Why Hanjin's ships are stranded around the globe

The collapse of South Korean company Hanjin Shipping has left ships, cargo and crews stranded around the globe. It highlights the complex consequences of a shipping company going bankrupt, with Hanjin’s creditors and customers waiting to see whether the business can be saved.
Hanjin Shipping Co is one of the world’s top ten container carriers, operating some 70 liner and tramper services, transporting more than 100 million tons of cargo annually. Its fleet consists of some 150 container ships and bulk carriers.
Increased competition and Hanjin’s own high debt levels have led to its demise, as it struggled to adapt to changes in the market. Demand for shipping has fallen since the global financial crisis, at the same time as technology has started to produce larger mega-ships. Over capacity is one major problem.
Container operators are also increasingly constrained by competition laws in the US, the EU, Japan and more recently, China. It is a scenario playing out among other shipping companies in what appears to be a major readjustment of the size and operations of the world’s shipping fleet.
The company’s financial woes have caused it to seek protection from its creditors through Korea’s corporate “rehabilitation” laws. This is similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States. This is where the insolvent debtor restructures the debts it owes to creditors, according to a rehabilitation plan, while the company continues its operations.
Under South Korean law, the plan must be approved by the creditors and the court and it is then implemented by a nominated receiver. The receiver is now in charge of Hanjin’s operations, and its ships, worldwide.
In the meantime the chairman of Hanjin Group has transferred 40 billion South Korean won to the company to help unload cargo stranded on the its vessels, but regulators have warned securing further funds could take “considerable time.”
Ideally, the plan will give Hanjin sufficient breathing space while the receiver restructures its business into perhaps a leaner operation, or one in which others, including creditors, may take a financial interest.
Ships are unusual assets for a receiver or liquidator to deal with. A shipping enterprise can be extensive geographically – with ships at all points of the world, and difficult logistically – with those ships at various stages of cargo handling. A range of other players – the owners of vessels chartered to Hanjin, and bunker (fuel) suppliers and port agents in many different countries – all add to the complexity.
Typically, a liquidator takes possession of the fixed assets of a failed business – land, plant and machinery – assets that stay put and can be located and secured. While some of those assets may be overseas, shipping collapses invariably involve the application of cross-border insolvency laws.
Ships travel from place to place and can be hard to find and secure. Maritime law is unique for that reason; for example, the ship’s crew have a direct claim on the ship itself for their unpaid wages – a maritime “lien”. They can have a court marshal board the ship, to arrest and secure it under a court order.
Arrest involves the marshal attaching an arrest warrant to the ship’s cabin or mast, and taking steps to prevent the ship leaving its mooring. This right of a crew dates back to the days when unwanted and unpaid sailors might find that while on shore leave at a distant port, their employer, the ship owner, sails off.
Others also have rights to arrest a ship at various ports around the world, this is happening right now with Hanjin. The South Korean receiver will be resisting these arrests of Hanjin’s ships.
However one of the fundamentals of bankruptcy is that ordinary unsecured creditors owed money have to wait in line for the receiver to decide how best to deal with the insolvent business. This includes realising assets to pay and what can be paid in way of dividends to those creditors – in many cases only 10 cents in the dollar, if they are lucky. Some maritime liens and other claims give the relevant creditor a “secured” claim, one that is paid out first before the ordinary creditors.
It appears that the South Korean receiver Mr Tae-Su Seok is applying to various courts around the world for orders to challenge what may be secured claims. Well developed international cross-border insolvency laws will help him access to foreign courts to obtain orders protecting the ships in that jurisdiction. At the same time, he will be looking for funds to try to keep any profitable parts of the business going.
The shipping world is waiting to see how and whether the Hanjin rehabilitation succeeds. Other major collapses, for example in Korea with Pan Ocean and Korea Line Corporation, have resulted in creditors’ claims being considerably compromised. In these cases only a certain percentage of debts were repaid and over a period of time, or creditors took equity in the shipping company.
Given the state of world shipping, that outcome may occur here. The shipping industry suffers from an inherent inflexibility in responding to changing economic conditions. There may be a decline in demand for certain goods, leading to a drop in shipping rates.
A shipper taking delivery of a new vessel some long time after it was first commissioned may be left high and dry in finding that there is a much reduced demand for its services. On the other hand, a shipping company’s leaner world fleet may find that it does not have sufficient capacity when trade conditions quickly change.
While ships will always be needed, shipping is finding increased competition from air freight services, transporting many goods – food for one, and technology consumables – unsuitable for longer shipping delivery times. Demand for the latest iPhone 7s, or fresh fruit, would call for overnight air freight, rather than weeks. Pirate incursions are another current risk.
Still, the huge capacity of ships will never be offered by flight and this remains a major advantage. Ship design and technology is also improving – computer guided “crewless” ships are on the horizon. But shipping remains a business subject to the vagaries of international trade and economic conditions.

