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  Issue No 118 Official Organ of LaborNet 02 November 2001  

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News

Howard Fails To Stem Workplace Deaths


A national workplace survey has highlighted the failure of the Federal Government to act against workplace death and injury.

More than half of Australia's workplaces are failing to carry out basic health and safety precautions, according to an ACTU survey of more than 1200 health and safety representatives. "More people are being killed or injured in workplace accidents than on our roads, but there has been no national response like the road toll campaign.

The Federal Government must take the lead," said ACTU President Sharan Burrow. "Despite more than 450 people being killed and 160,000 seriously injured on the job each year, the Howard Government has sat on its hands. Instead, the Government has cut funding to workplace safety and blocked the introduction of new national safety standards. The removal of safeguards from workplace awards has compounded the probem." Key findings of the survey include:

∑ Less than half (47%) of workplaces carry out regular health and safety inspections

∑ 30% of sick or injured employees are pressured to return to work before it is safe to do so

∑ 20% of health and safety representatives have been bullied or intimidated by management after raising health and safety issues

∑ The most commonly reported health and safety hazards are repetitive work causing muscle strain(63%), noise (60%), heavy lifting (57%), extreme temperatures (55%), inadequate staffing (49%), long hours (40%), dust and fibres (38%), cleaning fluids (37%) and lack of training (36%).

Ms Burrow will release details of the survey and a scorecard on the Federal Government's response to workplace health and safety issues at the launch today of the ACTU's 2001 National Occupational Health and Safety Campaign. As part of the campaign, people are being asked to phone in a brief report on health and safety issues at their workplaces by calling the ACTU toll-free hotline: 1300 362 223


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*    Visit the ACTU for more details

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 118 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Flying High
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet on saving Ansett jobs, defeating Howard and wooing a new generation of unionists.
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*  Corporate: Howard's List of Shame
ACTU President Shaharn Burrow runs through the litany of corporate collapses and down-sizes that have cut a swathe through the Australian community.
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*  Campaign Diary: Week Four: The Battle Lines Drawn
It was a week that saw the leaders launch their campaigns, kiss lots of babies and battle for space with a Holy Jihad.
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*  Industrial: Desperately Seeking Solutions
They might not call it 'industrial relations' in the spin of modern politics, but all the major parties have released plans that will affect the way we work over the next three years.
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*  Economics: Manufacturing Prosperity
Neale Towart looks at the hidden debate of the election campaign - the degree of intervention government should take through Industry Policy.
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*  History: War And Politics
The Conservatives are trying to wage war and win the election. The pundits say itís a tried and true recipe for electoral success. The 1940 federal poll suggests otherwise.
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*  International: Globalising Labour
On the eve of the International Metalworkers Federation Congress general secretary Marcello Malentacchi argues all nations need to retain a manufacturing base.
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*  Review: Security - Who Needs it?
What does it mean to be secure? Should we even need to ask? In his new book, Anthony Burke asks the tough questions.
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*  Satire: Locksmith Promises "Greater Security" If Elected
A Melbourne locksmith has agreed to run for federal parliament, campaigning on the key issue of security.
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News
»  Workplace Blitz in Poll Lead-Up
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»  Abbott Under Pressure to Hold Seat
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»  Howard Double Dip Is Skyway Robbery
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»  Knowledge Nation Boosts IT Skills
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»  Stellar Win in Call Centre
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»  Unionists Barred Entry to Australia
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»  Shier's Famous Last Wordds
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»  Real Baby Bonus for Local Government
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»  Entire Town Joins Nurses' Strike
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»  Some Good News in Orange Squeeze
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»  Train Drivers Call for Level Crossing Action
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»  Posties See Wage Rise By Christmas
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»  Howard Fails To Stem Workplace Deaths
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»  Greenpeace Activist Gets Union Support
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»  Hotel Workers Name Their Odds
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»  Airport Screeners Strike Over Work Value
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»  East Timor Training Centre Copmpleted
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»  NSW IR Act Due for Five Year Review
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»  Organiser of the Year Nominations Open
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»  Activists Notebook
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»  STOP PRESS: Jakarta Shangri-La Hotel Workers Fined US$2 million
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  More on Orwell
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»  The Ostrich Approach
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