Despite the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions around the world, vigilance remains essential when it comes to safety and hygiene in the workplace. So how can employers safely reinstate or introduce drug and alcohol screening without compromising covid safety?
The United Nations (UN) is calling on private sector employers to put in place measures that help prevent domestic abuse and invest resources that better protect and support employees who are victims of domestic abuse.
Around 850,000 people work in safety-sensitive industries in Australia. SafeWork Laboratories toxicologist Andrew Leibie said the latest figure indicated at least 18,500 workers could be operating under the influence of the hard drug, known as crystal meth or ice in its most potent form. He added that the figure could be much higher because many workplaces did not test for drug use.Workers who could be operating machinery or driving a vehicle would have impaired senses, the report warns, and would pose a risk to their own safety and the safety of co-workers.
Besides age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), environmental factors can have an impact too. Noise is the most obvious occupational one, but exposure to some substances, known as ototoxins, may harm our hearing or compound the damage noise causes.
Ambulance Victoria pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe working environment and failing to ensure volunteer officers were not exposed to risks under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. The organisation was fined A$200,000 (£113,500) on each charge at Warrnambool Magistrates’ Court on 8 March.
The report points out that safety does not depend simply on getting the design, materials and construction methods right, but on its management during the whole lifecycle of the building. The finger of blame has previously been pointed at construction and refurbishment failings. Criticism has focused on cladding systems on high-rise flats and whether the provision of sprinklers should be mandatory. However, we must remember that residents have a duty of care to their neighbours too.
If you didn’t know what Dr Michael Hastings does for a living, his desk at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (MRC) provides some clues. Academic papers plus a plastic model of the human brain suggest that he’s a neuroscientist. But the mimosa sapling is the real give away, because Hastings studies the body clock and mimosa has a seminal place in our understanding of circadian rhythms.