The most effective way to create a safe workplace is to identify and address potential hazards before anything has a chance to go wrong. ISCRR researchers are developing tools, systems, processes and protocols to assist these efforts.

Safety culture and climate

Strong workplace safety culture can have a huge impact on workplace health and safety. Research in this area aims to assist in defining and measuring safety culture and related concepts.

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Work-related fatalities

When talking about an issue as sensitive as work-related death, it is easy to overlook the importance of data. Researchers studied the data relating to work-related fatalities in Victoria in order to identify significant patterns in work-related deaths, paving the way for changes that will make our workplaces safer.

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Improvements in patient handling for worker and patient safety Environmental Scan

Health care workers experience a high rate of work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and patient manual handling is one of the main causes of staff injuries in hospitals. This Environmental Scan aimed to identify new and emerging patient manual handling initiatives designed to prevent worker musculoskeletal disorders that impacted on patient safety.

Authors: McMillan, J; Moo, A; Newnam, S; de Silva, A

Keywords: occupational health and safety; OHS; manual handling; musculoskeletal injury; workplace risk

Date published: February 2018

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Linking worker health and safety with patient outcomes Evidence Review

Health care workers experience some of the highest rates of non-fatal occupational illness and injury, including work-related musculoskeletal disorders, fatigue and burnout. This review was conducted to determine if there is a link between health and safety of healthcare workers and patient outcomes. Themes examined include the association between worker overall health and patient outcomes, and the effect of musculoskeletal occupational health and safety programs on patient outcomes.

Authors: Gibson, K; Costa, B; Sampson, A

Keywords: musculoskeletal injury; work environment; manual handling; health care

Date published: November 2017

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Testing the predictive validity of the Health and Safety Inspector Checklist (HaSIC) Research Report

This report presents the results of a validation study of a generic Health and Safety Inspector Checklist (HaSIC), developed by researchers to assist WorkSafe Victoria Inspectors with evaluations of worksites. The study extended examined its capacity to predict future occupational health and safety (OHS) outcomes in Victorian workplaces. The findings demonstrate that the HaSIC has the potential to assist inspectors and the health and safety regulator to identify workplaces most at risk of OHS incidents, standardise the inspection process, and enhance the development of new inspectors.

Authors: Donohue, R; Cooper, B; Shea, T; Sheehan, C; De Cieri, H

Keywords: occupational health and safety; OHS; workplace inspection

Date published: October 2017

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Development and validation of the Health and Safety Inspector Checklist with WorkSafe Victoria inspectors Research Report

This report presents results of a research project designed to develop and validate a brief, generic occupational health and safety checklist to assist inspectors with their evaluations of worksites. This project tested the incorporation of the OPM-MU into WorkSafe Inspector Checklists, and expanded the tool to address safety leadership, culture and workplace engagement in OHS. The project found this tool to be a reliable and valid measure for use by WorkSafe Inspectors.

Authors: Donohue, R; De Cieri, H; Sheehan, C; Shea, T; Cooper, B

Keywords: occupational health and safety; OHS; safety culture; safety climate; workplace safety; workplace risk; work environment

Date published: May 2016

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Occupational health and safety issues for aged care workers: A comparison with public hospital workers Research Report

This report presents supplementary results of an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Survey conducted with the members of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) (Victorian Branch) in April and May 2014 by a Monash University research team. The aim of this report is to focus specifically on a comparison of survey responses from ANMF members working in public hospitals and aged care facilities. This research contributes to the understanding of OHS leading indicators and OHS performance in Australian workplaces.

Authors: Shea, T; De Cieri, H; Sheehan, C; Donohue, R; Cooper, B

Keywords: occupational health and safety; OHS; occupational violence and aggression; work environment; workplace safety

Date published: March 2016

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Developing a framework for understanding and measuring occupational health and safety vulnerability Research Report

This project provides a framework to identify vulnerable workers and factors which contribute to vulnerability. The research proposed a new set of domains and questions intended to accurately measure OHS vulnerability, considering factors such as the hazards of the particular work that workers often perform, the workers' access to training/protection, and the power dynamic between workers and their employers.

Authors: Smith, P; Saunders, R; LaMontagne, A

Keywords: occupational health and safety; OHS

Date published: November 2013

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Preparedness of industry for the safety of the ageing workforce: A worker perspective Research Report

Australia's population is progressively ageing, and this trend will be accompanied by a proportional increase in older employees in our workforce. This project compared worker perceptions about ageing and injury risks to industry perceptions of these issues. Practical strategies can be implemented which will to promote the retention of ageing workers in the workforce safely and productively.

Authors: Ozanne- Smith, J; Davis, M; Kitching, F

Keywords: occupational health and safety; OHS; workplace safety; workplace risk

Date published: September 2013

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Developing a public health policy response to wet work exposure Research Report

Contact dermatitis is the most common occupational skin disease in industrial countries and is strongly associated with continued exposure to, or immersion in, liquids. This project documented the prevalence and incidence rates of contact dermatitis as a result of wet work exposure. A discrepancy found between the rate of diagnosis of occupational contact dermatitis and the number of successful workers' compensation claims for the condition was considered to relate to lack of GP awareness of the underlying cause of the condition.

Authors: Keegel, T; Benke, K

Keywords: workplace risk; workplace illness; diagnosis

Date published: June 2012

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Bitumen contents and fumes: Health effects associated with exposure to bitumen Environmental Scan

This Environmental Scan aimed to profile the bitumen industry in Australia and identify risk factors for health effects associated with the asphalt industry, particularly those associated with the application of heated bitumen at roadside workplaces. Workers revealed that symptoms were common, while asphalt companies stated that there were only odd cases, suggesting a probable lack of reporting.

Authors: Moo, A; Bywood, P; Silva, D; McMillan, J

Keywords: bitumen; asphalt; construction; workplace risk

Date published: March 2019

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Bitumen contents and fumes: A review of health risks Evidence Review

Bitumen is used as a binder in the production of asphalt for road surfaces and the material is heated to facilitate spreading. During this process, a complex mixture of vapours and particulate matter is emitted. Following several complaints about ‘fuming’ bitumen loads, WorkSafe asked ISCRR to examine the published evidence to identify risk factors associated with bitumen exposure; and to identify strategies to minimise the health risks to suppliers and roadside workers.

Authors: Bywood, P; McMillan, J

Keywords: fumes; bitumen; asphalt; construction; workplace risk

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