlying problems and result in the NHS spending money on investigations to ...

An open-plan office can make you ill

Published on Mar 02, 2014

Don’t blame other commuters if you catch a cold this winter: blame the people who designed your office. According to a study published in the current issue of Ergonomics, workplace layout has a surprising effect on rates of sick leave. Long suspected by the employees wh...

The pain of social exclusion

Published on Mar 02, 2014

“Social” pain hurts physically, even when we see it in others. The distress caused by social stimuli (e.g., losing a friend, experiencing an injustice or more in general when a social bond is threatened) activates brain circuits related to physical pain: as observ...

Study finds police work mostly sedentary

Published on Feb 23, 2014

A team of researchers at the University of Iowa measured physical activity in police, whose jobs are presumably predicated on movement. Yet the group found that police officers burn as much energy on the job as someone sitting while holding a baby or washing dishes. “We...

Physical therapy intervention reduces injury in custodial workers

Published on Feb 23, 2014

Repetitive motion injuries are a growing problem in the US, resulting in an average of 23 days away from work – three times the number of days from other injuries. Shoulder injuries are the most common repetitive motion injury reported and the second most frequent injur...

Managing chronic bone and joint pain

Published on Feb 23, 2014

Musculoskeletal pain of the bone, joint and muscles is one of the most common reasons for primary care visits. The majority of chronic pain complaints concern the musculoskeletal system, but they also include headaches and abdominal pain. “As orthopaedic surgeons, we ar...

OECD urges UK to tackle high cost of mental-ill health

Published on Feb 17, 2014

Mental health issues cost the UK around GBP 70 billion every year, or roughly 4.5% of GDP, in lost productivity at work, benefit payments and health care expenditure. Better policies and practices by employers and the health system are needed to help people deal with mental h...

Loneliness is a major health risk for older adults

Published on Feb 16, 2014

Feeling extreme loneliness can increase an older person’s chances of premature death by 14 percent, according to research by psychologist John Cacioppo. Cacioppo and his colleagues’ work shows that the impact of loneliness on premature death is nearly as strong as...

Another reason to not mix work and family

Published on Feb 16, 2014

New research suggests that merely thinking about money diminishes the meaning people derive from parenting. The study is one among a growing number that identifies when, why, and how parenthood is associated with happiness or misery. Researchers found that activating goals fo...

Smoking cessation may improve mental health

Published on Feb 16, 2014

Health professionals who treat people with psychiatric problems often overlook their patients’ smoking habits, assuming it’s best to tackle depression, anxiety or substance abuse problems first. However, new research at Washington University School of Medicine in ...

Chronic stress predisposes brain to mental illness

Published on Feb 16, 2014

Researchers have shown that chronic stress generates long-term changes in the brain that may explain why people suffering chronic stress are prone to mental problems such as anxiety and mood disorders later in life. Their findings could lead to new therapies to reduce the ris...

Healthy habits pay off in the long term

Published on Feb 16, 2014

Can initial modes of behaviour be used to predict how fit and healthy a person will be 18 years later? In their study, researchers used a four-stage biopsychosocial model to identify mutual interactions of health-relevant factors. Initial nutrition and physical exercise were ...

Being mindful online shown to dramatically reduce stress, anxiety and depression

Published on Feb 10, 2014

Practising mindfulness online reduces stress, anxiety and depression, finds the University of Oxford in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation. Research published in BMJ Open reveals participants saw a 58% reduction in anxiety, 57% in depression and 40% in perceived st...

Feeling powerless increases the weight of the world - literally

Published on Feb 10, 2014

Scientists have found that people who feel powerless actually see the world differently, and find a task to be more physically challenging than those with a greater sense of personal and social power. The study is the first demonstration that power – a ‘psychosoci...

Symptoms of depression causally linked to risk of coronary heart disease

Published on Feb 09, 2014

A report published today provides strong evidence that the symptoms of depressive disorder are causally associated with the risk of coronary heart disease, and as such should be considered a potentially modifiable risk factor for the occurrence of CHD. European prevention gui...

Beating pain and painkillers

Published on Feb 09, 2014

With nearly one-third of Americans suffering from chronic pain, prescription opioid painkillers have become the leading form of treatment for this debilitating condition. Unfortunately, misuse of prescription opioids can lead to serious side effects—including death by o...

Rural primary care physicians offer insight into rural women's health care

Published on Feb 09, 2014

Women living in rural communities are less likely than urban-dwelling women to receive sufficient mental health care, in large part due to limited access to services and societal stigma, according to medicine and public health researchers. Some reports indicate that rural wom...

Smokers lack motivation, feel more tired and are less physically active than non-smokers

Published on Feb 09, 2014

While the results of smoking may be expected to decrease fitness, new research, published in Respirology, has found that smokers are less physically active, lack motivation and are more likely to suffer symptoms of anxiety and depression. When smokers were asked to rate their...

Feeling "in control" helps some live a longer life

Published on Feb 03, 2014

The less education you have, the more your attitude counts when it comes to staying alive and well. That’s the finding of a new study conducted by personality researchers from the University of Rochester and Brandeis University. They found that adults without college de...

Obesity starts in kindergarten

Published on Feb 03, 2014

A recent study by researchers from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health suggests that development of new childhood obesity cases, or incidence, is largely established by kindergarten. The study showed that overweight kindergarteners were four times as likely as norma...

Whether you lose or gain weight depends on weekdays

Published on Feb 03, 2014

There are sleep cycles and there are also weight loss cycles. Almost everyone loses weight on weekdays and gains weight on weekends. What separates the slim from the heavy isn’t how much more they gain on weekends. It’s how much they lose during the weekdays, repo...

Two stressed people equals less stress

Published on Feb 03, 2014

One way to cope with stress, according to a new study from Sarah Townsend, assistant professor of management and organisation at the USC Marshall School of Business, is to share your feelings with someone who is having a similar emotional reaction to the same scenario. Townse...

Is medical imaging giving us cancer?

Published on Feb 03, 2014

Despite great advances in prevention and treatment, cancer may soon edge out heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States, reports New York Times. A growing contingent of experts warns we may be contributing to cancer rates due to an increase in the use of...

Just one question may gauge the severity of unhealthy drug and alcohol use

Published on Jan 27, 2014

Primary care physicians seeking to determine whether a patient’s drug or alcohol use is problematic often have to rely on lengthy questionnaires containing dozens of items with multiple response options. But a new study led by a BU School of Public Health researcher sug...

Depression higher than previously reported in people with rheumatoid arthritis

Published on Jan 27, 2014

Levels of depression and anxiety in people with severe rheumatoid arthritis are higher than previously reported, according to new research. As a result of their findings, a multi-centre team led by researchers at the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Genetics and Genomics at T...

Gossip and ostracism may have hidden group benefits

Published on Jan 27, 2014

Conventional wisdom holds that gossip and social exclusion are always malicious, undermining trust and morale in groups. But sharing this kind of “reputational information” could have benefits for society, according to a new study. “Groups that allow their m...

Do doctors spend too much time looking at the comupter screen?

Published on Jan 27, 2014

When physicians spend too much time looking at the computer screen in the exam room, nonverbal cues may get overlooked and affect doctors’ ability to pay attention and communicate with patients, according to a Northwestern Medicine study. the study found that doctors wh...

Patient participation in surgical safety checklist a win-win

Published on Jan 27, 2014

Patients feel safer – and likely are safer – when they receive a surgical safety checklist and request that their health care providers use it, suggests a pilot study. Use of the World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist (SSC) has been reported to ...

Even without a diagnosis, psychiatric symptoms affect work outcomes

Published on Jan 27, 2014

Symptoms such as insomnia and emotional distress account for much of the work impact of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, reports a study in the February issue of Medical Care. Many adults who don’t have a formal psychiatric diagnosis still have men...

Married men should watch their waistlines

Published on Jan 20, 2014

Married men are 25 per cent more likely to be obese compared with their single counterparts, Medical Daily reports. A study of 2,300 young people, published in the journal Families, Systems & Health, found that married men were 25 percent more likely to be overweight or o...

People who enjoy life maintain better physical function as they age

Published on Jan 20, 2014

People who enjoy life maintain better physical function in daily activities and keep up faster walking speeds as they age, compared with people who enjoy life less, according to a new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. "The study shows that older people w...

Parental leave policies best promote gender equity and women's wellbeing

Published on Jan 20, 2014

Government policies that allow both parents to take time off after a child is born provide positive benefits for the physical and mental health of women, according to a literature review that looked at the influence of public policies on women’s overall health. “B...

Handling a bad boss

Published on Jan 20, 2014

Having a bad boss can lead to disengagement - the number one cause of staff loss, Forbes reports. Margie Warrell suggests that rather than planning to quit because of a bad boss, people can use the situation to upskill. "Having worked with numerous not-so-inspiring bosse...

Knee surgery does very little for some

Published on Jan 13, 2014

A common surgical knee procedure was found to work no better than a fake operation, suggesting that thousands of patients are undergoing unnecessary surgery, New York Times reports. A new study focused on people with a torn meniscus - cartilage that helps cushion the knee - a...

Want better work-life balance? Exercise

Published on Jan 12, 2014

Researchers have found that exercise plays a role in how individuals feel they can manage their work-life balance. “Individuals who exercised regularly were more confident they could handle the interaction of their work and home life and were less likely to be stressed ...

Workplace wellness programs can cut chronic illness costs

Published on Jan 12, 2014

Workplace wellness programs can lower health care costs in workers with chronic diseases, but components of the programs that encourage workers to adopt healthier lifestyles may not reduce health costs or lead to lower net savings, according to a new RAND Corporation study. E...

A concussion can lead to depression years later

Published on Dec 16, 2013

A head injury can lead immune-system brain cells to go on “high alert” and overreact to later immune challenges by becoming excessively inflammatory – a condition linked with depressive complications, a new animal study suggests. The findings could help expl...

Online tool aids clinicians' efforts to treat injured workers

Published on Dec 15, 2013

University of Alberta researchers have developed a new web-based tool to aid health professionals in determining the right treatment course for injured workers, helping them feel better and get back to work earlier. Researchers used a form of artificial intelligence called ma...

Exercise can reduce drug-related joint pain in breast cancer patients

Published on Dec 15, 2013

Women being treated with breast cancer drugs known as aromatase inhibitors can markedly ease the joint pain associated with the drugs by engaging in moderate daily exercise, a new study reports. After a year, joint pain scores decreased by 20 percent among the women in the ex...