Mr Ryan Eagle, Partner, Ferrier Hodgson, Sydney, provided assistance in writing this article.
The Conversation
Michael Murray, Fellow, Queensland University of Technology
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

60m road train launched in Perth

WA-owned heavy road transport equipment manufacturer Bruce Rock Engineering (BRE) unveiled its latest 60m road train during the opening of its new workshop in Perth.
The BRE Super Quad road train is expected to provide cost effectiveness to the mining sector, helping reduce heavy vehicle road traffic and the impact on roads in the state.
The new facility, located in Forrestfield, is one hectare in size, with a 2700 square metre workshop, and 350 square metres of administration offices. All design, manufacture, and construction will be conducted in-house.
Secretary to the WA minister for Agriculture, Food, and Transport, Jim Chown, applauded the company’s ability to grow nationally while continuing to retain its manufacturing capabilities in this state.
“This new Forrestfield facility is strategically located right in the heart of a transport and logistics hub and on the road train route to the north of this state and to the east coast, further strengthening our state’s capability to deliver cost and time efficiently,” he said.
During the opening, BRE managing director Damion Verhoogt also announced the company’s merger with fabrication company Transbeam Industries, saying it will increase their manufacturing capacity to nearly 50 per cent.

New software for real-time inventory location, visibility and analytics

Software AG has announced today that the company is partnering with Detego, a provider of business intelligence for the  fashion industry in order to provide retailers with the ability to seamlessly incorporate real-time analytics and merchandise visibility at the item-level, enable retailers to interact with their customers and bring them on innovative ‘digital’ journeys, and transform their businesses without the need to replace their existing technology infrastructure.
The Detego suite provides granular insights into a retailers inventory, including real-time, item-level location in the store, backroom and warehouse, a hands-free RFID system, comprehensive analytics and reporting.
Oliver Guy, retail industry director, Software AG said: “Digital transformation is a disruptive force that helps retailers become significantly more competitive and remain healthier for the long term as rapid change obliterates traditional business methods. By connecting to, and orchestrating across, a retailers’ IT ecosystem, the combined solution of Software AG’s Digital Business Platform and the Detego suite introduces an entirely fresh way to interact with customers, to promote unique value propositions, and to go to market in diverse and exciting ways.”

Ausdrill to divest truck tray business

Ausdrill has announced it will divest its DT HiLoad truck tray manufacturing business.

DT HiLoad manufacturers the Hercules tray body.

The move, effective from 31 March, “aligns with the Company’s strategy to divest non-core and underperforming assets,” Ausdrill managing director Ron Sayers said.

“DT HiLoad is a volume-driven business which relies heavily on mining equipment utilisation and sales,” Sayers said.

“It has been a very strong performing business when activity levels have been high.

“However, as the mining sector slows, there are potential strategic benefits and cost efficiencies in effecting a rationalisation of assets between industry participants.

“Consequently, we have made a decision to exit this non-core business.”

DT HiLoad was initially acquired by Ausdrill during its takeover of Brandrill, Sayers adding it was "not material to the Ausdrill group as a whole”.

Ausdrill is currently in negotiations with a number of potentially interested parties for the divestment of DT HiLoad.

Crane incidents continue to escalate at Roy Hill

The Roy Hill project has been issued with a prohibition notice after another crane incident, this time involving a man cage.

SMH reported that on Tuesday last week a crane was used to lower a man cage, which “crashed” into scaffolding.

It is understood the cage was used to transport workers to and from heights, however it is not known if anyone was in the cage at the time of the incident.

DMP state mining engineer Andrew Chaplyn​ said the incident occurred after a communication failure, which led the crane operator to lower the cage further than required.

"The department and Roy Hill are investigating the incident," he said.

"The aim is to identify the root causes so that the appropriate controls can be put in place to prevent a re-occurrence."

A spokeswoman for Roy Hill said no-one was injured in the incident.

