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Issue No. 276 12 August 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

The Power of One
The power has now shifted. John Howard has control of the Senate by a solitary vote and no matter where your politics lie, the earth has definitely moved.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: On Holiday
Historian Richard White looks back on the Aussie vacation - and finds a way of life is under threat.,

Unions: One Day Longer
Nathan Brown travels to the Boeing picket line and find a group of workers with a steely determination to stick together.

Industrial: Never Mind the Bollocks
Jim Marr plays the Howard Government's industrial relations spin job on its merits.

Politics: Spun Out
Canberra’s latest campaign underlines the need for controls over government advertising, according to Graeme Orr and Joo-Cheong Tham

Economics: If the Grog Don't Get You ....
Evan Jones explains how the way we purchase alcolohol reflects the type of economy we live in.

History: Taking a Stand
Neale Towart looks at two books that chronicle how to build community support against social injustice.

International: The Split
Amanda Tattersal outsider's account of an insider's shake-out at the AFL-CIO Convention 2005

Legal: Pushing the Friendship
George Williams argues that the federal government’s constitutional powers are not sufficient to enact a comprehensive national industrial relations scheme

Poetry: Simple Subtractions
The latest blitz of taxpayer-funded advertising has revealed a crisis of arithmetic in government ranks has moved resident bard David Peetz to prose.

Review: Sydney Trashed
Sydney band SC Trash are on a mission to give new life to folk and country music – and the politics of common sense. Nathan Brown had a beer with them

N E W S

 “Disgusting” AWAs Court Out

 Andrews Agenda Rolled in DEWR

 Sick Days Get Hadgkiss Sniffing

 Fun Guy Skips Work, Docks Staff

 Nurse Launches Neighbourhood Alert

 Security Staff Bush Whacked

 Commo Bank Staff Force Smiles

 Cameron Gets ‘Fair Dinkum’

 Feds: Inconsistency “Not Inconsistent”

 Telstra Dials Up Cash Grab

 Howard Votes Family Last

 PacNat Troops Won't Be Railroaded

 All Aboard Vic Safety Train

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, goes away for a couple of weeks and look what happens…

The Soapbox
The Last Weekend
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson's speech to the Last Weekend - how the Howard government laws will undermine the Ausrtalian way of life.

The Locker Room
A Concept Is Born
In which Phil Doyle helps the proponents of the vision thing across the road.

International
Workers Blood For Oil
A new book by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson lifts the lid on the bloody reality of US backed democracy for Iraq's trade unions

Postcard
London Post
During his recent stay in London IEU industrial officer John Shapiro was living only a few hundred metres from the site of one of the bomb blasts.

L E T T E R S
 Farmers’ Best Friend
 Govt Has No Case
 Logon to IR
 Ears and Minds
 Howard on the Couch
 Which Bank?
 Kevin the Tool Man
 Tom On Safety
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Tom On Safety


The article "Patient Bashes Nurse", on page 14 of the Daily Telegraph (August 10) must raise concerns not only of those employed in the health industry, but those citizens who must through illness be in attendance at such health care institutions. Their circumstances, whether it be as a visitor or a patient being much more vulnerable to serious injury from attacks such as this!

While this incident was in the Mental Health Facility "Caritas" it is clearly indicative of lax admission procedures, and an unacceptable exposure of staff to risk of violence, this exposure being in breach of the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000.

In fact work cover has an excellent publication "Prevention and Management of Workplace Aggression‰: Guidelines and Case Studies from the NSW Health Industry" Prepared by Jim Delaney on behalf of Central Sydney Area Health Service December 2001 WorkCover NSW Injury Prevention, Education and Research Grants Scheme Grant No 97/0050, with the foreword by Dr Diana G. Horvath AO Chief Executive Officer Central Sydney Area Health Service, and can be found online at -

http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/30A073EA-E492-45EA-8DDB-0E61CFDEE9E6/0/guidelines_for_prevention_and_mangement_of_workplace_aggression_4358.pdf .

My own experience at SV&MHS, was overwhelmingly a safety conscious workplace, unfortunately there are always those who let down the side, or are not team orientated but driven entirely by egocentric machinations, and while I did experience this outrageous spite and egotism, it was in an area ancillary to the one in which I was actually employed, and so was not exposed to any danger, it was my opinion that safety was by divine guidance rather that good design.

In relation to these hazards, I make mention of obvious carbon monoxide pollution in delivery areas such as the Xavier Store, the deafening noise the staff were subjected to during the recent installation of a waste compactor, the arbitrary use of PPE in the store, with supervisory staff wandering around without safety footwear, yet creating disputation over whether a high visibility vest should be Green, Yellow or Red and or rubbish piled up around the area creating numerous hazards around a busy work area which had no obvious traffic management plan.

What arises from this unfortunate incident is that, policies and procedures are not written for the sole purpose of filling book shelves, or for the employment of illiterate scribes, but are to be applied in the workplace, and of course more security for our overworked healthcare professionals is must, and I am currently available, and on call.

Tom Collins

NSW


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