Vitamin D decreases pain in women with Type 2 Diabetes and depression

Published on Dec 08, 2013

Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression, according to a study conducted at Loyola University Chicago. Type 2 diabetes is associated with depression and pain. Researchers tested the efficacy of weekly vitamin D2 supplementation (50,000 IUs) for si...

Study finds parental stress linked to obesity in children

Published on Dec 08, 2013

Parental stress is linked to weight gain in children, according to a new study from St. Michael’s Hospital. The study found that children whose parents have high levels of stress have a Body Mass Index, or BMI, about 2 per cent higher than those whose parents have low l...

Working odd shifts can hurt parent-child relationships

Published on Dec 08, 2013

Research from North Carolina State University shows that working a job that doesn’t keep 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours can hurt the relationships between parents and adolescents, increasing the likelihood that children will engage in delinquent behaviours. However, the researc...

Home-based exercise as rehabiltation

Published on Dec 08, 2013

Rapid rehabilitation is a must after a heart attack or other cardiovascular event. Different forms of exercise as a part of rehabilitation have been examined by researchers, including high-intensity interval training (85-95 % of maximum heart rate), which has proved to be bot...

Frequent cell phone use linked to anxiety and reduced happiness in students

Published on Dec 08, 2013

Results of the analysis showed that cell phone use was negatively related to GPA and positively related to anxiety. Following this, GPA was positively related to happiness while anxiety was negatively related to happiness. Thus, for the population studied, high frequency cell...

Regular physical activity in later life boosts likelihood of 'healthy aging' up to sevenfold

Published on Dec 08, 2013

It's never too late to get physically active, with even those starting relatively late in life reaping significant health benefits, finds research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Four years of sustained regular physical activity boosted the lik...

Need inspiration? Let's get physical!

Published on Dec 02, 2013

People who exercise regularly are better at creative thinking. This is the outcome of research by Leiden cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colato. She published an article on this subject in the scientific magazine Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Colzato investigated whether re...

Health insurance increases preventive care but not risky behaviours

Published on Dec 02, 2013

People with health insurance are more likely to use preventive services such as flu shots and health screenings to reduce their risk of serious illness, but they are no more likely than people without health insurance to engage in risky health behaviours such as smoking or ga...

Mobility explains the association between social activity and mortality risk in older people

Published on Dec 02, 2013

Social activity and health correlate in old age, but less is known about what explains this association. The results of a study carried out in the Gerontology Research Center showed that part of the association between social activity and mortality was mediated by mobili...

Mental health conditions cause greater stigma in families than physical problems

Published on Dec 02, 2013

Mental and physical illnesses necessarily impact upon the lives of the relatives of those afflicted by them, all the more so in families where a member has a mental illness, because they suffer more discrimination. The results are based on a study carried out in 28 countries....

Living with chronic pain: the daily struggle

Published on Dec 02, 2013

People who suffer with chronic musculoskeletal pain face a daily struggle with their sense of self and find it difficult to prove the legitimacy of their condition. A new study published today in the Health Services and Delivery Research journal, highlighted: Patients struggl...

Fun at work promotes employee retention but may hurt productivity

Published on Nov 25, 2013

Within the hospitality industry, manager support for fun is instrumental in reducing employee turnover, particularly for younger employees, according to a team of researchers. However, manager support for fun also reduces employee productivity, which can negatively impact sal...

Smokers who quit cut heart disease risk faster than previous estimates

Published on Nov 24, 2013

Cigarette smokers who are over 65 years of age may be able to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease-related deaths to the level of never-smokers when they quit faster than previously reported, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scie...

Long-term unemployment may accelerate ageing

Published on Nov 24, 2013

Men who are unemployed for more than two years show signs of faster ageing in their DNA, a new study has found. Researchers measured structures called telomeres, which lie at the ends of chromosomes and protect the genetic code from being degraded. Telomeres become shorter ov...

Depression second leading cause of global disability

Published on Nov 17, 2013

A study published this week in PLOS Medicine reports the most recent and comprehensive estimates on how much death and disability is attributable to depression, both world-wide and in individual countries and regions. When compared to other diseases and injuries, major depres...

Few high-quality guidelines exist for prescribing opioids to pain patients

Published on Nov 11, 2013

Rigorous clinical practice guidelines could help physicians reduce rates of opioid misuse and overdose deaths among patients with chronic pain, according to an article published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers reviewed 13 published opioid prescribing guidelines to...

ACT public sector sticks with Comcare

Published on Jun 05, 2017

The ACT government has abandoned plans to ditch Comcare for public sector workers' compensation, deciding instead to stick with the national body. The plan to ditch Comcare was announced in 2015, amidst rising premiums and concerns about claims management.   A ...

Workers Comp: who gets to claim?

Published on Jul 17, 2016

A young concreter was killed four years ago when struck by a 39 metre boom in Canberra. He did not have a will. His mother didn't think he was in a serious relationship, but he had been seeing a woman for eight months. The young woman lodged the claim for the death benefi...

Depression: claim approved

Published on May 15, 2016

A woman began working in the crisis-planning team at Airservice Australia as a coordinator, tasked with developing and instituting training and emergency plans around Australia. She lacked relevant experience to work effectively in the role and was not provided with training....

Comcare: AFP employee loses harassment case

Published on Apr 17, 2016

A worker at the Australian Federal Police has had her compensation win overturned after a successful appeal by Comcare. The worker alleged that she was sexually harassed, bullied and intimidated by her colleagues in Canberra. The claim focused on a meeting in 2013, but she al...

ACT public servants: objecting to compensation changes

Published on Mar 28, 2016

Trades Unions in the ACT are objecting to changes in the workers' compensation system. These changes are expected to impact over 20,000 public servants in the ACT, including emergency services workers, teachers and numbers. The government is in discussions with the coalit...

ACT: emergency workers' concerns over compensation changes

Published on Mar 06, 2016

Eight unions have raised concerns about changes to the ACT workers compensation system, however the government states that the changes are far from being finalised. The ACT is looking at removing its public service workers from the Comcare scheme, believing it can get better ...

ACT fit note: referred to Human Rights Commission

Published on Sep 21, 2015

The sick note system is being replaced with the fit note system in the ACT. The new system which allows doctors to nominate workers for phased RTW, alternative hours, get-well programs or changes in the workplace, is set to be rolled out across 400 general practitioners aroun...

ACT construction: most dangerous in Australia

Published on Jul 12, 2015

According to a new report from Safe Work Australia, ACT construction sites are the most dangerous in the country. The territory suffered 29 serious injury claims during 2012-2012, while in Victoria there were just 12.9, despite the large difference in population size. ACT'...

Gov't leans towards bespoke ACT compensation system

Published on Mar 09, 2015

Since leaving national workers' compensation insurer Comcare, the ACT government appears set to develop a new workers' compensation scheme for public service workers, The Mandarin reports. The plan would see WorkSafe ACT responsible for regulating both safety and...

ACT Government: no longer using Comcare

Published on Mar 02, 2015

The ACT territory's government reportedly became increasingly dissatisfied with the federal workplace insurer in the lead up to the decision. The issues included the bill for premiums approaching $1b and the slow pace of change in Comcare - and they are not alone. The Aus...

Office desk change triggers difficult compensation case

Published on Feb 16, 2015

A chronic pain case sparked by office ergonomics problems has led to an 18-month legal dispute over workers' compensation, Canberra Times reports. A former ATO employee's desk had had "major" adjustments made, with instructions from the employer warning to &...

Canberra scientists discover cheaper, easier way to manufacture drugs

Published on Nov 24, 2014

Researchers from the Australian National University's Research School of Chemistry have made a large amount of a strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug. Currently, the molecule is only found in minuscule quantities in a rare coral found off the Bahamas. "Wh...

ACT public service tops mental health claims

Published on Oct 27, 2014

ACT government bureaucrats lodged 3.6 mental health claims per 1000 workers in 2013-14, compared with 1.9 claims per 1000 workers from the Australian Public Service, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The figures come from evidence to a Senate Estimate hearings by Comcare th...

PS workers' comp reforms "harsh and unjust"

Published on Oct 20, 2014

Changes to public service workers' compensation legislation planned by the Federal Government have been called "harsh, unjust" and "gratuitously mean" by the Opposition, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Labor says the changes will leaveover 160,000 p...

PS employee says telling-off from boss caused breakdown

Published on Sep 08, 2014

A public servant has lost appeal for workers' compensation over his claim that a telephone call with his boss left him psychologically unfit for work, The Sydney Morning Herald Reports. "The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that an Australian Taxation O...

Jennifer Taylor will replace Paul O'Connor as CEO of Comcare

Published on Jul 27, 2014

Department of Employment deputy secretary Jennifer Taylor will replace Comcare's current CEO Paul O'Connor as his term expires late next month, Sydney Morning Herald reports. "Comcare is facing many challenges in the coming years including improving return-to-wor...

Changes to Comcare coverage

Published on Jul 13, 2014

Sydney Morning Herald reports on changes to Comcare that would see public servants injured on a coffee break away from the office not compensated. The changes would deny bureaucrats hurt via ''serious and wilful misconduct'' or by ''voluntarily an...

ACT Gov't accused of ignoring ambulance service bullying claims

Published on Apr 27, 2014

WorkSafe ACT has released a report accusing the ACT government of failing to properly investigate bullying claims made by an intensive care paramedic against senior staff, Canberra Times reports. The finding has prompted union calls for involvement of an external body to ...

ACT Gov't receives $80m premium bill

Published on Apr 07, 2014

The ACT government has the fourth-highest insurance premium of 120 government organisations covered by Comcare, reports Canberra Times.  The territory's workers' comp insurance premium for the 2013-14 period rose 14 per cent on the previous year. This was mostly ...

Employer claims incidence: More needs to be done

Published on Mar 24, 2014

Comcare has released data and a press release stating that while "many employers across the APS are working to reduce workplace harm and return their ill and injured people to work...The data shows that still more needs to be done." The press release encourages &quo...

No compensation for PS workers injured on breaks away from workplace

Published on Mar 24, 2014

Changes tabled in Parliament yesterday will see public service workers no longer entitled to workers' compensation if they are injured while on a break away from their workplace, Canberra Times reports. Further amendments will also see no compensation payments made to wor...

