Taking breaks on the job is not just good for your body and mind but can also make you more productive.
A recent study has proven that micro-breaks are a huge benefit to the body and also reboot the brain.
According to researchers at The University of Illinois, micro-breaks can have a ‘disproportionately powerful impact’ on workers, improving their ability to concentrate and even helping avoid injuries because workers are more alert.
Researchers say there is no consensus as to the length of the micro-break but workers should experiment with what works best for them.
Sooyeol Kim, a doctoral student from the University of Illinois said the only 2 rules are that micro-breaks should be short and voluntary.
A building collapse in India has claimed the lives of at least 9 people, whose bodies have been discovered by rescuers who worked to clear the rubble following the horror collapse.
The incident involved 2 multi-level buildings, one of which was ready for occupation, east of New Delhi. A six storey high building under construction fell onto an adjacent 4 storey building which crumbled under the impact.
Rescuers used sledgehammers, chainsaws and cranes to comb through the wreckage however no survivors were found.
The owner of the building under construction and 2 of his associates have been arrested and face charges of culpable homicide. The cause of the collapse has not yet been determined.
Another collapse in Mumbai in 2013, killed 72 people. Building collapses are common in India, particularly during the monsoon season which brings heavy rains and weakens the foundations of structures that are shoddily constructed.
The prevention of falls on construction sites was the recent focus of a joint program by SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria in Mildura in June.
The Cross Border Construction Program involved inspectors jointly visiting local building sites on both sides of the border to minimise the risk of workers being injured due to falls.
Inspectors were identifying safety risks and breaches and highlighting the similarities and differences between regulations in the 2 states.
Falls are a serious issue for the construction sector. Over the past decade 17 construction workers died due to a fall in Victoria.
In NSW, falls are responsible for the most number of deaths on construction sites. In 2017 the NSW government introduced new laws giving SafeWork NSW inspectors power to issue penalty notices of $3600 to companies and $720 to individuals for fall from height related breaches.
Falls are just one of the health and safety issues that construction workers are faced with. In this high risk industry, it’s important that health and safety are the main priority.
One of the ways to ensure safety on construction sites is through worker training. Every worker must be adequately trained for the specific construction site and tasks they undertake but they must also be in possession of a White Card to prove they have completed general construction safety training as mandated by the federal government. Complete the White Card course online today and you are eligible to work on any construction site in Australia and across borders because the accreditation is nationally recognised.
NSW Ministers recently announced the Mentally Healthy Workplaces in NSW Strategy 2022, pledging $55 million for mental health initiatives.
The Strategy was developed in collaboration with people that have experience with mental health issues first-hand – including workers, advocates, workers and industry and worker representatives.
Ministers highlighted that it is the single biggest investment in workplace mental health Australia has ever seen.
With mental ill health affecting half a million NSW workers at any given time, the ministers highlighted the importance of investing in mental health initiatives.
The plan will include manager training and recovery at work programs, research projects to help inform ongoing strategies, a media campaign and online resources to raise awareness, assessment and mentoring tools to support businesses.
According to new research out of Ontario Canada, standing too much at work can be just as damaging to your health as too much sitting.
Researchers say standing too long can lead to blood pooling in the legs, increase pressure in the veins and increased oxidative stress, which can all contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The research, The Relationship Between Occupational Standing and Sitting and Incident Heart Disease Over a 12-year Period shows the health impact of prolonged sitting, with researchers comparing the risk of heart disease among more than 7000 workers across varying occupations.
The researchers found that those who primarily stand at work are twice as likely to develop heart disease as people who primarily sit.
This research should be heeded by the construction industry, who have a tendency to value productivity over health and safety in many cases.
Workplace health and safety didn’t improve much in 2017 from the previous year, if Safe Work Australia fatality figures are anything to go by.
In 2017 there were 173 Australian workers killed on the job (as at 22 December), just 9 less than the previous year. In 2016, there were 182 Australian workers killed on the job, with the highest number of fatalities coming from the transport industry.
The Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry recorded the second highest number of fatalities with 46, 2 more than in 2016 when 44 workers were killed.
A safety reminder has been issued by EnergySafety highlighting the hazards of working in roof spaces and how to avoid them.
Ken Bowron, Director of Energy Safety said basic safeguards need to be in place when accessing the home’s roof space.
He also reminded people to turn off the electricity main switchboard before entering the roof space. People were also warned to be aware of any damaging insulation or exposed live parts that may present a risk of electric shock and possible electrocution.
When entering the roof space, the use of battery-powered LED lamps are a good idea and will provide the lighting you need to move around safety up there.
Over the course of the month of August, also known as Tradie Health Month, there is a strong focus on not just tradies’ physically health and wellbeing, but mental health as well.
MATES in Construction has announced a Charity Lunch to be held in October in Queensland to raise funds for workers’ mental health.
The event will be attended by around 400 construction industry representatives from small and large organisations, government and other stakeholders.
The annual event also celebrates industry acheivements through the MATES program which aims to tackle the problem of construction worker suicide by teaching workers how to talk to their mates who may be suffering from depression before they resort to suicide.
The Victorian Government plans to establish a taskforce of experts to investigate the extent of non-compliant cladding on buildings in the state.
The recent Grenfell Tower Fire in London has highlighted the issue of non-compliant cladding contributing to the rapid spread of fires, described by state government as a “critical public safety issue”.
The Taskforce’s co-chair, former Premier and architect Ted Baillieu said agencies, stakeholders and all citizens need to work together to ensure cladding is compliant with the country’s strict regulations and buildings are safe.
One of the aims of the taskforce will be to ensure resident, owners’ corporations and building managers are educated on the issue.
The NSW Government is said to be considering stricter regulation on use of combustible cladding after the London Grenfell Tower fire that resulted in 80 deaths.
According to Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW’s building safety measures will be re-examined after reports that cheap cladding outside the London tower caused the fire to quickly spread. This has been an issue of concern here in Australia for a while with incidents like the Lacrosse fire highlighting the risks of combustible cladding on buildings.
The state government said up to 2,500 buildings in NSW could be fitted with flammable cladding.
The state government said a high-rise safety taskforce will be set up to identify any buildings that are at risk.