Centre for Work Health celebrates its first birthday

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The world-class research centre set up by SafeWork NSW last year has celebrated 12 months on the job by announcing several new research projects which will help reduce deaths and serious injuries in NSW workplaces.

Better Regulation Division Deputy Secretary, Rose Webb, said the Centre is partnering with leading universities and key industry players to invest in significant research.

“We are partnering with industry to examine ways of improving the health of truck drivers,” Ms Webb said.

“We will also be undertaking new research to understand the impact on workers’ health, wellbeing and productivity when adapting to changed working conditions.”

Ms Webb said the Centre had recently surveyed almost 700 workers to understand what they believe defines ‘work health’ and what they think of the role of SafeWork.

“The results showed the issues most commonly associated with work health were mental health related, with findings indicating programs targeting work health could focus on helping employers and staff to manage stress in their workplace,” Ms Webb said.

The Centre is also responding to new modes of work including the challenges raised by the gig economy, and the rise in musculoskeletal disorders in aged care settings.

“To assist people working in rural and regional areas who are at a higher risk of suicide, the Centre is exploring the effectiveness of mental health SMS services to assist rural and remote workers,” Ms Webb said.

“We have also completed research into the effectiveness of regulators’ enforcement tools in influencing future compliance activities, while other studies have examined existing stakeholder engagement arrangements”.

SafeWork NSW’s Centre for Work Health and Safety is now fully staffed with 14 people joining the team’s exciting culture-based work environment which allows for diversity in exploring ideas across health and safety at work.

The Centre set-out to establish an innovative and desired culture well before recruitment had even commenced. This has led to an agile, supportive team that embraces its diversity, challenges the traditional way of working and collaborates across the board.

For more information on the Centre for Work Health and Safety, go to www.centreforwhs.nsw.gov.au or call 13 10 50.