Government signals Comcare changes, no timetable yet

Published on Nov 05, 2013

The Government has committed to reforming Comcare, but won't commit to a schedule for change, Canberra Times reports. Comcare lost $98 million in the 2012-13 year, with long-term liability payments totalling over $2.6 billion. Public Service Minister Eric Abetz has signal...

Bureaucrats urged to use social media to identify workers' comp fraud

Published on Oct 28, 2013

Comcare's latest advice for detecting workers' compensation fraud includes directing government employees to check their claimant colleagues' Facebook page, Canberra Times reports. The circular released by Comcare, Fraud: What Suspicious Behavior Looks Like, tells...

Alleged breach of staffing rules in new Workcover Independent Review Office

Published on Aug 05, 2013

There are concerns that the new head of the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO) may have breached staff procurement rules, News.com.au reports. Finance Minister Greg Pearce appointed Kim Garling as head of the WIRO in September 2012. Mr Garling has since come under fir...

Bureaucrat injured with whiplash wins compensation

Published on Aug 04, 2013

A public servant in Canberra has won a $390,000 compensation payout after being involved in a low speed crash, despite allegations she was "'jumping on the Comcare gravy train," Canberra Times reports. The woman was the passenger in a car that was rear-ended, an...

Dismissed bullying claim defends manager "robustness"

Published on May 27, 2013

A federal tribunal has found that managers may use "robustness" in their interactions with subordinates without fear of being labelled bullies, Canberra Times reports. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has dismissed a workers' compensation claim by a Human Ser...

Compensation payouts double

Published on Jan 14, 2013

For the first time, Comcare - the Federal Government's workers' compensation insurer - has recorded a $564m loss for 2011-2012, News.com.au reports. Comcare reportedly attributes its first-ever loss to an increase in claims, as well as public servants' slow recove...

Comcare workers take average of year off for mental stress

Published on Sep 23, 2012

Public service workers are taking an average of a year to recover from mental health problems, Courier Mail reports. A review ordered by Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten found that mental stress comprises 12 per cent of all Comcare compensation claims, but accounts f...

ACT lobbies to pilot disability scheme

Published on Jul 01, 2012

The ACT government is pushing to become one of the first "launch sites" of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) from July next year, Canberra Times reports. Two sites will be piloted in the first year, with another two being introduced a year later. The N...

Widespread bullying still a 'real problem'

Published on May 20, 2012

The Greens say an online survey shows evidence of widespread bullying in both the public and private sectors, as well as under-reporting by victims, ABC News reports. 135 workers completed the survey, with 75 per cent saying they had been bullied - the majority within the las...

Workplace bullying survey launched

Published on Mar 18, 2012

The Greens have launched an anonymous survey to gauge the level of unreported bullying in ACT workplaces and schools, ABC News reports. "We know that obviously in workplaces it's a very high incidence of bullying," said Greens MLA Amanda Bresnan. "So we act...

Proposed anti-bullying laws receive in-principal support

Published on Dec 11, 2011

The Greens' proposal for tougher anti-bullying laws in the ACT has received in-principle support from the other political parties, Canberra Times reports. The proposed Bill requires WorkSafe to appoint a minimum of three inspectors experienced in dealing with workplace bu...

"Mobbing" should receive as much attention as bullying

Published on Sep 04, 2011

"Mobbing" - an emotional assault on a single worker by a group of others - should be a better-recognised form of bullying and needs to be referred directly to the Human Rights Commission, says the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, The Canberra Times reports. T...

Plan for improved government servant facilities under fire

Published on May 22, 2011

The ACT Government has come under fire for its proposal to build new offices for thousands of public service workers, The Canberra Times reports. Department of Land and Property Services chief executive David Dawes defended the proposal to move from "C and D-grade" ...

Parliament bullying claims

Published on May 02, 2011

Five employees have quit the department responsible for running Parliament house, complaining of workplace bullying, Canberra Times reports. The former employees, from areas including Hansard and security, complained of bullying in 2009-10. "We'd like to have no comp...

Report in on ACT public service sick-leave

Published on Mar 21, 2011

Latest figures show the average personal leave taken by ACT Public Service personnel at 9.58 days in 2009-10, Canberra Times reports. Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services workers were most likely to take an absence, recording an average of 11.7 days sick a...

ACT workers protest comp changes

Published on Dec 19, 2010

Canberra workers rallied against proposed changes to OHS laws that would reduce their access to common law claims, ABC News reports. Hundreds of nurses, bus drivers and tradespeople attended the rally. According to UnionsACT secretary Kim Sattler these, "are the very kin...

ACT moves to cap injury compensation, limit court access

Published on Oct 10, 2010

The ACT Government is making moves to mandate set compensation payments for specific injuries, as well as stopping people with less serious injuries from going to court, ABC News reports. The changes are aimed at reducing the amount of money paid out for small injuries, as we...

"Systemic bullying problem" at ACT Health

Published on Jun 14, 2010

More bullying claims have been made against ACT Health by current and former employees in what the State Opposition describes as a "systemic bullying problem," The Canberra Times reports. These complaints come after those already being investigated in the obstetrics...

Comcare conducting research with injured workers

Published on Apr 18, 2010

In April and May, Comcare is undertaking research to understand injured workers' health outcomes, service experience, perception and expectations of Comcare. They will be speaking with over 400 injured workers from APS agencies and the ACT government. Potential respondants have ...

Canberra Hospital makes inclusive employment policies a reality

Published on Apr 11, 2010

Canberra Hospital is leading the way in hiring people with disabilities, ABC News reports. Ben Pattrick, who has cerebral palsy, is one of several people with diabilities to be employed by the hospital. ACT Health Minister Katy Gallagher has acknowledged that governments have be...

Work Safety Commissioner releases anti-bullying material

Published on Feb 22, 2010

ACT Attorney General, Simon Corbell, has launched a new suite of material from the Work Safety Commissioner focusing on workplace bullying, to assist employers seeking to prevent or respond to workplace bullying. It is also designed to provide guidance for workers who feel they ...

ACT: Workers' comp amendments introduced

Published on Nov 23, 2009

Workers compensation amendments introduced in the ACT aim to cut red tape and increase compliance with insurance requirements, reports CCH News. The Workers' Compensation Amendment Bill 2009, introduced to the Legislative Assembly on 19 November will: remove th...

WorkCover needs fixing: ACT Greens

Published on Nov 16, 2009

The ACT Greens Industrial Relations  spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan, has called for a shake-up of the ACT’s workplace health and safety watchdog, WorkCover. “We are concerned that WorkCover is unable to provide effective and regular enforcement of the health and s...

Injured bull rider tests "obscure" definition of worker

Published on Jun 19, 2017

Mitchell Gajkowski, a 22 year old man who, three years ago, sustained catastrophic injuries riding a bull at a rodeo in Camden, NSW, has won an unprecedented legal case entitling him to lifetime cover for medical expenses, travelling expenses, weekly payments of workers compe...

Have you seen excellence in RTW in NSW?

Published on Jun 05, 2017

Entries are now open for the NSW SafeWork Awards 2017. If you’re a worker who has achieved excellence in recovery at work, or you know someone who has, Safework NSW wants to hear from you. If you’re an organisation that has shown great commitment to an...

Big insurers out of NSW icare scheme

Published on May 08, 2017

As of 2018, EML will be the only insurer operating in the NSW workers' compensation scheme, with GIO and Allianz acting as "transition agents" and CGU and QBE out in 2017. According to an icare spokesperson, the selection of scheme agents was based on factual ou...

Room to improve in NSW workers comp

Published on Mar 13, 2017

A parliamentary review of NSW's workers' compensation system has called for a "one stop shop" to handle disputes about claims. Other recommendations were aimed at stopping aggressive covert surveillance, preventing insurers from "doctor-shopping" a...

PTSD claimant criticises NSW workers comp

Published on Feb 08, 2017

A woman who claims to have lost everything because of PTSD that developed as a result of a knock to the head at her Hunter Valley workplace says she was further traumatised by her experiences on workers' compensation. “It’s cost me my marriage, it’...

Black lung returns to NSW

Published on Feb 08, 2017

NSW mine workers, past and present, have been invited to contact Coal Health Services to arrange a medical examination after a worker was diagnosed with the state's first confirmed case of black lung disease since the 1970s. According to SafetyCulture.com.au, the person a...

Parents bully teachers as stress claims surge in NSW schools

Published on Dec 19, 2016

In NSW schools, the cost of workers' compensation claims relating to psychological injuries jumped by 71.5 per cent, from $15.1 million in 2014-15 to $25.9 million in the past financial year. In the same period, the number of claims for psychological injuries increas...

Review into NSW workers' compensation underway

Published on Nov 07, 2016

A parliamentary review of NSW workers' compensation commenced last week, as did a series of union rallies aimed at protesting a system in which they say workers are hounded by insurers until they drop their claims. We'll keep you updated as the specifics emerge. ...

Facebook off-limits for claims investigations

Published on Nov 07, 2016

A Sydney personal injuries lawyer, John Cox, has accused insurer Employers Mutual Limited of breaking the law and engaging in significant breaches of privacy when investigating workers' compensation claims. The insurer - one of five agents operating in the NSW worke...

Stolen workers' comp files sold to injury lawyers

Published on Oct 24, 2016

A contractor for the Ambulance Service of NSW sold paramedics' workers compensation files containing psychiatric reports, details of serious injuries and other sensitive informationto a group of injury lawyers. The privacy breaches occurred in 2013 and 2014 and were repor...

Self serve workers' comp insurance coming to NSW

Published on Aug 28, 2016

NSW businesses and insurance brokers, keep your eyes peeled for a new self-service portal for workers' compensation launching in early 2017, under the aegis of icare. The self-service portal will be part of a raft of changes, as icare adopts responsibility for all workers...

New NSW guidelines for workers' comp claims

Published on Aug 21, 2016

WorkCover NSW has released new guidelines for claiming workers' compensation, combining and replacing the old guildelines for claims, work capacity, work capacity reviews and domestic assistance. For access to a prerecorded webinar explaining the changes, follow the link ...

Auctioneer fined: workplace death

Published on Jun 27, 2016

A Sydney car auctioneer has been fined over breaches to the Work Health and Safety Act which resulted in the death of an employee. The 36 year old forklift operator was unloading a truck at Milperra in 2013. A 19 year old labourer was not provided with instructions on how the...

Lindt siege: tactical operations loses members

Published on Jun 19, 2016

Low morale has been blamed on the exodus of a quarter of their staff. Those who have trasferred blamed poor command and a lack of specialist equipment. A TOU officers who was shot during the Lindt siege has filed a workers' compensation claim, claiming that there was a la...

