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Automation safety, a highlight in Melbourne

Automation safety was one of the new growth areas in safety at the Safety In Action and Melbourne Materials Handling exhibition.

“The big trend we’re seeing is an influx of specialists dealing with the most personal of OHS concerns — psychologists, physiotherapists and even dieticians — into Safety In Action,” said organiser Marie Kinsella of Australian Exhibitions & Conferences. “At the other extreme, those dealing with the most inhuman of fields, automation, are more prominent than ever before with far bigger stands.”

“Our explanation for the change is the labour shortage. Employers are looking for ways to keep valuable staff members on the job and, as we’re all ageing, that means considering health and wellbeing. And of course, when you just can’t get enough staff, then doing more with fewer people is paramount, which is why we’re seeing an emphasis on automation and the efficiencies of materials handling.”

Ms Kinsella said she expected workplace wellness would continue to grow with the Victorian government’s announcement of the WorkHealth program that will screen workers for preventable diseases like diabetes. Announcing the $600 million initiative, premier Brumby said workers who were overweight and at risk of developing a chronic disease like diabetes, stroke or heart disease were more likely to be injured at work.

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