"The prohibition notice will not affect first ore on ship as there is limited work which requires work from man cages,” she said.

This is the 10th prohibition notice issued by the Department of Mines and Petroleum to Roy Hill, with a number of lifting related incidents having taken place on the construction site.

The project had already been issued with 11 improvement notices in the past financial year, and this year has attracted four improvement notices and a single prohibition notice.

Work was not stopped on the site, however crane operated man cages cannot be operated until a safe system of work has been verified.

Roy Hill came under scrutiny early this year after a series of serious incidents involving cranes, EWPs and other lifting devices.

In late January a crane tipped over during testing and commissioning procedures on the machine, and about two weeks later another accident occurred when supporting jacks failed beneath a construction module.

Less than a fortnight after that two men were severely injured during a lifting accident aboard a ship which was offloading materials at Port Hedland for the Roy Hill project, however this incident fell under the purview of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and did not affect contractors Samsung C&T or Thiess.

At the time Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald said there had been "serious issues" relating to safe lifting and crane operations, and that the situation was not acceptable and "a step change" in lifting operations was being sought.

However, Fitzgerald has recently been quoted as saying he was not concerned about the project’s safety performance.

"I think there is a difference between how much space we get in the media in terms of our safety performance and our actual performance, and we are actually quite pleased with what we have achieved," he said.

In other Roy Hill news the opening of the iron ore mine will be delayed until the second week of October due to bad weather and prohibition notices.

The mine was targeted for a September start, but will face delays according to an AFR report which quoted Hancock Prospecting executive director Tad Watroba.

It is understood the mine has stockpiled 13.5 million tonnes of iron ore ahead of the start date, which will provide cashflow while the project ramps up to the full capacity of 55 million tonnes per year, estimated to take a 30 month period.

Bonfiglioli releases apron feeder drives with higher torque

Bonfiglioli Transmission (Aust) has combined its HD
helical or bevel helical drives with its proven Trasmital planetary gear box to
present an ideal solution for apron feeders. Bonfiglioli apron feeder drives provide
high torque in a compact, efficient design with various mounting options.

An important part of materials handling operations in
mining applications, apron feeders or feeder conveyors allow the controlled
input of materials. Apron feeders are generally a low speed application offering
very high breakout torque with the starting torque up to five times higher than
the normal running torque; the gear box therefore needs to be able to handle a
larger torque range.

Bonfiglioli’s apron feeder drive solution delivers optimum
performance with a high torque ratio of up to 1000:1 as well as a good thermal
rating. The Trasmital planetary gear box has a very high torque rating and
compact design.

According to Mr Kris Jaryn, Business Development
Manager, Bonfiglioli, the power of such combinations was further extended
recently with two new gear unit sizes that increased the torque capacity of the
range up to an impressive 1,100,000 Nm.

The input stage box not only reduces the input speed
to the planetary head (which operates best with lower input speeds) but it can
also be fitted with a shaft cooling fan to increase the allowable installed
power. The drives can either have a hollow output shaft with a shrink disc, or
a solid output shaft with a rigid coupling.

Mr Jaryn explains that Bonfiglioli can design the drives
to suit individual needs. For instance, the motors are flange mounted in the
horizontal position in most instances. However, if sufficient room is not
available around the drive, the motor can be mounted vertically. In these cases
the drive is supplied with a motorised oil pump, which lubricates the top
bearing of the box.

When really big motors over 200 kW are required but
are too heavy to be flange mounted, the drives can be supplied with locally
designed baseplates attached to the gear units, still offering a relatively
compact drive. All drives are shaft mounted and fitted with a torque arm, which
in most cases is attached to the outside of the planetary box.

The motors are typically controlled using a variable
frequency drive (VFD), which allows smooth speed changes and control while also
limiting the motor starting torque, usually to about 150% of the full load
torque. Ranging from 0.25-400 kW, Bonfiglioli’s VFDs can practically supply the
complete drive solution for any apron feeder application, designed, engineered
and built locally at their Glendenning facility in NSW.

Mr Jaryn says customers can have the assurance that they
are getting the best drive for the job at the best price since Bonfiglioli
ensures correct drive selection at the optimal price by using their
calculations software, which checks and calculates bearing life and gear

Mr Jaryn explains that gear boxes are basically
torque multipliers, so the bigger the ratio, the bigger the output torque of
the machine, and lower the speed. When a relatively small motor is used with a high
ratio box, a high torque can be created to move a large or heavy load. Bonfiglioli
uses a combination of a planetary gear head with a bevel helical input gear
unit to build big ratios in a relatively small package.