Quad bikes: NSW government funding

Published on Jun 12, 2016

The NSW government is providing $2 million for quad bike safety improvement rebates. The scheme is being developed in conjunction with SafeWork NSW. In 2015, there were 22 quad bike fatalities in Australia, 15 of which occured on farms. There were also hundred injured. While ...

Truck driver: guilty of fraud

Published on Jun 12, 2016

A man on workers' compensation in NSW has been found guilty of two counts of fraud after he was found to be working full time as a truck driver while continuing to claim benefits. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison which he appealed. On appeal, he was sentenced to a ...

Horse riding: code of practice

Published on Jun 05, 2016

A draft safety code has been introduced by the NSW government, aiming to regulate the horse riding industry. It aims to reduce the number of work-related injuries and fatalities involving horses, and will apply to all people working around horses. In NSW in the past five year...

NSW: injured workers receive little help

Published on Jun 05, 2016

A report from Macquarie University on the impact of the 2012 changes to the workers' compensation scheme has found that injured workers are receiving very little assistance to get back to work. Returning injured workers to the workplace was the aim of the scheme. The repo...

NSW work deaths and injuries: 20 year low

Published on May 15, 2016

The NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority has found a significant reduction in death and injury rates within the state's workplaces. The rate has decreased by 18 percent since 2013/2014, and work related deaths are at their lowest levels since 1987/1988. Deputy Se...

NSW: second largest safety fine in state's history

Published on May 08, 2016

A NSW-based construction company has been ordered to pay the second highest workplace health and safety fine in the history of NSW. The fine related to the death of a worker on a construction site in Hurstville. The 55 year old bricklayer fell five metres through a penetratio...

Mahjong club: ordered to pay $415,000

Published on May 01, 2016

A Sydney mahjong club had been ordered to pay a worker $415,000 in compensation after breaching state and national workplace laws. They reduced a full time worker to part time after he lodged a workers' compensation claim following an injury to his leg. He had previously ...

Bricklaying company fined almost $750,000

Published on Apr 10, 2016

A bricklaying company and its director have been fined $90,000 after a worker was electrocuted on a worksite. The worker suffered serious injuries when he made contact with overhead powerlines  while installing metal bars into brickwork. He was initially pronounced dead ...

NSW: Boost to workers compensation

Published on Dec 07, 2015

Workers' compensation benefits will be boosted following an announcements from the NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation. The benefits include weekly payments while a work capacity decision is under review, increased entitlement periods for medical expenses, p...

NSW: PTSD guide to be launched

Published on Nov 01, 2015

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 s...

Injured workers: paralympian mentors

Published on Aug 31, 2015

WorkCover NSW have entered into a $1m partnership with the Australian Paralympic Committee to provide injured young workers and road accident victims with access to mentoring  from paralympians. “This partnership will give young injured people hope and encoura...

NSW: workers' compensation changes

Published on Aug 31, 2015

A NSW Court of Appeals decision means that injured workers will only be able to make one claim for their injury. If the injury deteriorates they will not be able to top up lump sum compensation payments. Although benefits were recently increased in the state for more seious i...

Employee awarded $170,000: no modified duties

Published on Aug 24, 2015

An employee with Chrohn's Disease has been awarded $170,000 from Corrective Services NSW after the employer failed to make reasonable adjustments for her work duties. Her illness meant that she was unable to drive without regular breaks. Her employer provided a return to ...

NSW: Workers' Comp changes being wound back

Published on Aug 03, 2015

$1billion in benefits is set to be restored to the NSW Workers' Compensation Scheme. It will be put to the joint party room on Tuesday. With the scheme now back in the black, there will be increased entitlement to medical expenses, prostheses and hearing aids. The thresho...

NSW: splitting workers' comp

Published on Jul 20, 2015

The NSW Government is planning to split the workers' compensation scheme into three authorities. The aim is to prevent conflicts of interest, and to assuage perceptions that it's pro-employer/pro-insurer. In NSW, WorkCover is currently both the insurer and regulator. ...

WorkCover NSW: criticised for inaction

Published on Jun 28, 2015

WorkCover NSW has been criticised for failing to act on the WorkCover Independent Review, delivered in November 2013. The report found that workers were put at a "double disadvantage" under the 2012 changes whereby each insurer makes a work capacity decision about t...

Cricket injury: compensation approved

Published on May 24, 2015

A settlement has reportedly been reached bteween former fast bowler Nathan Bracken and Cricket Australia for a knee injury, although the matter is still to be resolved. The injury reportedly left Bracken with a limp and was unable to contunue his cricket career. He sured the ...

Parking Rangers: to wear video cameras for protection

Published on Mar 23, 2015

Parking rangers in the City of Sydney will be wearing video cameras to deter disgruntled motorists from antisocial behaviour. In the last three years, the council has paid almost $1.5m in compensation to three injured workers. The council hopes that the cameras will remove so...

Injured worker support improves in NSW

Published on Dec 29, 2014

The NSW Finance and Services Minister and Small Business Minister have declared that small business workers and employers are benefiting from changes to the NSW workers' compensation scheme, Safety Culture reports. "These reforms created real incentives for...

Injured worker costs being shifted to Centrelink and Medicare: NSW Law Society

Published on Dec 15, 2014

While the NSW Government celebrates a reduction in workers' compensation claims, the NSW Law Society says injured workers who are unable to access compensation are being supported by Centrelink and Medicare instead, Sydney Morning Herald reports. "People just gi...

NSW SafeWork finalists announced

Published on Oct 06, 2014

Finalists in the 2014 WorkCover NSW Safe Work Awards have been announced, Manufacturers' Monthly reports. This year's Awards received a record number of entries. “The annual Awards, now in its eleventh year, recognises businesses and individuals making positive ...

NSW injured workers get raw deal

Published on Aug 03, 2014

Changes to the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 (NSW) in 2012 saw increases to weekly benefits, but reduced long-term claim benefits and allowed insurers more power to cease claims. "We believe that the pendulum has swung too far, and we now ...

NSW to reverse cuts to WorkCover benefits

Published on Jul 13, 2014

The NSW Government is set to reverse some changes it made to WorkCover that saw medical benefits being cut to amputees and people with hearing damage, Insurance News reports. This will increase the scheme's liabilities by around $280 million. The opposition says cuts to t...

WorkCover NSW inquiry prompts calls for new anti-bullying laws

Published on Jun 23, 2014

WorkCover NSW has come under strong criticism following a cross-party parliamentary committee, which recommended statewide anti-bullying and independent oversight of WorkCover, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The inquiry described an investigation WorkCover conducted into empl...

Men's health week focuses on increasing GP visits

Published on Jun 09, 2014

Only one in four males have seen their doctor in the past 12 months, says Hunter New England Health Men's health coordinator Ken McKenzie. ABC News reports on Hunter New England Health's focus on the health of men in the region. "We're trying t...

Cuts to workers' comp unnecessary, study finds

Published on May 26, 2014

A new report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers challenges the severity of recent cuts to worker's compensation in NSW, Stacks/The Law Firm writes for Mondaq. "The unfairness of the new WorkCover scheme...leaves only the most catastrophically injured workers receiving ongoing...

Thousands lose access to lump sum compensation

Published on May 19, 2014

Over 16,000 injured workers in NSW will now be ineligible for what was to be their share in over $350 million in workers' compensation lump sum payments, following a high court decision to make WorkCover changes retrospective, Sydney Morning Herald reports. "Bas...

Workers' comp insurer GIO sees complaints drop

Published on Apr 20, 2014

GIO Workers Compensation has seen a “significant decline” in complaints against them made to the NSW Claims Advisory Service since introducing more active communications claims advisers, Insurance Business Online reports. The improvement has been attributed to &qu...

Police WorkCover mental stress claims halved

Published on Apr 20, 2014

The number of WorkCover claims for mental stress coming out of NSW Police have more than halved over the past two years, News.com.au reports. The number of officers filing mental stress claims fell from 4.86 per 100 officers to 2.16 over a 24-month period, helping lower ...

Amputees disadvantaged under WorkCover changes

Published on Mar 24, 2014

An amputated foot is not considered a "serious injury" under NSW changes to WorkCover, Sydney Morning Herald reports. An inquiry by the NSW Legislative Council's Law and Justice Committee into the WorkCover scheme is underway, hearing evidence including that it ...

WorkCover review finds employers favoured by NSW scheme

Published on Mar 10, 2014

An independent review into WorkCover NSW has found the scheme is skewed in favour of employers, ABC News reports. The WorkCover Independent Review Office has found that the NSW workers' compensation system places more restrictions on employers than insurance companies in ...

WorkCover NSW back in surplus, premiums drop

Published on Nov 05, 2013

WorkCover has returned to a surplus, leading to an expected cut in employer premiums, Dynamic Business reports. NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance confirm that the workers' compensations scheme is now in surplus for the ...

Workers' comp changes risk "denial of justice" - Australian Lawyers Alliance Chair

Published on Oct 29, 2012

Changes to rules governing the NSW workers' compensation scheme will act as a disincentive to injured workers seeking to pursue a claim, Lawyers Weekly reports. The Nile Amendment, passed earlier this month, will oblige all injured workers making a claim to pay their own ...

No more leave entitlements for workers' comp recipients

Published on Jul 30, 2012

New South Wales employers may no longer have to provide annual leave entitlements to employees claiming workers' compensation, Sydney Morning Herald reports. WorkCover NSW is reviewing its position after receiving legal advice that the issue is governed under the Commonwe...

Tertiary institutions need to target bullying

Published on Jul 23, 2012

Bullying is widespread throughout Australian universities according to a report into one of Sydney's top universities, which calls for an investigation, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The Report into Workplace bullying at UNSW by academic Sarah Gregson described a culture...

Firefighters now safe from compo changes

Published on Jun 24, 2012

Firefighters have been granted an exemption from changes to WorkCover legislation that would have seen them not covered during transit to and from work, ABC News reports. Pressuring the NSW Government with a strike, firefighters managed to win their reprieve shortly before th...

Lawyers warn against compo changes

Published on Jun 24, 2012

All injured workers will be required to cover their legal costs under new workers' compensation laws, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Richard Brennan, a Sydney solicitor who represents injured workers seeking benefits under the workers' compensation scheme, says th...

