Sustaining a healthy workforce

Shannon, Hugh A. & Parker, Tony W. (2012) Sustaining a healthy workforce. Australasian Mine Safety Journal, 3(8), pp. 76-81.

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The changing demographics of the mining workforce and the increasing demand for skilled workers increases the importance of sustaining a healthy workforce now and for the future. Although health is strongly related to safety, the two areas are not well integrated and the relationship is poorly understood. As such there is an important need to raise the profile of health within the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) domain.

The mining industry carries health and safety risks, often greater than other occupations. Whilst the mining industry is regulated by stringent OH&S controls, the very nature of the work and environmental influences expose employees to a greater number of injury risk factors than many other industries. In contrast to its excellent safety record, compared to most other industries, the mining workforce has a high proportion of chronic health problems. These problems can be exacerbated by the ageing of the workforce, regional location of sites and organisational issues influencing work demands.

A major focus has been on the treatment of these conditions with relatively limited attention to prevention strategies. An important prevention strategy is the raising of awareness among the workforce of health issues and the significant increase in the volume of health related information has provided an excellent opportunity to access relevant information. Unfortunately, this information is of varying quality, may not be evidence based, and may provide the wrong guidance to the development of interventions designed to improve health. Limited time of most employees and potential lack of knowledge of ability to differentiate quality information presents additional problems or barriers to increasing awareness of health issues...

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ID Code: 49124
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Mining, Communication, Health Literacy, Health Promotion, Health Education
ISSN: 1833-3036
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 15 Mar 2012 22:09
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2017 07:57

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