Workers exposed to cancer-causing agents deserve compensation

Unlike workplace accidents, where injuries can be relatively quickly assessed and compensation awarded, it can take years or many decades before work-related cancers are diagnosed.

There is no doubt some exposures in the past have left workers with a cancer diagnosis that would not have otherwise occurred. Sometimes that happened before the link between the exposure and cancer was clearly understood, such as the early asbestos miners.

Since modern occupational health and safety legislation came into play in Australia in the 1970s and early 80s, exposures have included people working in the sun and people working in smokey bars and clubs.

To count the recent cost of cancer at work, we gathered data from Safework Australia spanning the 12 years to 2012. Our report, released today, shows 4,745 Aussies received a compensation payout for a cancer that was, at least in part, caused by an occupational exposure. This totalled A$360 million over the 12 years.

Sun exposure contributing to skin cancer was one of two big-ticket items. More than half (53%) of the claims related to neoplasams (another term for cancer, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers) of the skin of one kind or another. People with skin cancers due to outdoor work attracted 15% of the funds paid.

The other was asbestos: about three-quarters of the A$360 million has been paid to people with mesothelioma.

These sound like big numbers until we consider that the best estimates suggest about 5,000 cancer cases each year (about 4,400 of whom are men) occur as a result of some kind of occupational exposure. That means less than 10% of the cancer cases suspected to be linked to work exposures manage to attract compensation.

Why so little compensation?

Some, but not all cancers, have clear causes. Mesothelioma, for instance, is unequivocally linked to asbestos exposure.

Lung cancer can be caused by the individual’s smoking, or in non-smokers, it might be linked to exposures such as second-hand smoke at work, silica, formaldehyde and asbestos (for every mesothelioma case caused by asbestos there are probably two additional lung cancer cases).

However, workers who smoked and had workplace exposure to other cancer-causing agents may not be getting or even seeking compensation.

Some occupational exposures happen outside work too, such as sun exposure. But compensation should be paid if there is some demonstrable “work-related injury” that contributed to the disease.

So the PE teacher – who is also a surf lifesaver and cricketer – can still seek compensation for her squamous cell carcinoma after running school sport for the first 15 years of her career without wearing a hat and sunscreen.

We still have no clear record of how much asbestos is in public and private buildings and homes in Australia.
Nadiia Korol/Shutterstock

There are, of course, the chemical exposures specific to some industries that most people immediately think of when considering this issue. Benzene, formaldehyde and nitrosamines are known carcinogens and can all be found in some Australian workplaces.

Diesel is another important example. A recent study estimated almost 14% of the Australians workforce had significant exposure to diesel exhaust. And almost 2% had high levels in their current jobs.

The truckie spending 50 hours a week or more in the cabin breathing the exhaust from his own rig and the traffic around him is increasing his lung cancer risk. So too is the underground miner using diesel-driven mine equipment, particularly if in a confined space.

Emission-reduction technology will help. But transport workers of the past need to know they carry their previous exposure as a possible contributor to any future lung cancer. They carry that risk to a far greater extent than any routine commuter.

Painters and plumbers exposed to lead, metal workers and electrical workers exposed to cadmium and farmers and gardeners exposed to glyphosate are all examples where products are still in use and personal protective equipment should be used. But it would be better would be to find other substances to serve the same function.

Preventing work-related cancers

When it comes to prevention, we’ve made some steady progress. Asbestos has been banned for decades and we’ve been banging on about SunSmart for more than 30 years. But in both cases we are not out of the woods.

We still have no clear record of how much asbestos is in public and private buildings and homes in Australia. Those working in construction, maintenance, renovation or refit do not have confidence in identifying asbestos. Nor do they have a clear diagram explaining where they might come across it in the work they do.

And there are still too many employers who have staff regularly working outdoors who do not have clear sun protection policies.

For people who are diagnosed with cancers and who have a work history of being exposed to carcinogens, we need a better mechanism to identify the connection and explore proper compensation.

For the current and future generations of workers, we need to keep improving conditions to cut out as much exposure to cancer-causing agents as is humanly possible. Employers should be aware of the specific risks they have in their industry and either find different ways to tackle the task or, if that’s not viable, ensuring the risk is effectively removed or reduced.