Critics decry "sham" workers' comp reforms

Published on Jun 17, 2012

A parliamentary report into the proposed cuts to the NSW workers' compensation scheme has adopted nearly all of the government's recommendations, prompting the opposition to brand the process a "sham", Sydney Morning Herald reports. The committee has recomme...

WorkCover's liabilities "wildly exaggerated" to justify cuts

Published on May 27, 2012

The NSW government has been accused of exaggerating WorkCover's unfunded liabilities in an attempt to create a "smokescreen" for cutting benefits to injured workers, Sydney Morning Herald reports. Unions NSW told a parliamentary inquiry into the NSW Workers'...

Injured workers face compensation cuts

Published on Apr 22, 2012

The O'Farrell government will reduce lump-sum payments to injured workers and impose a cutoff period for payments to long-term benefit recipients, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The government is proposing an overhaul to the WorkCover scheme, which is currently facing a $...

Cuts to WorkCover flagged

Published on Mar 12, 2012

WorkCover NSW may be facing drastic budget cuts after Finance Minister Gregg Pearce's announcement that the authority's deficit increased by $1 billion in the six months to June last year, ABC News reports. "It's vital that action is taken to reform the schem...

WorkCover halts prosecutions

Published on Feb 26, 2012

WorkCover NSW OHS prosecutions are currently adjourned while a review establishes whether they fall under a new law introduced last month, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. The new Work Health and Safety Act 2011 replaced the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000, making i...

Scheme approaches $5b deficit

Published on Feb 19, 2012

WorkCover NSW is approaching a $5b deficit, which could result in reduced injured worker payouts and increased employer premums, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Recently resigned chairman of WorkCover Greg McCarthy told The Sun-Herald the situation was a result of the sche...

Draft bullying code may need tweaking

Published on Dec 04, 2011

Experts say the Safe Work Australia's draft code of conduct: Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying, may need to be more detailed, in both defining all instances of bullying and protecting employers from unreasonable accusations, reports The Sydney Morning Herald...

WorkCover NSW '$2b in red'

Published on Nov 13, 2011

WorkCover NSW is more than $2b in deficit, according to NSW auditor-general Peter Achterstraat, and may not collect enough revenue through premiums for long-term sustainability, ABC News reports. Mr Achterstraat said the situation was worsened by workers attempting to maximis...

NSW police force sick leave soars

Published on Nov 07, 2011

The number of NSW police on workers' compensation sick leave has increased five-fold over the past seven years, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. That makes the number of officers off sick almost a fifth of those rostered on duty on any given weekday. Figures reveal that...

WorkCover launches online premium estimator

Published on Oct 16, 2011

WorkCover NSW has launched a new online tool to help businesses estimate their annual workers' compensation costs. WorkCover NSW CEO, Lisa Hunt, said the Premium Estimator was designed to provide a service to employers where they were working – online. “With h...

Webinars explain OHS harmonisation

Published on Aug 15, 2011

WorkCover NSW is conducting a series of webinars to inform businesses of the impending implementation of national OHS laws, Australasian Bus News reports. Five interactive webinars will be held, each focusing on different aspects of the new laws, including the role of health ...

Support for smoko ban

Published on Aug 01, 2011

The majority of NSW smokers and non-smokers would support a ban on cigarette breaks at work, and banning smoking outside building entrances, reports The Canberra Times. A Cancer Council NSW study found that 85 per cent of people supported bans on smoking during work hours, in...

WorkCover NSW announces new RTW initiatives

Published on Jul 11, 2011

WorkCover NSW has announced a number of initiatives and reforms to improve return to work outcomes. “The NSW Government is committed to ensuring both employers and employees are provided with incentives and assistance to ensure longer-term injured workers can re-join th...

OHS bill amended for union right to prosecute

Published on May 29, 2011

The Shooters and Fishers Party has succeeded in amending NSW workplace safety harmonisation laws to include a limited union right to prosecute, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Passed in the upper house, the amended laws allow unions to prosecute for offences in the lower c...

Govt accused of keeping new OHS laws secret

Published on May 16, 2011

NSW Industrial Relations Commission president Justice Roger Boland has accused the state government of holding one of the shortest consultation periods in "recorded history," in a move described by Greens MP David Shoebridge as, "(what) looks like the first ste...

Domestic violence leave goes ahead

Published on Feb 13, 2011

The NSW government has approved reforms to employment conditions that grant public sector employees leave if they experience domestic violence, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Victims of domestic violence are now able to use their existing leave entitlements when they requ...

Domestic violence leave policy stalled

Published on Jan 23, 2011

Despite their pledge to protect domestic violence victims' employment rights, there are suggestions the Keneally government is 'stalling' the process, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. The government pledged in their June 'Stop the Violence End the Silence...

NSW public servants' sick leave figures released

Published on Dec 12, 2010

The NSW Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat has found that despite efforts to reduce sick leave to a target of one day per person, per year in 2008-09, there has been a decline of only a quarter of a day (1.84 hours) since 2004-05, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. The highes...

15 per cent of NSW police on long-term sick leave or limited duties

Published on Dec 12, 2010

So many NSW police officers are on long-term sick leave that those remaining are reportedly becoming "stressed, injured or being pushed too hard," according to police association representatives, the Daily Telegraph reports. Partial and permanent incapacitation clai...

Bullying rife at WorkCover NSW?

Published on Sep 20, 2010

An aggrieved former employee has claimed that "controlling" management spy on workers at WorkCover NSW, and likened the workplace culture to Cold-war era East Germany. "It's like the Stasi," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. According to an internal o...

Uni of NSW grants extra paid leave for domestic abuse victims

Published on Aug 29, 2010

The Public Service Association of NSW is negotiating with the University of NSW to grant workers suffering from domestic violence an extra 20 days of paid leave per year, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The historic enterprise agreement will also have a clause to prevent e...

Disciplinary process "worsened" murder-suicide paramedic's mental state

Published on Jul 26, 2010

"The NSW Ambulance Service's failure to consider another way of dealing with a psychologically disturbed individual was ''a major shortcoming'', The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Employee Trent Speering was suspended for workplace bullying in 2008 an...

Taking on bullies

Published on Jul 19, 2010

BULLYING happens at workplaces across Sydney but WorkCover is stepping up the fight to help stamp it out with a nine-month campaign. It will target the retail, hospitality, manufacturing, health and education sectors and involve advisory and compliance visits. ...

Mental health stigma perpetuated by clinic

Published on Jun 27, 2010

A nurse at a psychiatric clinic has been instructed not to return to work by his employer after discovering he had suffered from depression, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Alistair Colgrave thought he had performed well in his first shift at Northside Clinic, with the nur...

WorkCover premium cuts for NSW employers

Published on Jun 27, 2010

161,000 New South Wales employers will soon see cuts to their WorkCover premiums, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. The rates will be reduced by up to 2.5 per cent and will benefit around 55 per cent of employers covered by WorkCover NSW. Businesses who have shown continued ...

Bullying recommendations met with "uninspiring" Government response

Published on May 16, 2010

A NSW goverment committee has recommended that, "The NSW Attorney General examine the adequacy of the existing legal framework for bullying related offences, and identify any legislative changes that could enhance the legal protection provided to victims of bullying and ...

Workplace support for domestic violence victims

Published on Apr 25, 2010

Negotiations are underway to develop Australia's first workplace agreement that will support employees who suffer abuse at home, ABC News reports. The Community and Public Sectors Union and the University of New South Wales are attempting to create an agreement that protects the...

Claim-rejected post-traumatic police reach High Court

Published on Apr 13, 2010

David Wicks and Philip Sheehan, two police officers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after assisting victims of the Waterfall rail disaster in NSW in 2003, were, "denied compensation under the NSW Civil Liability Act", because they only witnessed the ...

Crash course in mental health compo for Qantas

Published on Mar 22, 2010

Qantas is considering appealing a Workers' Compensation Commission of NSW ruling that they pay $160 000 for loss of earnings, plus medical and legal expenses, to ex-pilot Bryan Arthur Griffin, who between 1979 and 1982 was allowed to continue to as a pilot despite advising that ...

New online tool to inform young workers

Published on Mar 08, 2010

Did you know that 15 young workers aged between 15 to 25 are injured each day while working? So tells WorkCover NSW's new Young Workers Hazard a Guess website, an interactive online tool designed to give young workers a better idea of their rights and responsibilities in the wor...

WorkSafe hits Facebook

Published on Mar 08, 2010

WorkCover NSW has launched a new way to spread the safety at work message, which will suit those of you who don't have social networking sites blocked at work, and who fancy the F-B. 'Work safe. Home safe' is the name of the page - once you're a fan you can leave comments and as...

Qantas in breach of safety laws

Published on Mar 01, 2010

WorkCover NSW has ordered Qantas to develop emergency procedures for its Sydney domestic terminal after finding the airline in breach of safety laws for failing to train or drill staff on what to do in a disaster, the Brisbane Times reports. Airport staff revealed they had not t...

Free safety workshops for small business

Published on Mar 01, 2010

Learn how to make your business a safe business from a local with expertise in workplace safety. In March WorkCover NSW is running free small business safety workshops across NSW. Local business advisory officers will be on hand with advice and practical assistance. For a full l...

High priced safety law fight

Published on Feb 15, 2010

After a landmark case for future OHS prosecutions, reported at RTWMatters last week, the NSW abattoir which won a case against WorkCover NSW is now demanding a refund from WorkCover of more than $200,000 in fines that followed accidents in 2001 and 2003. It is also demanding Wor...

New WorkCover NSW CEO

Published on Dec 14, 2009

Minister for Finance Michael Daley has announced that Lisa Hunt has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the WorkCover Authority of NSW. Ms Hunt, a former executive at Transurban, has a legal background and wide-spread experience on private and public sector boards includin...

NSW Safe Work Award Winners

Published on Nov 09, 2009

And the gongs go to... Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System winner: Transfield Services for developing an audit process to manage and improve safety across a force of 35 sub-contractors at Port Kembla steelworks. Best Solution to an identified Workplace Healt...

NSW releases data on scheme agent performance

Published on Sep 21, 2009

Worksafe NSW has released a comparison of scheme agent performance in 2008, covering a range of indicators including timeliness of account processing and the percentage of workers still receiving payments at 13, 26, 52 and 134 weeks. None of the schemes had shown any improvement...

Free safety workshops for NSW small businesses

Published on Aug 10, 2009

WorkCover NSW understands safe business is good business, so in August it's running free safety workshops across the state. In just a couple of hours, a local business advisory officer provides practical assistance and advice to improve workplace safety and injury manage...

