September 2021 Presentation: New research into manual handling injuries in healthcare

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CSG Meeting: September 2021
Speaker: 
David Caple AM, Adjunct Professor, Centre for Ergonomics & Human Factors, La Trobe University
 
Check out the latest presentation from our September 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.
 
 

New research into manual handling injuries in healthcare

We had a great turnout this month as David Caple proved once again what a popular speaker he is. We really appreciate his access to up-to-date research along with the practical advice he offers in dealing with emerging health and safety risks. Not to mention an element of interactivity: not even the constraints of zoom could hinder his exhortation to us to try out some of the postures under discussion!

While David's presentation focussed on hospitals, many of the issues and solutions could apply equally in other settings. One is the role of design in both creating and mitigating risks, a topic that was prominent in the discussion after the formal presentation. Another is the notion of broadening risk assessment to encompass Associated Non-Technical Skills (ANTS), such as situational awareness and communication.

It was interesting to ponder some of the developments that have arisen over the last 18 months. For instance, the restriction on family members being able to visit in hospitals has led to a reduction in occupational violence. Conversely, new deep cleaning protocols can create extra workload and harmful repetitive postures for cleaners.

David's annual "State of the Nation" address is always keenly anticipated and this iteration was no exception. His style and knowledge are always greatly appreciated.

David's presentation complements the one given by David Trembearth in April this year, Musculoskeletal issues – what’s new in risks and prevention, which you can access here (log in first)

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August 2021 Presentation: Managing the healthcare challenge of COVID-19

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CSG Meeting: August 2021
Speaker: 
Alison Hunt-Sturman, Group Manager, WHS, Mercy Health Australia
 
Check out the latest presentation from our August 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.
 
 

Managing the healthcare challenge of COVID-19

Alison Hunt-Sturman took us through the full and detailed journey of how her team faced the challenges of COVID-19 during 2020. During the discussion afterwards, Alison suggested that perhaps she should have issued a trigger warning before her presentation, because it certainly brought back many memories for those present!

We could certainly identify with their experience that began with a naive thought that the situation would be short-lived and that their existing systems were able to keep everything under control. However, as the full impact began to unfold, it was clear that Alison's early warnings, which had been considered overdramatic by some at the time, were justified. As Alison outlined the many developments in the pandemic and the accompanying body of knowledge, it was quite starling to realise how much changed just in the short period between March and May.

One of the stand-outs for me was Alison's discussion about the challenge of boosting the workforce. There was not only the obvious need to replace clinical staff on furlough, but they needed to boost staff in other areas as well. One example was in the IT department to handle all the technological changes. Another big issue was in aged care, where the restriction on family members visiting had a huge impact, because these carers make such a big contribution to the daily workload.

While the current experience is looking more and more like a replay of 2020, the positive side is that practices that were developed last year, and are in a continual state of review, are now putting Alison and her team in good stead for dealing with it.

Alison's presentation complements the talk by Christina Rennick from St Vincents Hospital earlier this year, Hospital Safety during the Pandemic, which you can access here (log in first)

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July 2021 Presentation: COVID-19 response in Victoria: A union perspective

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CSG Meeting: July 2021
Speaker: 
Dominic Melling, Lead Organiser, OHS Team, Victorian Trades Hall Council
 
Check out the latest presentation from our July 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.
 
 

COVID-19 response in Victoria: A union perspective

This was a very informative session that consolidated many of the issues we learned about throughout the last 18 months that affect vulnerable workers. Dominic highlighted a number of areas where the essential workforce was exposed to risks. In particular, he spoke about aged care, the quarantine frontline, supply chain and meatworks. In the case of the latter, while WorkSafe acted quickly to produce guidance, some of it was not practical and needed to be modified.

Dominic and his team have developed an extensive program to assist Health & Safety Representatives (HSRs) and workers, with resources that are readily available via two of their websites: www.covidsafeworkplace.org and www.ohsrep.org.au. Resources include checklists for auditing and free 2-hour training sesssions.

Dominic also spoke about those who worked from home and how the rush to implement this new way of working has resulted in its own challenges. In our December 2020 presentation by David Caple, he went into this issue in greater detail and you can access it here (log in first)

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June 2021 Presentation: Human factors and human error

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CSG Meeting: June 2021
Speaker: 
Dr Kate Branford, Senior Human Factors Specialist, V/Line
 
Check out the latest presentation from our June 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.
 
**Please note that the video of this presentation is available for 2 weeks only**
 

Human factors and human error

There was a great turn-out for this presentation, even though some members were a bit shy to turn on their cameras!  Nevertheless, all attendees were treated to an excellent and informative session.

The bulk of the presentation focused on human error, which typically accounts for 60-80% of incidents. However, Kate demonstrated that there are many aspects to this. For instance, it doesn't relate to operators alone; it could be human error on the part of a designer or the person who does a risk assessment, among others.

In relation to design, it is worth considering optical illusions and perception of information. This was illustrated brilliantly via an interactive section of the talk that showed us just how easy it is to misread visual information. One of the take-home messages for me was that human errors do not occur randomly; context is important.

If you would like learn more about V/Line's general approach to safety, Sylvia Hudson gave a detailed presentation in April 2016 about their updated management system Destination Zero (log in first)

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May 2021 Presentation: Using technology to make work safer

Presentation & Full Meeting Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: May 2021
Speaker: 
Gavin Kenny, Manager SHEQ - Service Delivery, Melbourne Water
 
Check out the latest presentation from our May 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.
 

Using technology to make work safer

This was a fascinating presentation and quite an eye-opener for those of us who are technologically-challenged. While Central Safety Group has only recently joined the world of zoom, Gavin Kenny at Melbourne Water has spent the last 4 years implementing a whole range of innovative solutions to common health and safety issues.

Gavin covered the whole gamut: from the use of Virtual Reality technology when designing new plant, through the use of animation to bring the Confined Spaces compliance code to life and developing apps for workers and maintenance contractors to use in the field, to very low-tech ways to engage with the workforce. With the latter, one that caught my eye was an annual staff barbecue called "Whingefest".

Another feature is the conversion of many of their procedures into a digital format to make them less cumbersome and, therefore, easier to use. It is part of their philosophy to reduce safety clutter. This was also the topic of our October 2019 presentation by Dr David Provan, here, which is definitely worth checking out again (log in first to access it).

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