Other groups also have important roles to play. Regulators need to keep on top of the best evidence on cancer-causing agents as they unfold. Doctors diagnosing cancer might also brush up on their work history recording skills.

Finally, workers also need to play their part by following health and safety procedures. The best cancer is the one we prevent.

The Conversation

Terry Slevin is Adjunct Professor, School of Psychology and Speech Pathology at Curtin University. He is the Education and Research Director Cancer Council WA and Chair Occupational and Environmental Cancer Committee at Cancer Council Australia.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

​Komatsu launches new rental business

Komatsu Australia has launched a new equipment rental
business on Australia’s eastern seaboard, and New Zealand.

The business is providing more than 200 Komatsu construction
and utility machines with a team of 11 staff.

This is not just another finance solution with ownership
responsibilities and balloon payments at the end of a lease period,” Komatsu
Rental’s national rental manager Geoff Pisani said.

“And as the only national OEM-backed rental operator,
Komatsu Rental customers get all the advantages of Komatsu machine owners
including access to our KOMTRAX and KOWA machine management reporting systems,
and complete integration with our technical and service operations.

“That means Komatsu Rental customers are able to enjoy the
same level of support that is available to a Komatsu machine owner.”

According to Pisani the rental business is an area of major growth
potential for the business.

“We see it growing very strongly over the next few years,
with Australia and New Zealand on track to follow major overseas markets, including
the US, Japan and Britain,” he said.

“These markets have seen sales to the construction equipment
rental sector grow rapidly over the past 15-20 years.

“Much of the demand
for Komatsu Rental equipment is coming from Komatsu customers, who are keen to
rent the latest low-hour equipment from us, and to receive the full service and
technical support that we offer all our customers,” he said.

“Previously, if a Komatsu customer needed a machine to rent
for a short-term project, they were forced to rent from another supplier.

He went on to say that a number of companies are looking to
the hire and rental market as they have limited access to capital.

“Many contractors and plant hire companies today have
limited access to capital, so the rental option is very attractive to them.

“There is also the changing demands of the major project
environment, where the major contractors no longer own all of their equipment,
instead engaging plant hirers and subcontractors – who in turn can see the
advantages of renting quality low-hour equipment during the term of their
project,” he said.

“We see many opportunities supporting plant hire companies –
many of whom are also our customers – who need to supplement their fleets to
meet ever-changing project demands.

“These days, major customers are preserving their capital
for fixed plant and infrastructure and are increasingly looking to rental as a
flexible solution to supplement their existing mobile fleet, especially during
periods of increased production.”

New Townsville port berth opens

The new joint venture
berth facility between Glencore, Incitec Pivot, and the Port of Townsville is
now operational.

The $85 million Berth 8 facility was commissioned last

“The project helps secure the long-term export future for mineral
concentrates and fertiliser products produced within the resource-rich North
Wester Minerals Province,” Glencore said in a company statement.

The new berth facility allows for two and a half more times
shiploading capacity at the port, increased berth efficiency, and improves the
site’s sustainability, with around $5 million of the total project cost focused
solely on improving environmental performance.

This included better water management and treatment,
enclosed conveyors, and dust collection systems along multiple points of the
logistics network.

According to Incitec Pivot northern regional distribution
manager Ray Gofton: “The Berth 8 facility will improve ship loading capability
at the port, allowing for a quicker turnaround for vessels.”

Glencore port manager Greg O’Shea said the site is a
critical piece of its regional supply chain.

“Our operations at the Port of Townsville provide the export
gateway for a number of Glencore and third-party products,” O’Shea said.

“In 2014 we loaded approximately 1.75 million tonnes of
product for export markets such as Europe, Asia, and North America.”

Closer to the “the Berth 8 project has been a significant
support of local industry,” O’Shea said.

“More than half of Glencore and Incitec Pivot’s $41 million
investment went to local north Queensland businesses.”

The Berth 8 facility was designed to replace the older facilities
at Berth 7, which were first constructed over 100 years ago in 1913.

Dying for work: the changing face of work-related injuries

Work is an important determinant of health. Satisfying, safe work contributes to positive health, financial security and greater engagement in society. It can even enhance recovery from injury. These effects are inter-generational; the children of happy workers also experience social, emotional and educational benefits.