NSW unions going rogue on OHS harmonisation?

Published on Aug 03, 2009

Unions are urging NSW Labor and the Federal Government to rethink parts of the draft national OHS laws, which will see unions lose the right to prosecute companies for safety breaches, and the onus of proof that an employer has not provided a safe workplace shift to the prosecut...

Pambula Hospital bullying investigated

Published on Aug 03, 2009

An investigation into bullying claims at the Pambula Hospital is underway, amidst allegations that nurses have experienced problems with rostering, diagnostics and bullying at the far south coast institution. RTWMatters readers will be comforted to know that a spokesperson for J...

NSW Workers' Comp stats show some good work - but plenty of room for improvement

Published on Jul 27, 2009

The Workers' Compensation Statistical Bulletin 2007/08, providing information on the causes and effects of workers' compensation claims, has now been published. Workers 'compensation reforms (in 2001) increased the focus on early intervention and return to work - a move which de...

WorkCover NSW speaks all languages on safety

Published on Jul 27, 2009

In recognition of July as Multicultural Safety Month, WorkCover NSW has created a series of workplace safety posters available in 13 different languages. Copies of the poster are free and can be ordered by phoning the publications hotline on 1300 799 003. ...

WorkCover NSW on the ball over costs of unsafe workplaces

Published on Jul 16, 2009

Employers who cut safety corners to reduce costs have been warned by WorkCover NSW that they risk paying for their "savings" in higher compensation costs and lower moral. According to error-reduction specialist Filomena Sousa, who is chief executive of Talsico Internat...

NSW WorkCover trials individual premium calculation for big business

Published on Jul 13, 2009

From June 30 2009, WorkCover NSW has introduced an optional alternative method for calculating big business' workers' comp premiums. Retro-paid loss, or 'burning costs' arrangements determine premiums using an organisation's individual claims and injury prevention and management...

WorkCover trials individual premium calculation for big business

Published on Jul 06, 2009

From June 30 2009, WorkCover NSW has introduced an optional alternative method for calculating big business' workers' comp premiums. Retro-paid loss, or 'burning costs' arrangements determine premiums using an organisation's individual claims and injury prevention and management...

Mechanic death: S Kidman & Co in court

Published on Jul 10, 2016

A diesel mechanic was killed in 2012 when a 350 kilogram metal pole fell on his on his second day of work at S. Kidman & Co's Helen Spring Station. The coroner found that he was unfamiliar with the loader, that it was defective and that management were aware of the de...

Firefighter: claim rejected

Published on Jul 10, 2016

A Darwin firefighter suffering from cancer has had his compensation claim refused. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2013 and became the face of the successful campaign to amend firefighter compensation legislation in the state last year. The cancer may be linked to his...

Airport firefighting truck: crash penalty

Published on May 08, 2016

The Federal Court in Darwin has issued a fine of $160,000 against Airservices Australia for breaching work health and safety laws. The fine was due to a fatal crash involving and airport firefighting truck. The truck, with lights and sirens on, went through a red light in Dar...

TIO: approves firefighter cancer claim

Published on Dec 14, 2015

A firefighter battling bladder cancer has twice had his workers' compensation claim refused, but within a day of the second refusal of his claim, the decision was made to approve the claim. This followed community and media outrage over the initial decisions from TIO. Med...

NT WorkSafe: safety advice for cattlemen

Published on Mar 30, 2015

NT WorkSafe has provided workplace safety advice for the NT Cattlemen’s Association at the Cattlemen’s annual conference. They described their recent visits in the region. Although there was some initial caution from the employers, they soon realised that WorkSafe...

Allegations NT WorkSafe hid critical internal review

Published on Aug 21, 2011

According to NT News, four recommendations of a 2009 internal review of NT WorkSafe have been kept "secret" by the authority. The review made 17 recommendations for improvement, yet only 13 were publicly acknowledged by WorkSafe - until prompted by NT News. WorkSafe...

Police force blamed for officer's mental illness

Published on Sep 12, 2010

A magistrate has ruled the NT police force responsible for an officer's mental stress injuries, a result of improper investigation of sexual harassment claims, NT News reports. Roberta Barnett alleged she was bullied and harassed by senior officers after rejecting a sexua...

Fake sick certificates lands worker conviction

Published on Apr 11, 2010

Micheal Wise, former Darwin IT worker at the Defense Department has pleaded guilty to using six forged documents for sick leave, the ABC reports. Wise took a total of 10 days' sick leave over a three year period, providing fake sick certificates that were identical except for th...

Company fined $60,000 for worker ute death

Published on Mar 21, 2010

A Northern Territory employer has been fined $60,000 after pleading guilty to workplace violations that led to the death of a Philipino visa worker. Pedro Balading, father of three, was killed when he fell out of a ute being driven by another worker. The Sydney Morning Herald re...

Darwin bomber unhappy with workers' comp

Published on Feb 08, 2010

The man responsible for detonating a bomb in a Darwin shopping centre, which left 15 people injured, was reportedly angry with his workers' compensation payout and unsatisfied with insurance service TIO. According to News.com.au, "He allegedly blamed TIO for loss of earning...

Keeping up with the crocs

Published on Jul 12, 2009

Just because we can. ...

Peter Jackson: resigns over WHS changes

Published on Jan 26, 2016

Film director Peter Jackson has reportedly resigned from his role as a director of New Zealand's Weta Workshop due to changes in the NZ Health and Work Safety Act 2015. Under the legislation whch comes into force on April 4, company directors become personally liable for ...

Healthy eating still hasn't turned up at work

Published on Nov 20, 2011

About half of men and a third of women are not eating enough fruit and vegetables, says a NZ Health Ministry adult nutrition survey, Stuff.co.nz reports. Despite evidence that healthy eating improves productivity and reduces sick days, workers are still reporting difficulty e...

"Prevention" wording cut from compensation managers' title

Published on Jun 19, 2011

Concern over changes to the title of New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation managers has raised concerns of a focus away from injury and illness prevention, Scoop.co.nz reports. ACC managers will see their title change from Injury Prevention Managers to Insurance Produ...

Call for increased flexibility for ageing workers

Published on May 29, 2011

The Public Service Association has called for more flexible working options for older workers in response to recent Victoria University research suggesting widespread workplace underpreparedness for the loss of retiring aging workers, Stuff.co.nz reports. "The idea of mo...

Older workers happier, healthier

Published on Mar 14, 2011

New evidence suggests that older workers enjoying encore careers - e.g. meaningful paid or unpaid work undertaken by people in the "second half" of life - are happier and healthier than those who do not work during the latter stage of their lives, Ageing Workforce N...

NZ doctors propose shift to "fit notes"

Published on Feb 21, 2011

The Harbour Health Primary Health Organisation has proposed a shift from the "sick note" approach to the less prohibitive "fit note" philosophy pioneered in Britain, The NZ Herald reports. The group's two reports last year identified doctor's medic...

QLD Return to Work Awards open now

Published on May 05, 2017

WorkSafe Queensland wants to acknowledge excellence in return to work in 2017. Categories include: Injured worker achievement award Best rehabilitation and return to work system Best individual contribution to rehabilitation and return to work ...

Black lung training for QLD doctors

Published on May 05, 2017

Queensland miners attending their compulsary health assessment will soon be seen by doctors with additional, mine-specific training, including an underground visit in a coal mine. The aim is to enable early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung) or ...

No compensation - yet - for teacher in union fall

Published on Apr 10, 2017

A teacher who was injured in a fall at a regular, work-approved union meeting has been denied compensation by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. The finding raises questions about the liability of employers when an employee is hurt in the course of an a...

Too hot to work?

Published on Feb 08, 2017

There were 662 workers compensation claims for workplace fatigue, skin cancer and heat stroke in Queensland in the four years to July 2015. According to union branch secretary Lyndal Ryan, heat in the workplace is managed for some workers but not others. "Ther...

Happy anniversary, Workcover Queensland!

Published on Feb 06, 2017

At the end of February 2017, WorkCover Queensland celebrated it's 20th Anniversary. For most of that time, the organisation was led by CEO Tony Hawkins, who retired in 2016.  Among WorkCover Queensland's achievements, Current CEO Bruce Watson listed financi...

Calls for QLD to extend time limit for asbestos-related workers comp claims

Published on Nov 21, 2016

If you're diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease in Queensland you have just 6 months in which to lodge a workers' compensation claim, a restriction that critics say has left many victims without recourse to compensation.  “There needs to be bette...

First above-ground miner diagnosed with black lung

Published on Oct 17, 2016

A Queensland miner who has never worked underground has been diagnosed with black lung disease, the 16th confirmed case since 2015. The affected man, Paul Head, has worked at BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s Goonyella Riverside open cut mine at Moranbah, west of Macka...

Should mining companies pay levy for victims of black lung?

Published on Sep 18, 2016

The CFMEU has offered support for the Black Lung Victim Group's call for an industry-funded compensation levy but Queensland Resources Council (QRC) does not support the scheme, reports Australian Mining. While the QRC believes that Queensland's current compensation s...

QLD study links suicide to poor physical health

Published on Sep 11, 2016

Musculo-skeletal disorders and other physical health conditions can make people vulnerable to suicide, suggests a new study from Griffith University. According to the research, 48.7% of Queenslanders who took their own lives between 2011 and 2013 suffered from a physical heal...

QLD: Injured workers guaranteed lifetime support

Published on Sep 04, 2016

Queenslanders who suffer serious injury in the workplace are now guaranteed support across their lifetime regardless of blame. Passed last week, the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation (National Injury Insurance Scheme) Amendment Bill 2016 provides statutory e...

Black lung: Is a parliamentary review enough?

Published on Aug 21, 2016

The Queensland government will set up a parliamentary review into a resurgance of black lung amongst the state's coal miners. Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls called instead for a royal commission into the issue, pointing to union criticism of the Labor government as eviden...

Border Force officer: seeking weight loss drug

Published on Aug 07, 2016

An overweight Border Force officer has lost in his bid to have Comcare pay for a weight loss drug. The employee gained weight through the cessation of his exercise regime after sustaining an injury his foot while lifting luggage onto a conveyor belt at Brisbane Airport. The A...

Support worker: compensated for ordeal

Published on Jul 31, 2016

A Queensland-based female support worker has been awarded over $1.5million in compensation after being sexually assaulted by a female client. The court heard that the client had a long history of making their support workers feel unsafe due to sexualised violence, with severa...

Canberra: a cause for compo

Published on Jul 31, 2016

A public servant based in Brisbane and fearful of his job being moved to Canberra suffered mental illness as a result of his fear. It has been ruled that he is eligible to apply for a compensation payment.The onset of the illness occurred at a meeting in July 2013 when he was...

Black lung: new strategy

Published on Jul 17, 2016

A new action plan has been developed after eleven Queensland mine workers were diagnosed with black lung disease. The aim is to deliver best-practice in prevention, monitoring and screening. Queensland’s Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr. Anthony Lynham said,...

Queensland: lowest premiums

Published on May 29, 2016

Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has announced that Queensland retains its place as having the lowest workers' compensation premiums in the country. She added that this helps the state through benefiting businesses egaged in interstate trade. WorkCover...

Dismissed: didn't participate in 'huddle'

Published on May 22, 2016

A worker on a 457 visa was dismissed by Brisbane company, East Coast Bullbars in January, one day after he claimed that he was too ill to participate in morning and afternoon 'huddles'. These huddles lasted between five and ten minutes and were conducted in the mornin...

ABC cancer cluster: 10 years since studio shut

Published on May 15, 2016

Between 1994 and 2006, twelve women working at the ABC's Toowong studio were diagnosed with breast cancer. In December 2006, the studio was evacuated. The 500 people who worked in the building were given boxes and asked to clear their desks. They would never go back into ...

Sand dune jump: guide sues

Published on May 08, 2016

A former tour guide jumped from a sand dune and was injured. He's suing the Fraser Island resort over his injuries, claiming that he was doing as requested by a tourist and a senior guide. The claimant suffered a spinal injury and claims he later suffered a psychological ...

Compensation approval: black lung

Published on Apr 17, 2016

A Queensland miner suffering from black lung has had his workers' compensation approved. This is the first time compensation has been approved for someone with the condition in Australia. He is one of six people confirmed to have contracted the disease. The worker said th...

Boatbuilder: lost part of his sight

Published on Apr 03, 2016

A boatbuilder has lodged a claim against his former employer, Telwater, over an injury which resulted in the loss of art of his sight. The worker alleges that the business was negligent in its operating procedures, resulting in eye injuries. A colleague left a battery and oth...

Firefighter: the stress of the job

Published on Apr 03, 2016

A Queensland firefighter left his job in 2008 after a 25 year career. He didn't tell his workmates, but he had been suffering from panic attacks for the past eleven years. These increased to a point where his psychiatrist diagnosed him with post traumatic stress disorder....

Queensland: Safe Work and RTW Award winners announced

Published on Oct 25, 2015

The winners of Queensland's Safe Work and RTW Awards were announced by Curtis Pitt, Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations. He reitterated his determination to see an improvement in health and safety in Queensland, having had a personal connection to workplace tr...

Qld firefighters: compensation law passes

Published on Sep 21, 2015

Volunteer firefighters in Queensland will now be able to access compensation if they contract a work-related cancer. The Government previously sought to restrict access to volunteers who had attended at least 150 fire events. Under the changes, volunteer firefighters will be ...

Qld Rural Fire Brigades: fear being left out of cancer compensation

Published on Aug 03, 2015

An amendment to Queensland's Workers' Compensation Act, currently being reviewed, requires that rural firefighters attend more than 150 fires or 'exposure events' every five years. In contrast, urban firefighters qualify by attending one fire if they met a min...

QLD: simpler for injured workers to pursue legal claims

Published on Jul 19, 2015

The Palaszczuk Government has introduced legislation to the State Parliament which will make it simpler for injured workers to pursue legal claims through the courts. They are reinstating common law rights for injured workers who can prove negligence on the part of their empl...

Qld firefighters: Bill covers 12 forms of cancer

Published on Jun 08, 2015

Under a Bill presented to the Queensland Parliament this week, Queensland rural, auxilliary and urban firefighters will be convered by workers' compensation if they contract one of 12 specified cancers while engaged in their work. While extinguishing fires, there is alway...

QLD work-related injuries rate falling

Published on Dec 29, 2014

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that workers compensation claims are falling, News Mail reports. Sales people are the top category to have reduced claims in the Central QLD Bay region, with a 33 per cent drop in 2011-2013. Managers reduced their claim rate over the...

Worker Assist app helps injured workers track their compensation claim

Published on Dec 01, 2014

WorkCover Queensland today released an enhanced version of our Worker Assist mobile app that helps injured workers track the progress of their workers' compensation claim in real time. The Worker Assist app, launched in August 2014, is an Australian first now used by over...

Worker assist smartphone app now available

Published on Aug 18, 2014

Injured workers who have a workers' compensation claim can now stay connected with WorkCover Queensland while on-the-go and access a range of information relating to their claim using a new smartphone app, Worker Assist. Workers can use the app to quickly and easily check...

Bullying is a $13 billion issue

Published on Jun 09, 2014

Workplace bullying is a growing issue, Brisbane times reports. "In 2005 WorkCover (ACT) estimating the dollar ‘cost’ of workplace bullying, stated, 'The financial cost of workplace bullying in Australia is estimated to be between $6 billion and $13 billio...

WorkCover QLD considering making claiming harder

Published on Oct 14, 2013

According to ABC 612, WorkCover QLD is considering making changes that would see it harder for injured workers to make a claim. "Steve Austin spoke to the Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie. He also spoke to Rod Hodgson from the Australian Laywers Alliance, Nick ...

Don't "soldier on" if you're sick

Published on Jul 30, 2012

Amidst a bad influenza season, health authorities are urging Queenslanders to stay at home if they think they are sick, Courier Mail reports. Queensland Health data shows the number of people testing positive to the flu this season is almost 1.5 times the five-year average. W...

Xstrata studies worker health

Published on Jun 03, 2012

Mining company Xstrata has commissioned a study into the health of 100 of its northern Queensland workers, ABC News reports. Xstrata spokesman Steve de Kruijff explained that the aim of the study is to better understand the effect of sedentary work patterns on worker health. ...

Patel whistleblower seeks damages over employer conduct

Published on Dec 18, 2011

The woman who acted as whistleblower against "Dr Death," Jayant Patel, is seeking $400,000 damages from Queensland Health for injuries and loss of income over the past seven years, centering around claims they treated her "like a leper," Brisbane Times rep...

Q-COMP's RTW Conference, Expo and Awards

Published on Oct 23, 2011

Following on from the success of last year, the Return to Work Conference, Expo and Awards once again deliver a must-attend event for people and professionals active in the workers' compensation industry. The Expo features representatives from leading organisations in the...

FIFO workers strain health system, spread disease

Published on Sep 26, 2011

Fly-in fly-out workers are placing an unsustainable strain on essential services in local mining communities, potentially accelerating the spread of contagious illnesses, Brisbane Times reports. Senior medical officials in mining town Moranbah have warned of the trend in a su...

QLD establishes bullying taskforce

Published on Jul 10, 2011

The Bligh Government has formed a special reference group to establish whether Queensland bullying laws adequately protect workers. "I am establishing a workplace bullying reference group to look into the incidence of bullying and strategies to prevent bullying in Queens...

WorkCover QLD raises rates 9 per cent

Published on Jun 20, 2011

WorkCover Queensland has released the industry premium rates for 2011-12, resulting in the average rate of 1.42 per cent - up 9 per cent from an average of 1.3 per cent in the current financial year. "It is important for Queensland workers and employers, that WorkCover h...

Queensland Safe Work Awards 2011

Published on Jun 05, 2011

Nominations for the Queensland Safe Work Awards are now open. The Awards encourage workplaces to develop and share innovative safety solutions that contribute towards a zero harm at work culture, making sure workers return home to their loved ones at the end of each day. The ...

Construction workers encouraged to "Bussta Gut"

Published on Apr 04, 2011

Construction workers at a Brisbane site are being encouraged to join a new health and wellbeing program, Brisbane Times reports."The Bussta Gut Challenge will provide tailored and personalised advice to help workers lose weight, get active and develop healthier habits,&q...

Cost of QLD police psychological injury claims almost equal to physical injuries

Published on Dec 12, 2010

Queensland Police Service WorkCover claims for psychological injuries totalled $2.75 million in 2009-10, almost equalling the tally for musculoskeletal injuries at $2.8 million, the Courier Mail reports. The difficulty in proving psychological injury in the courts suggests th...

Queensland health spent $500,000 on worker stress compo

Published on Nov 21, 2010

As a result of what one employee regards as repeated bullying in a, "brutal place to work," Queensland Health has paid $565,988 to 106 stress-related WorkCover claims between July 2009 and June 2010. 1486 complaints were recorded, resulting in 331 claims being lodge...

Managers and bosses targeting workplace bullying victims

Published on Nov 07, 2010

The latest quarterly report from the Queensland Workplace Rights Ombudsman shows that workplace bullying remains rife, with managers lacking, "true conviction" to stamp it out, the Brisbane Times reports. Commissioner Don Brown said that many managers weren't de...

OT week in Queensland

Published on Oct 24, 2010

Occupational Therapists (OTs) across Queensland will be thanked this OT Week (Monday 24th - Friday 30th October) for their dedication to the profession and the people they treat. OT Australia Queensland President Suzanne Jesser said, “there are more than 2,500 OTs acros...

Health worker told to "hurry up and get over" rape claim

Published on Oct 24, 2010

A female Queensland Health worker raped by a colleague has made a WorkCover claim and an official grievance against Queensland Health, over alleged bullying and failure to provide a proper return to work plan, The Courier Mail reports. The worker claims Queensland Health was ...

QLD seeks public opinion on workers' comp recommendations

Published on Oct 17, 2010

The QLD Government is seeking public responses to recommendations from an independent review into Queensland's workers' compensation system. The public is encouraged to comment on the 51 suggestions for improvement, described as, "more focused on preventing injur...

Courier Mail questions teachers' WorkCover claims

Published on Sep 05, 2010

Details of teachers' WorkCover claims have been obtained by the Courier Mail, igniting debate over payout "inconsistencies" in the workers' compensation system. More than $10m has been awarded to teachers since 2005, for up to 3000 injuries that average thre...

Gold Coast Hospital nurse wins compensation appeal

Published on Aug 22, 2010

After initially rejecting nurse Susan Dale's claim for psychological injuries resulting from workplace bullying, Q-Comp has now ruled that her injuries were in fact due to her employment, the Gold Coast News reports. Ms Dale described her case as, "only the tip of th...