But there’s a flip side. Under some conditions, work is a major risk factor for poor health, disability and even death.

So far this year, for instance, 48 Australians have been killed while at work. In 2014, there were 185 workplace deaths from traumatic injury. And the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data show there were over half a million workplace injuries in 2013/14. That’s one person hurt while working every minute.

Globally, the International Labour Organisation estimates that one worker dies and a further 153 have accidents at work every 15 minutes. That equates to 2.3 million deaths and 313 million accidents every year.

The economic costs of this are enormous, equalling about 4% of global gross domestic product (GDP). The human costs are even higher, especially when you take into account the impact that death or serious injury can have on family, friends and work colleagues.

All kinds of hurt

Some common work-related conditions are among the top five leading causes of disability in Australia. These include low back pain, musculoskeletal disorders and neck pain. Among working-aged people, these conditions are associated with the greatest burden of disability, higher than levels of other common health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, mental health conditions, cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.

As you can see, the data are compelling. And this is only in Australia, where we enjoy very safe working conditions compared to many other countries.

The global impact of unsafe working conditions is highlighted when we see reports of factory collapses in Bangladesh and hundreds of workers dying in Qatar building stadiums for the 2022 Football World Cup. Closer to home, multiple workplace-related deaths in a short period may capture our attention.

Official estimates dramatically underestimate the true burden of work-related injury. Many workers fail to report their injury or seek workers’ compensation, particularly if they have a work-related mental health condition.

It can also be difficult to count instances of work-related diseases, such as some cancers and respiratory conditions, because they’re often captured in other health datasets and may not be identified as relating to work or working conditions.

Ripple effect

One way of measuring the impact of a health condition on an individual and on society is to determine the “burden” of disability associated with that condition. Such estimates include changes in health following injury, and the extent to which this limits our ability to participate in activities we usually take for granted, such as housework, driving a car and caring duties.

But work-related injury can also impact workers’ mental health; studies show higher rates of anxiety and depression among injured workers. There’s also a ripple effect created by injury that extends well beyond the injured person – to their family, workmates and employers.

We need to adapt current systems of workplace injury prevention and compensation to reflect the change in how we work.
Chris Ballard/Flickr, CC BY-NC

Studies report that work injury is associated with divorce and marital separation, for instance. And family members of people injured at work are 30% more likely to be hospitalised in the three months after the injury than before.

Work injury can also result in economic deprivation and income inequality. One recent US study showed people receiving workers’ compensation earned 15% less in the ten years after their injury than a matched group of non-injured workers. Presumably those who are injured but not receiving such compensation are even worse off.

Some workers with severe or complex injuries may remain unemployed in the long term, which can have negative effects on their children and grandchildren.

Studies like these illustrate the profound impact work-related injury can have on the lives of those injured, their families and the broader community.

Shouldering the cost

The cost of work-related injury and illness in Australia for 2008-09 was estimated at A$60.6 billion – that’s the equivalent of 4.8% of GDP. The figure includes direct costs, such as payments for health care and income replacement, and indirect costs, such as lost productivity and reduced quality of life.

Just over half of the total cost (51%) was due to injury, with the remainder due to work-related disease.

As you can see from the graphic above, the vast majority of these costs are borne by workers. The average cost per case of injury or illness is A$99,100, and A$73,300 of this is paid for by the injured worker.

The latest ABS data shed some more light on sources of financial assistance for injured workers. Many injured Australian workers receive no financial assistance. About one third access workers’ compensation and about a quarter receive support from their employer, such as paid sick leave or other entitlements.

New challenges

Current systems of injury prevention and compensation were established in the 1970s and 1980s to address the problems of the time. But the world of work is changing.

Musculoskeletal conditions, traditionally the major type of workplace injury, are becoming less prevalent, whereas work-related mental health conditions are becoming more common. We have more workers with insecure jobs, we work longer hours on average, and workplace stress has been growing.

But while we have been effective at reducing workplace risk for physical injuries in Australia, we have not paid the same attention to risk factors for mental health conditions.

This change represents a big new challenge for employers as well as government prevention and compensation agencies. It must be coupled with changing workplace culture to address the discrimination and stigma that many workers with mental health conditions experience.

Some government-led and employer-focused initiatives are now tackling these issues, but much more needs to be done.

Only time will tell whether the changes governments make to create better workplaces and safety nets for workers will be effective for addressing the new ways we work.

The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

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