Teacher sues for larynx damage

Published on Jul 11, 2010

A teacher in Bundaberg is suing the State Government for over $420,000 for personal injury, claiming she permanently damaged her larynx after trying to control pupils at Thabetan State School, The Courier Mail reports. Valissa Julietta Bauer claims the school did not provide ...

Last days for Return to Work Awards nominations

Published on Jun 27, 2010

Queenslanders have only a few days left in which to nominate for the Q-Comp Return to Work Awards. "Above and Beyond" is the theme for this year, celebrating the essential work undertaken to develop and improve a strong return to work culture. There are four achieve...

Queensland workers' comp changes passed

Published on Jun 14, 2010

Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick announced recent changes to workers' compensation legislation in Queensland. The changes, made in a bid to stabilise QLD WorkCover after significant losses during the global financial crisis, aim to offset "rising costs asso...

QLD legislates changes to comp scheme

Published on May 23, 2010

The QLD Government has introduced new workers' compensation laws, My Sunshine Coast reports. Minister for Industrial Relations Cameron Dick billed the changes as, "fair to both employers and employees," while stating that there will be no changes restrictions on...

Pro surfer wiped-out after caught cheating WorkCover

Published on May 16, 2010

Sunshine Coast pro-surfer David Reardon-Smith has pleaded guilty to defrauding WorkCover after he was busted surfing competitively while on workers' compensation benefits, Sunshine Coast Daily reports. Reardon-Smith was charged and ordered to repay over $16,000 after he w...

QLD WorkCover premiums to rise

Published on May 02, 2010

From July 1, proposed changes to Queensland WorkCover laws will see employer premums rise from $1.15 per $100 of wages, to $1.30 per $100, The Brisbane Times has revealed. The premiums will however remain the lowest rate of any state or territory in the country. Payouts for g...

WorkCover QLD under fire from industry, unions

Published on Apr 18, 2010

Queensland WorkCover has come under criticism from both the Queensland Law Society and the CFMEU, the Courier Mail reports. Both their submissions to the State review of WorkCover allege inept financial management, and according to the Courier Mail claim that, "artificially...

QLD Opposition calls for WorkCover review

Published on Apr 11, 2010

The ABC has reported on QLD Opposition calls for an open investigation into the management of WorkCover Queensland. Deputy Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg was quoted as saying, "I think what we've got here is a Government that's just thrashing around, making excuse...

CCIQ opposes increase in workers comp premiums

Published on Apr 05, 2010

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland opposes a recommendation to State Government to progressively increase workers compensation premiums, on the basis that it would ultimately jeopardise employment and business viability. CCIQ President David Goodwin said that the in...

Lack of medical expertise in QLD delays worker treatment

Published on Mar 28, 2010

The Australian Orthopaedic Association has declared that injured workers are experiencing delays due to a lack of medical expertise within Queensland WorkCover, reports Safety In Australia. The AOE Queensland branch has lodged a submission to a workers compensation review being ...

Leaked WorkCover report suggests significant losses

Published on Mar 01, 2010

A leaked report from Deloitte has forecast the Queensland workers' compensation system could lose $8.6 billion by 2018 if the system isn't reformed, the Courier-Mail reports. The Deloitte report has recommended that the Government severely restrict access to the courts and that ...

WorkCover Qld OK but needs change says Treasurer

Published on Mar 01, 2010

Queensland's workers' compensation system is not going bust but reforms are essential to ensure its future, Treasurer Andrew Fraser says in an AAP report (published at CCH). The Courier-Mail newspaper reported that WorkCover could face losses of $8.6 billion by 2018 if the syste...

"Horrendous" psych injury case at Cairns mortuary

Published on Jan 24, 2010

Witnessing "unethical, violent" behaviour during her two days of employment at the Cairns Case Hospital mortuary 18 months ago has cleft Amy Hendel with what she describes as a "horrendous debilitating injury". QComp denied her initial claim but Ms Handel is ...

Queensland statistical report out

Published on Nov 16, 2009

The tenth annual statistical report (2008/09) published by Q-COMP regarding Queensland workers’ compensation scheme-wide data covers all aspects of the Queensland workers’ compensation scheme, including claims information reported by WorkCover Queensland and self-ins...

QLD WorkSafe and RTW Awards winners announced

Published on Nov 09, 2009

And the winners are: Best workplace health and safety management system winner: S&N Civil Constructions Pty Ltd - Townsville, for expansions of the company's quality management system to a fully integrated and certified management system. Best solution to an identified...

Boy, 9, banned from driving 30-tonne front-end loader

Published on Nov 01, 2009

ONE of Queensland's richest men is fighting the Government to let his nine-year-old grandson continue to drive a 30-tonne front-end loader at the family quarry. Mr Karreman said his three sons grew up the same way, including Dane's father Danny, and are all now working at the...

RTW Award finalists announced

Published on Oct 05, 2009

The Return to work awards 2009 recognise Queensland's great ideas, innovation, leadership and commitment in rehabilitation and return to work. The award finalists have been selected from over 500 nominations across Queensland from employers, rehabilitation an...

Tired docs told to get caffeinated

Published on Sep 14, 2009

Queensland Health has recommended to doctors who are suffering fatigue after long shifts without breaks that the "strategic use of caffeine" may be "beneficial". While we love caffeine here at the RTW office - and acknowledge research that shows it can stave ...

SA members, do you know about RISE?

Published on Jun 16, 2017

The Re-employment Incentive Scheme for Employers (RISE) is an initiative of Return to Work SA that rewards employers for hiring injured workers unable to return to their pre-injury job. In addition to wage reimbursement, a case manager is available to ease the transition, and...

SA Employment Tribunal: heart attack after firing is work injury

Published on Mar 22, 2017

The South Australian Employment Tribunal has ruled in favour of a former employment trainer who suffered a heart attack seven months after being stood down with pay from his job at the Careers Institute of Training in Hindmarsh. According to the Advertiser, the tra...

One claim a week underestimates stress for SA Police

Published on Nov 07, 2016

More than 200 stress claims were lodged with South Australia Police over the last four years, but the President of the Police Association of South Australia believes the real figures could be much higher.  “Our member feedback shows reluctance to admit to a p...

Headset tinnitus deserves compensation, says SA Employment Tribunal

Published on Oct 17, 2016

Daniel Eales, an IT consultant who suffered from tinnitus after using a telephone headset on his right ear while working for Hewlett Packard, has been awarded workers' compensation by the SA Employment Tribunal after his employer's insurer rejected the initial claim. ...

Fake death threats and invisible ink in alleged workers' comp scam

Published on Oct 17, 2016

According to prosecutors in a case currently before District Court, a couple previously employed by SA Health sent themselves 80 threatening letters and parcels over a two year period, including one containing fake blood-soaked children’s clothing, in an attempt to secu...

No compensation for networking injury

Published on Sep 18, 2016

The question of whether networking forms an essential part of the job description for a bank executive has been crucial to the rejection of a workers' compensation claim in South Australia, reports the Advertiser. A heavy fall during a schmoozy pre-match dinner at Adelaid...

Pilates compensation for "honest and reasonable" worker

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Return to Work SA has been ordered to pay an undisclosed amount of compensation to a woman who tore the medial meniscus of her left knee while doing pilates at home. The woman, Karen Baillie, was doing the exercises as part of the treatment for a heavy-lifting related back in...

SA Compensation: ruling unfair and unfortunate

Published on Jul 24, 2016

The South Australian Emploment Tribunal has called the outcome of one of its own rulings 'unfair' and 'unfortunate' for an injured worker. The worker injured her back while working for a shipping company and has not been given compensation for almost a year. T...

RM Williams: facing fines

Published on Jul 03, 2016

South Australian bootmaker RM Williams is facing a fine of up to $1.5 million due to a factory shortcut which led to a worker suffering from serious burns. The worker's hands were trapped in a boot press in June last year. Her boss had shown her "a shortcut". Th...

John Holland: case fatally flawed?

Published on Jul 03, 2016

Counsel for construction giant John Holland stated in court that the company should not be prosecuted over the crash between a crane and platform as the charges are "fatally flawed". He accused Comcare of botching the method of filing the charges and therefore rende...

John Holland: fined over incident

Published on Jun 12, 2016

Engineering contractors John Holland has been convicted and fined over an incident endangering the lives of two drivers in Adelaide. The company was found guilty of failing in its work health and safety duty during the construction the South Road Superway. Workers were instal...

SA: changes to compensation scheme

Published on Jun 05, 2016

2850 workers are expected to lose their compensation benefits after July 1 and have been advised to look to Medicare for further assistance. Medicare provides less generous benefits than workers' compensation. Seven formal complains about the scheme changes have been lodg...

Bullied police officer: awarded compensation

Published on Jun 05, 2016

A police detective was bullied at work and suffered "helplessness, resentment and bullying." He has been awarded compensation by the South Australian Employment Tribunal. The former detective outlined more than a dozen cases of ill-treatment from co-workers and poli...

SafeWork: impersonator uncovered

Published on May 08, 2016

A man who impersonated a SafeWork SA inspector has been fined $15,000 following an investigation. The man visited seven sites in Adelaide, claiming to be a work health and safety inspector. He had never been employed by the organisation. "SafeWork SA Inspectors are ...

Landmark SA case sees worker reinstated

Published on Apr 10, 2016

Forklift and material handling company Crown has be ordered to reinstate a sacked injured worker. This is a landmark ruling under the new South Australian workplace laws. The worker began working with the company in 2010 as a technician and was sacked in 2015 after repeated i...

Adelaide Hospital: gradual restart on work

Published on Feb 22, 2016

The construction of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital was shut down following the death of a supervisor at the site. He was crushed between the handrail and a doorway on Saturday. The same site was involved in the death of another worker in 2014, also involving a scissor lift. ...

Workers Comp Fraud: in SA

Published on Jan 18, 2016

A 45 year old man was prosecuted for work injury fraud in the Magistrates Court. He was the eighth person charged in South Australia this year, and provides a timely reminder that fraudulent cases will be found out. He was convicted and sentenced to nine months imprisonment, ...

SA Attorney-General: responds to compensation claims

Published on Nov 15, 2015

South Australia's Attorney-General John Rau has defended changes to the SA Return to Work scheme, saying that their focus is on improving health outcomes. Using the example of injured Senior Constable Brett Gibbons, Rau said that he would be entitled to the same amount of...